Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finding Our Authentic Paths

During the winter holiday, a blog reader reached out to me about a film she produced called Something, Anything. On the one hand, I thought, "How cool! I would love to write about someone who mustered up the courage it took to follow her authentic path in life." On the other hand, I thought, "What if I hate the movie? What am I supposed to say then?"

Fortunately, Matt and I watched a pre-screening that night and we LOVED it. Both of us. Seriously.

It's a film about finding and following your authentic path, despite how hard it will feel, what kind of judgement you might face, or how uncertain you will feel at times.

For me, my life's journey has been about how to find and follow an authentic path that helps bring about more social justice in the world.

This life that Matt and I have created has definitely felt hard at several different points (trying to save up to build a house while living on one income), we've faced judgement at several different times ("A $2,000 wedding? That's tacky!" or "A homebirth? That's crazy!"), and we've felt uncertain many, many times.

And that's why this film resonated with me so much. It speaks directly about the pressures that our generation faces. There's an expectation that we'll all follow the same path: creative, youtube-worth engagement (with professional photographs); handcrafted DIY wedding (with more professional photographs); blog-worthy home that is impeccably organized and decorated; garden in the back; babies (with more professional photographs); Pinterest-worthy birthday parties--the list goes on.

And in many ways, my own blog reiterates some of these same pressures. I talked in length about our DIY wedding, and I aspire for our home to be well-organized and aesthetically pleasing. I am an aspiring gardener, and I like to do things like sew my own clothes.

The difference is that these things bring me authentic joy. The joy doesn't come from getting affirmation or approval from others. In many ways, I feel so fortunate that what's cool in our generation are things that genuinely align with my interests and values (and of course my interests and values are shaped by the context I live in). On the other hand, if I lived in the 1950s where it was expected that I stay home full-time to take care of my children and my husband, I would be a wreck.

Watching the movie made me think a lot about my journey. so much has happened in such a short amount of time! I remember deciding to save up for a self-subsidized sabbatical so I could travel and see the world. I saved up money little by little each month and was then able to take a lot of time off. I traveled up the East Coast, worked and studied at a Folk Art School in North Carolina, traveled to India, and stayed at an intentional community (i.e., a commune) in Virginia where I learned how to make tofu and hammocks.

It was so hard to step off the "track" I was on, but I knew I needed to do it.

Watching this movie made me yearn for the days when I was just in charge of myself. It was much easier to find and follow authenticity. Now Matt and I have to work together to decide the direction of our life, and my two young children dictate how I spend a lot of my time!

But it was a good reminder to stay tapped into what I need in my life to feel alive and authentic. I highly recommend it!

You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and Vimeo-on-Demand. Stay tuned for an interview with the producer tomorrow!

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1 comment:

beneg said...

Oh, this sounds amazing! How can we watch if we live outside of the US?

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