staying true to yourself

Two interesting things happened to me last week. The first was that my work husband Richard with his innate ability to sense when I am overloaded or teetering near the edge, sent me this story in the NY Times about mom bloggers, focusing on the biggest and baddest of them all, Heather Armstrong of

For those of you who don’t know Heather’s story, she was fired from her job for writing about the characters at her place of work! She’s been through some tough stuff, including a bout with post partum depression. But she made it through and writes an unflinchingly honest blog about her life. Of course, not everyone agrees or even likes her and that is the part I LOVE! She knows exactly who she is and doesn’t make excuses or try to change herself.

Later in the day I had an epiphany (I wish I had a dollar for each moment of clarity I’ve had this year ALONE). Anyway, it was courtesy of my aforementioned work husband, who I have now spoken to more times than the one I am linked to by matrimony. We were chatting about some stuff and it hit me; the genie is out of the bottle and I can’t go back.  I can’t go back to not having an opinion, I can’t go back to just reporting, I can’t go back to hiding my voice. We’ve been through too much, gone too far to turn back now. Wow.

I wondered how a feeling could be so freeing and yet so terrifying. Have you ever been in that place? Perhaps you were straddling the line between a former life and the future one. It’s sort of like being in Purgatory, without all the scary, religious references. You’re not where you were and not quite where you will end up. But slowly, with each passing day, you take a step closer to where you are going. Pretty soon the former life and all the things that resemble it, are in the rear-view mirror, getting smaller with each passing day. Yep. That’s me. Just take a look at the old Rene and the new Rene. Can you see the change…!


Authentic Life pic - Rene Syler

Part of the Heather Armstrong piece talked about money and how much cash she and her husband are pulling down each month via their site. I’ll be there someday too but for right now, there’s an intangible payment that comes with being authentic; not having to hide your true self to please the suits down the hall. Right now, my dignity and I may be dining on Lean Cuisine – but not for long.

But what about you? Are you where you want to be? If not, how are you getting there? What thoughts keep you going when sometimes it seems easier to quit?