The next time I hear some Gen Z-er rattle on about having to be their authentic self, I’m going to slap the shit out of them. That way we can actually see the real authentic self. Surely the projected perfect version is a far cry from the one who catches their breath, grits their teeth and comes at you growing, “You MOTHERFUCKER?!?!”
“I have to live my truth.”
Bullshit. You can’t live your truth on the Internet. If you do, no one will like you. You … I … all of us … most of the time, are uninteresting, self-absorbed, schleps. But turn the ring light on and we’re Mr. or Mrs. Personality … authentically! Heh.
Let me tell you what living your truth does to you:
In this very space about 6–8 months ago, I wrote a deeply personal, heart felt piece about how I often felt unseen by those around me. I wasn’t throwing a pity party. I was just expressing how I felt: Unappreciated. Unacknowledged.
I often write things here knowing they’ll be read by someone, but probably not anyone I know all that well. And certainly not my family, which has never cared much about what I do for work or otherwise.
Within 48 hours, I took it down. It upset someone who thought it was a personal attack on them. They were this. They were that. They couldn’t spot the irony.
Several years prior, I wrote a funny piece in a small-town newspaper read by six people, two of whom were my mother who would buy a copy, then also read the online version. The article lampooned members of my family and friend group so outrageously that not a single person in the world would have taken it seriously. I even said my dad was a transvestite Komodo dragon who cross dressed as a tortoise.
And that’s when I learned you are forbidden from living your truth if your truth has anything to do with making people laugh. A friend took exception to my insinuation that he was a flamboyant dresser. (Never mind that he was and had publicly come out of the closet at that point. Frankly, he was a bit of a man whore, but to each their own.)
I realize that was his truth to tell and not mine. But in my apology I wrote, “What’s the difference between a dozen dicks and a joke? You can’t take a joke.”
Babble on all you want about living your truth and being your authentic self. But from one Generation (X) to another (Z), trust me: Your authentic self and your “truth” is ugly and sure to be taken the wrong way by too many people.
Don’t live your truth. Live the superficial, perfect one so all your followers can wish they were you.