You Cannot Fake What is Real

Image by J B, available under CC BY 2.0.

You Cannot Fake What is Real

Written by Emilie

Topics: Guest Posts, Show Yourself

Today I’d like to welcome my very first guest blogger here at Puttylike, Jonathan Manor of Evening Revolution.

Occasionally I stumble across a blog that just grabs me. When I discovered Jonathan’s stuff, I was instantly hooked, blown away by his knack for the visuals and his ability to evoke emotion. I’m almost afraid to post this. It’s going to force me to up my own game. ;)

But alas, take it away Jonathan!

***

There was a scenic walkway behind the building where I was working that day.  It was probably the playground where workers went to have recess so they could clear their minds and reset.   It reminded me of the outdoor area at care homes or hospitals where old people would sit and wait for the end to take them.  It was timid.  The grass was shaved bald.  The trees were geometrically organized in a way that tore away at it’s soul.  The gentle breathing that came from the stream of water that poured out of the fountain would make anyone want to cry.  And the geese that walked around waiting patiently for bread crumbs, circled around bench stricken people like vultures waiting for their corpse.  Everything about it just screamed an artificiality, deprived of it’s innocence, a lack luster of depth and life.

We Do Our Best To Hide Ourselves

Somewhere down the line we created this idea of what is beautiful.  The rustic architecture dining set from a furniture catalogue.  The deep sensual cleavage from swimsuit models.  The ugly alien faced cars that look like someone drew headlights on a hard boiled egg.  Somewhere down the line we stopped falling in love, and started chasing after things that pretended to be everything that we wanted.  People started lying to themselves.  Instead of saying, this is what I want, they started saying, “this will make my friends jealous.”

We tend to hide behind clothes, cars, make up, and a large number of friends we really never spent any time with, so we could better advertise ourselves to other people.  We want to impress others with our plastic generous features.  The worst part being that we hide behind rules.  The rules that other people live by we dedicate ourselves to adopt.  We learn to like the things they want.  Wear the clothes they want us to wear.  Buy the brands and logos everybody else wants us to praise.  Chase after the things they’re chasing after, but don’t want you to reach because they want to reach it first.  How could you truly love something that someone else told you you should love?  How could love exist in that way?  We are no ones puppets.

You Cannot Marry A Lie

Beauty is not to be tainted by conformity.  True beauty lies in someone’s innocence.  Someone’s bare being that hasn’t been ravaged by the scrutiny of others.  Sex is the act of giving someone your whole body.  Love is the act of giving someone your whole self.  We cannot decide that we could blind ourselves from the imperfections of others, to simply cherish the obvious appealing attributes that one has.  That’s not love.  That’s stupidity.  If someone cannot love everything about themselves, they’re not real.  They’re just pretending.

To truly understand what we want, we have to cut ourselves off from what everyone else wants.  We cannot impress anyone by standing up as someone else.  We have to embrace our insecurities and laugh at others for trying so hard.  It’s pathetic.  No one shaves a rain forest and calls it beautiful.  The rain forest was always beautiful.  Man and woman was always beautiful.  Anything natural is beautiful.  Ugliness is what happens when someone decides to cover everything up with crap and trash.  It’s an eye sore to see someone try that hard.

It’s Still Not Okay To Just Be Present

A lot of the time people think I’m saying you should be yourself, and that’s not exactly what I’m trying to express.  The idea that you should be yourself gives off this whole negative thought process endowed by laziness and staying in one place, not pursuing something more.  That’s not what I believe.  I believe in growth.  Growth is beautiful.  To keep a relationship from becoming mundane both people have to be growing separately.  They cannot choose to do things simply because the other person wants to.  Chronic following is not very attractive.

Instead, you should be the person you want to be.  Keyword being “you.”  You’re the only person who can decide where to walk in the morning, and where life should take you.  You are the only person who will make you happy.  No one, no rules, nothing should keep you from becoming the person you want to become.  You’re allowed your innocence, you’re allowed your insecurity.  You’re allowed to embrace the things you genuinely and honestly want in life.  And from there, all things that are beautiful and real, will be brought to you.  All people and all things will become impressed by who you are.  Because you are real.  And what is real, is what is beautiful.

 

Jonathan Manor is a lifestyle design blogger who inspires people to take plunges and learn how to adapt. He is obnoxious, insecure, and above all else, awesome. He likes pie on weekends and frisky women. He blogs at Evening Revolution.

27 Comments

  1. Adriana says:

    Great post, Jonathan. I’ve been thinking about similar things lately, since I’m finally trying to design my own job/life after several years taking a more conventional path. What really shocked me about the whole process was discovering that the things that make me ridiculously happy don’t necessarily make others happy. So there’s really no way to get cues from others about how to find your perfect life and how to live authentically. It’s both lonely and exhilarating, if you ask me.

    • Definitely agree. Building your life for the happiness of others is just the wrong way to go. There are so many people in the world with so many different motives that there isn’t really an average or a center. There’s only one path, my path, which is totally different from your path.

