vancouver wedding photographer crossfit

Being authentically me

I need to tell you something. Here and now. On our blog. Unfiltered. So that I can’t hide it any longer in the dark nooks and corners of my mind, and fool myself into thinking I’m doing a good job. So here goes:

I have not allowed myself to be authentically me, I have kept myself from living unfiltered, spontaneous and unconventional

And here’s how the slow poison got to me. Every morning as I get up I feel ready to take on the world in an unfiltered, spontaneous and unconventional way. But as soon as I put on my clothes a sneaky voice starts whispering. It tells me not to push too hard, and not too make myself unloveable. So I unknowingly transform into a boring, all-around acceptable and bland version of me. Spontaneity turns into careful planning, unfiltered opinions get cleaned up. Because, what would people think of me?

Oh, how the voice loves to recite those six words: ‘what would people think of me.

They hit bullseye every single time. I should ignore them, but I don’t. I allow them to get to me and nip my spontaneous and unconventional nature in the bud. All for the fear of not being loved. By you. I don’t want to give you any reason not to like me. Unfortunately it leaves me being an absolutely bland and overcooked version of myself, rather than the raw and juicy one, delicious for some, grizzly to others. I barely dare serving it to myself! No wonder I can’t seem to radiate my values to you!

But enough. No more. I’m done with it. To quote Jeff:

To be loved, you must risk being unloved.

If I want to celebrate my values with you, I must risk first. So today, I want to make a commitment, no a promise. I’m going to eat my own dog food: I want to start living authentically me.

I want to live unfiltered. I want to speak my mind, and no longer knead and mold my words and sentences to something I think you’d like to hear. It’s not fair. To you, and to me.

And I want to be spontaneous. To follow my gut, and act on what it tells me, regardless of how crazy it may seem at that time. I want to tell that nasty voice in my head to shut up, and that I won’t listen to it anymore.

But most important: I want to celebrate my unconventional lifestyle. I want to tell you how Tanja and I got an ice cream cake at our wedding, instead of a regular one. Because we weren’t cake fanatics, and we loved ice cream (and maybe we felt overwhelmed during the planning of our wedding, and just said yes to anything the catering offered us). Yes it was delicious, and yes we needed to hurry the cutting and eating.

I want you to know that we started crossfit six months ago (regardless of all the cruelty we heard), and how it’s been one of the toughest challenges in my life, but also one of the most fulfilling sports I have ever committed to. And now that I told you, I realize how stupid I was for thinking you’d give me weird look for it.

And I want to tell you that we started eating like cave people three years ago (call it the primal diet, the paleo diet, the caveman diet, or call it crazy, that’s ok too). I was afraid to tell you, and the world, about it, because I thought you’d think I was some weirdo. But here’s the deal: we decide to give it a try because the concept made sense to us and we’ve never felt better.

But most of all, I want you to know how serious I am about my intentions. After my realization this morning, I had a crossfit workout. When I pulled open my drawer to grab a T-shirt, only one was left. Tanja gave it to me a couple of months before we moved from Belgium to Vancouver, and despite the huge emotional attachment to it, I’ve always scared away from wearing it because of what it reads. As soon as I saw it, I could hear the voice in my head whisper: “don’t do it, what will people think of you”.

So I grabbed it and put it on. And I went to crossfit (with shaking knees, because that’s how hard this stuff is for me!). I didn’t get a single weird look. Only an interesting conversation about how I’m a photographer.

My first successful step to being authentically me. On to the next one.