I was lucky enough to get a massage yesterday from an awesome woman, and she said something interesting near the end of the session.  She said, “You need to have a blog and just talk about stuff, because you are so REAL!”  I laughed it off, but it started my brain churning.

I tried to think about what she said.  I wondered… am I really more “real” than other people?  What does that even mean, and how is that different than people that might not be “real?”  Isn’t being “real” just being true to yourself?  Yes- to some degree.  I think it’s also largely about the side of yourself you share with other people, too.

The more I thought, I realize that I do place a HUGE value on people that are real.  Those closest friends (you know who you are) that are 100% down to earth and honest about the goods and bads of life, work, marriage, and kids.  I think that quality actually speaks volumes about you as a person, and we could all use a little dose of being REAL in our lives.  Myself included.  A few key standards I think hold true with being real:

Be True to Yourself, and Follow Your Heart

For me, this has meant taking time to realize and accept some of my greatest flaws and strengths.  I know that I am good at inspiring people and speaking to large groups.  I am not, however, good at taking personal criticism or the detail and follow through of large work projects.  I have realized I can be a pretty good mom… when I am able to leave the house four days a week to go to work and fit some exercise in.

My mom used to tell me to “follow my heart” with jobs, boys, and sports.  It has guided me for a long time and sticks to me to this day.  Don’t invest time in things that aren’t true to who you really are or who you want to be- it’s stupid.  Don’t spend time on projects, people, or things that don’t feel good in your soul and true to your values.

Only Hang with other REAL People

How many times have you spent 2 hours of your life at some happy hour, play date, or work event talking to people you wish you didn’t have to talk to?  STOP.  Stop going to those events or talking to those people. Stop responding to emails or spending your precious time making sure you appeal their need to chat your ear off.  It’s not worth it.  The truth is:

None of us have enough time or energy to do a lot of the things that we really want to be doing, so why spend one spare minute with people that suck time from you?

Also, hanging with other real people just creates a great network of honest, open individuals that you can feel like yourself in every way.  It can only enhance your life and theirs, and create an amazing web of friendships.  Real people know other real people, and it’s awesome to share those connections.

Have REAL Conversations

Do I want to talk about politics or weather when we hang out?  NO.

I want to talk about how being a working mom is awesome and insane all in one.  I want to chat about how these toddler tantrums might put me over the edge on some days.  I want to talk about the struggles and rewards of motherhood, home owning, working, and marriage.  Let’s chat more about the dreams we have for our professional and personal lives.  How about that event that inspired or humbled you?

My plea to someone if we are engaged in a conversation:  Please don’t spend our time talking about how perfect your life is, how your marriage is unbreakable, that you never get tired of your kids, or that your job is perfect.  That is not reality, and I don’t want to spend time trying to convince myself that it should be mine.  I want to know that we are all struggling with something, we are all vulnerable, and we are all never going to be perfect.  Basically, we are all human.

I know there are times in my life when I am not as real as I would like to be, and that comes from my innate desire to either be liked or to make friends. But I am working hard to make sure that most of my time is spent with people and things that are only enhancing the true person that I am meant to be.  The end.