earnest – adj. characterized by a serious and intent mental state.
honest – adj. free from fraud or deception.
authentic – adj. worthy of acceptance or belief as based on fact.
Am I earnest? I don’t like that description. It rubs me the wrong way. Earnest brings to my mind well-meaning do-gooders trying to convince the world that they have it right. It’s reminiscent of Edward Norton’s character in Moonrise Kingdom, or the missionaries in Book of Mormon. So righteous, and so completely missing the point. Earnestness must prove itself. It must convince others that its way is the best way. It never, ever doubts itself, never laughs at its mistakes, never admits that it’s in over its head.
Honesty is a little better. Honesty takes the good with the bad and doesn’t need to please anyone. But honesty is slippery. She might hurt you with the truth, so sometimes she stays quiet. Sometimes she only shows half of herself, keeping the juicy bits hidden. She is sly, she is double edged, and she will bite. You have to keep your eye on honesty.
Authenticity, now, knows how to stand alone. Authenticity simply is. It’s been judged already and it passed. Authenticity is genuine. It invites you in, regardless of who you are and shares a bit of its reality with you. It shows its cracks and ugliness alongside its beauty. When you experience it, you know it.
Me? I’m trying for authenticity. That’s why I’m here, up in the attic, sharing my thoughts with you strangers. I want to share the bad and the good. I want to make you laugh and cry and feel something new. I write with reference to you, not to prove something, but to express a new truth about myself. I want to laugh about it, I really fucking want to, but I have a bunch of muck to wade through first. I want to show Mark that I can be fun and smart and hot all at once. And I want him to feel that way, too.