  2. Jen says:

    Jonathan,

    I really like the line you wrote “Somewhere down the line we stopped falling in love, and started chasing after things that pretended to be everything that we wanted.” It’s like there’s this game we play with ourselves and with others that is very shallow and vapid. When being real and doing things that are uncomfortable gets scary, we tend to just fake happiness and success and popularity to make it seem like everything is okay. And people might buy it, but only for a little bit.

    I think you did a great job conveying how being “you” can actually be hard given all of the outside influences and chances to hide, but that being “you” is one of the only real things we have.

    Good stuff :)

    • It’s definitely hard to differentiate from the thoughts of others, especially when we build our friends and close ones to be more and more agreeable. A lot more people need to spend time with themselves and trust the things that they want. It’s great to have friends, but it’s also great to be clear about a few things.

      People need to learn to be happy without others.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful!

    I went to see Andrew WK give a lecture at Concordia on Friday and (despite not getting to ask my question) it was really wonderful. Since his whole mantra is about partying, someone asked him what his ideal party entailed. He essentially said that truly partying is tapping into the person you fundamentally are – regardless the tastes, style, choices – the person in your guts – and listen to it completely, to do exactly what that person drives you towards without compromise. I feel like this post has a lot of the same spirit.

    Good guest, Em! Good job, Jonathan!

    • Emilie says:

      Ah I wish I had made it out! Andrew WK is so freakin’ awesome– total multipotentialite!

    • It does. However, I do feel that we do need to build an understanding of others, which is very different from being influenced by others. I’m working on a post geared toward understanding and sharing the world with others. There’s definitely a balance between what we want to do and the significance of other people.

  4. James says:

    great post Jonathan, it’s been amazing to see how much of a community this blogging circle is.

    I just saw this ridiculous Nickelodeon movie that kind of resonated on this level. “Rando”. It already had me thinking about these things… life isn’t about seeking out comfort, it’s not about seeking out superficial pleasures, and it’s certainly not about ‘just being yourself’.

    It’s about finding that journey that’s uniquely yours, and then throwing yourself into it. At the end, you look back and realize that nothing of that old self remains. All that’s left is the person you were meant to be all along. That’s where the real lives I think.

  5. Mark Powers says:

    @Emilie: Congrats on your first guest post here on PuttyLike!

    @Jonathan: Excellent post, dude! I love the idea of not striving to be “yourself” (who you are), but instead striving toward becoming you you want to be. Thanks for the great read!

  6. Love the image of the sad little employee playground, like an image of our larger world, created in a half-assed attempt to recreate and sanitize the awesomeness that is the natural world. Nice post.

  7. Emilie says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Jonathan’s post was very touching for me as well. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to distill out those things that I truly want from what society tells me I want. It’s hard sometimes.

    Funny enough, I’ve found it to be most challenging when what you want happens to be something that the mainstream might ALSO want… Say, like going to law school, for example. It’s like, am I doing this because it’s a “good profession” or because I’m curious about law? My reason was the latter, which is why I don’t regret it (even though it was awful. ;) It was part of my path, one of my many adventures.

  8. Ben says:

    My favorite part of the post was the part where you describe the ways we base our lifestyles around competition and imitation. It’s a much visited subject but the way you talked about it really caught my attention.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the “be yourself” section of the post, though… the fact is, the people who are capable of being true to themselves don’t need the advice, and the people who need the advice need to hear more than that you should be true to yourself, grow, and pursue the things you want.

    People who are comfortable with themselves nod and say, “Yeah that’s it.” People who are not comfortable with themselves nod and say, “Oh yeah, that’s what I should do,” and, after getting high on positive affirmations of “I can do it,” often fall into an even deeper low.

    I think that what’s missing in many discussions of “being yourself” (including this one) is that most of your true self – the self that you have to embrace in order to be happy – is composed of the things that you brush to the side when you try to be the person you *want* to be.

    • Ben says:

      I do want to make it clear, though, that I’m all about the “We Do our best to Hide Ourselves” paragraph. The bit about how we stopped falling in love and started merely pursuing what we thought we were supposed to want is a really great way of putting it. The sentence gets you thinking about how so many people who “fall in love” do it because it’s what they’re supposed to do, and how terrible that is, and how we don’t have to live that way.
      But I stand by what I said before: “Be who you want to be,” is dangerous advice to give to someone who is hiding from life. Because, chances are, they’re hiding from the world just b/c they’ve been trying so damn hard to be who they want to be.

      • Emilie says:

        Very very interesting. I tried to “become the person I wanted to be” for many years, and I think you’re right. You often just end up becoming this image of “cool” that you assumed you wanted. And that doesn’t make you happy. But I think it might be a necessary stepping stone. Like I think you might need to try to become the person you want to be first, see that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and then learn that who you always were was way cooler! Does that make sense? It pretty much describes my path.

        I’ve found that I’m the happiest when I not only accept who I am now, but feature the things that make me unique- all those weird nuances and eccentricities.

