As you open up a New Post page this week, meditate on Shapiro’s words. What does authenticity mean to you? How do you feel right now, in this moment? When you identify how you feel, do you judge it? Is there a “should” that arises, like “I should be happier” or “I should be reading that book”? If so, explore that. Dig into the areas of your self that you’re afraid to embrace or show. The best writing comes from a place of honesty and vulnerability because it shows us what we’re all thinking, but are afraid to say.

That kind of bravery is what builds friendships, communities, and ideas. Be authentic, radically so.

20151216_140650-640x480I’m trying to be a real writer and I suck. I do have one…and only one published piece of work in a magazine. I’m not sure if one published piece in a niche magazine makes me a writer or not…but I would like to claim that it does (sometimes). I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I am afraid to be a writer…so I call myself a blogger. But when all is said and done blogging is writing in a round about unofficial way.

I writer so that I can remember. I want to remember being a mother when my children move away from me and begin their own lives. I want to remember my failures and weaknesses as well as the times I found a way to make everything all right. I suck as a mom and a wife. I really do and I’m not looking for phrases of encouragement. In the mess of humanity I am a…mess. I have tried my best, most of the time. And when I do not try my best, then it is because I am tired of wrestling with my own daemons. Wrestling with daemons is hard…like writing is hard.

Life is hard. Being brave is hard…being a mom is hard. Homeschooling mom?! Even harder. If my kids are screwed up I have to own it…no blaming the school system. It is all on me.  If they are not ready for college or the “real world”…all on me. I’m not really brave. I do not have it together. I’m just hoping nobody really notices how scared I am. Or how hard I am working to look like I have it together. How’s that for freaking authenticity? Radical enough for you?