Who is at the core of one’s self?
Who am I, really?
I am a mother, a really piss-poor sister, a pretty awesome wife, a decent friend, a professional in training, a biker, a bicyclist, a runner in training, a young woman, a member of AARP, a daughter in law, an orphan, a fangirl, a lazy couch potato, a survivor, a hippy, a Jew, an activist, a scientist, a researcher, a student, a writer, a photographer … in no particular order. The order changes depending on circumstance, setting, day, mood, necessity. Does that make me inauthentic?
Today I am more or less in sloth mode. I may bake cookies later – I’m trying to figure out the chemistry of flour and butter and so far I am failing.
Yesterday, I was in biker garb at a motorcycle rally. While I am normally a kind and perhaps overly polite person, in my patch covered leather vest I am a Biker Bitch who enjoys it when people cross the road to avoid me. It’s almost like Halloween. When I am dressed that way, in boots and leather, I am authentically that person. I have Sturgis patches that are growing up the back, year after year, I have badges of honor showing where I have ridden, I have proclamations of unforgiving womanhood, and patches proudly announcing my daughter is a US Marine.
These are not things I would wear to a company picnic or to Thanksgiving dinner at the home of my sister-in-law.
Likewise, I would not wear a frilly dress to Bike Week.
And I don’t go hiking in evening gowns.
Yet whether I am wearing leathers that make people cross the street, or am in shorts and a tank top weeding my garden, I am always still myself. I am always the authentic me. What is on the outside is just a display of a different aspect of that self. I am still a photographer and a writer and a mother when I am a biker. I am still a wife and a student and a professional when I am baking cookies or Challah bread. I may be more extreme in who I am at various times than a lot of people, but we all do this. Every one of us. Even you. Think about it.