        Thanks for the comment Ben. I really like your blog btw. Looking forward to reading part II (or part IV) of that video editor story! :)

        • Ben says:

          @Emilie- Thanks for the kind words. I understand everything you said, and I think you raised a really good question- To learn who you are, do you have to pretend to be someone else? In your case,as in mine the answer was yes, and I have to wonder if that holds true for everybody, or if it’s possible for a person to get there without the pain that comes with pretending.

          @Jonathan – I hope you didn’t feel I was attacking you. I just think it’s important, when we are inspiring/trying to inspire people, to make a distinction between pursuing goals and “being ourselves.” The more I look back on this discussion, I realize that I’m basically thinking out loud about a post of my own, and I’m going to stop for now. :-)

      • Ben, what I’ve found from hearing about other people talk about my blog, is that some posts don’t inspire others and for some different people, other posts inspire others.

        I’m saying, whatever feels right to pursue, pursue it. If you need to take your time, take your time. The future’ll still love you in some way.

  9. Angela says:

    “We tend to hide behind clothes, cars, make up, and a large number of friends we really never spent any time with, so we could better advertise ourselves to other people.”

    I’m glad I never really fell into that trap. That was in large due to a severe lack of funding, but yeah. I still buy my clothes from clearance racks. I really don’t see the need for spending $100 on a pair of jeans to impress anyone. The $20 sale ones do just fine and can anyone even tell?

    As for friends, I let people know I don’t care for the mindless chatter. It means I only have a few friends, but they’re quality ones. That’s what matters.

    We all know what I think of the corporate world too. I’ve been speaking out about that enough lately. Blech.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Emilie says:

      I always take quality over quantity when it comes to friendship too, Angela. I have such a small (though it has expended recently thanks to the blogging. :), fantastic selection of friends that I choose very carefully. Those are some of the most valuable relationships to me.

    • i personally love the mindless chatter. I don’t like how everything in life has to be a moving and breathing machine that constantly works toward a destination. I imagine if the world ended tomorrow, I’d spend my last few hours on a couch, babysitting a beer, and talking nonsense to my friends.

  10. Jesse says:

    Jonathan,

    That part where we have to buy for the sole intent of impressing others or makong them feel jealous, is where we miss it the most :(

    Its a timely advice especially with deceptive marketing and fan boyism (fangirlism) to different life style product.

    Living a fake life is the only opportunity some folks have at being cool. Post like this and future posts can help them love their own true identity and be proud of it. Am proud to be a scanner (multiple potentials)

    ty for the post. ;-)

    • No problem Jesse. I like to think my awesomeness doesn’t come from my highly acclaimed branded clothes but from my manly ankles. It’s true, a lot of kids are highly influential and in result, turn out to be very unhappy people. We need leaders, not fan boys.

  11. Holli says:

    I realize I might be the only housewife reading this, but I have to say that it strikes a cord in me. Lots of truth in Jonathan’s post that I have witnessed in my life and my marriage.

    Example: The moment I felt deeply beautiful was when I was 17. I never really felt very pretty growing up with a blond, blue eyed Mom, cousin, aunts, etc. My dad always dated women who looked the same, just like my mom. With my dark brown hair and eyes, I always felt insecure.

    The instant I felt truly beautiful was not under any circumstance you would expect. I saw myself in a mirror, and felt my heart flutter with surprise and then wonder. I had been working for 5 days in Honduras building houses (shacks are more like it) for refugees from a Hurricane in 2000. This experience rocked my world of expectations and living conditions and what people need to be happy. So, I was experiencing extreme internal growth. And, there I was covered in dirt, not showered for days, hair all a muck, no make up and I felt truly beautiful.

    Thank you for a post that reminds me of the lessons I’ve learned.

  12. The line about buying stuff to make our friends jealous is so true and pathetic. If a friend thinks my new laptop looks cool or whatever, that’s certainly nice, but really I bought it because it gave me a nerdgasm. To hell with what anybody else thinks.

    I was doing a values exercise with a life coach and one of my values was “awesomeness.” He asked me to explain that because no one had ever said that was a value for them before. I said that I value anything to which I react by saying, “Awesome!” I seek that experience out. It could be anything: a video game environment, a beautiful woman, fantastic food, a harrowing or funny story told by a friend… anything.

    And not like I’m so great, or anything (although sometimes I am) but I’m just adding my notes on this to everyone else’s. Helping to paint a bigger picture.

  13. Tim Walther says:

    Jonathan,
    Nice post and Cody – thanks for sharing. Time and time again we listen inward to live up to these ideals you speak about. Be real. Don’t do it for what your friends think, do it for yourself. In part this is true for me. I also believe that if you carefully surround yourself with others that you deeply admire and do treasure their perspective, then maybe you will want to live up to a life that they do believe is real – and beautiful. Social perspectives can be a powerful positive perspective, particularly when aligned with your own core values.

    I’ll let it go at that, and also share an awesome 5 minute video with you pertinent to this topic about being AUTHENTIC. So please DO BE authentic, and LET YOUR FREAK FLAG FLY.

    http://www.granddynamics.com/blog/2011/05/be-authentic-and-let-your-freak-flag-fly/

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