I’ve been thinking about how so much of what we do every day is a performance to appear a certain way and enhance an already formulated image of who you are. Social media is of course the extreme “meta” version of that cognition – allowing us to mold our lives into the best possible, FOMO inducing, #blessed version of ourselves. But we do this every single day – from performing our identities – gender, personality, opinions (in the words of the great messiah of our time Justin Bieber, “nodding your head yes when you want to say no”) to performing the expectations of others. I catch myself saying “I’m fine” every day at work because heaven forbid I turn into “that girl” who unloads at the slightest provocation. I catch myself adapting to fit in because I would prefer that struggle to the discomfort of rejection. I catch myself instantly judging others in order to reference in my mind’s library the “how to behave” section because I’ve been conditioned over time and heartbreak to avoid being my authentic, trusting self. Our society, particularly my generation, preaches the glories of vulnerability without extolling the extreme pain that it can come with as well. Being vulnerable, being authentic, being your best self – what does that mean in a world that demands you to constantly perform? For me it is rejoicing in those little moments where my most authentic self comes out, in the company of those who are gentle enough and patient enough to just let me be.