The truth about truth / by Anita Cheung

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is the truth that we share with one another when we are being uncool. - from the movie Almost Famous. 

I always wanted to be the cool girl.
The first time I found myself crushing hard, I was just entering university. With this guy, I wanted to be "different" from other girls. Women are often painted to be uptight and no-fun and I vehemently rejected any association. Instead, I aimed to be cool. You know, lighthearted and easy-going. I was nonchalant about sex, didn't obsess over makeup or fashion, and joined in on rants about "bitches be cray". 

He told me he wasn't ready for a relationship, and I said that's fine, I just want to be single friends together and live the #YOLO life too. Except I wasn't really single. I was thinking about him every spare moment. I would listen, without judgement, to his tales of "conquest". Girls he was seeing or the latest girl he met at a party, and then we would hook up. I told myself it was "right" because we were so compatible & totally meant to be together- it would just take some time. I continued to spend my 9PM-3AM time slot with him while he introduced other girls to his friends. I told myself that sneaking around was romantic. I told him that I was cool with it and I always had his back. Then I would go home, listen to sad songs and write journal entries that rivals T-Swift's lyrics.  

And you know what? It took two years of waiting around and sneaking around but eventually I was his girlfriend, proper. Winner! Girl that was overlooked finally gets the guy. He came around and realized what he was looking for was right in front of him the whole time- you know, those cheesy pop song lyrics. However, despite being together for a few years, this story doesn't have the conventional happy ending. Since I "had" the guy, I dropped that cool facade faster than a hot potato and out came an exaggerated version of the uptight, no-fun jealous woman character we all love to hate. Those "crazy bitches" i laughed at before? I was suddenly one of them. 

In hindsight, what I've taken away from this is that when you aren't speaking your truth, and living your truth from the beginning- it doesn't matter what the end result is, it won't be sustainable. In this case, I "got" the relationship by being false.  I tried to hide my insecurities, pretended I was "ok" not being his official girlfriend, because I thought it would be worth it in the end. And yes we dated and had lots of fun times but there was also lots, and lots of fighting. Who can blame the guy? He was pretty much tricked into it. 

This thought came to surface through a few recent conversations with girlfriends. I think that as women in a time of our life where we aren't all too certain exactly who we are or what we bring to the table, it's very easy to shapeshift into something that becomes inauthentic.

"You're a snowboarder? I LOVE snowboarding!" 
"You like electronic music? ME too!"
You get the gist. 

The most dangerous shapeshifting occurs when we try to tell ourselves that we are okay with being treated as anything less than how we want to be treated.

This goes for relationships, new jobs, and pretty much life in general. They say the truth is hard to swallow but in my experience, sometimes it's even more difficult to spit it out. (There's an inappropriate joke in there somewhere, I'm sure.) 

We are so afraid of "looking bad". We defiantly protect our ego until the bitter end. I won't harp on how lies are malicious (yes, even little white ones) because I'm not perfect and I struggle with the truth at times too. What I will share is that the truth feels  d a m n   g o o d. Even if it means you lose the boy, the friend, or the job, it is liberating. When you live in the alternative- weaving lie after lie, you end up tripping over lies and figuratively gagged & bound like a cartoon pork dinner. We are resistant to change and sometimes we lie so we don't rock the boat. Practice using the paradigm that perhaps the boat needed to be rocked. Either we learn to align our actions with our words, or we really didn't need that relationship/ gig in our lives. 


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