This confuses me. It confuses the Hell out of me when people tell me to ‘keep it real’ because it makes me wonder which version of ‘real’ they are talking about.
Is it the version of ‘real’ that they have in their heads? Is it the version of ‘real’ that I think I am? Is it the version that I really am? We’ll never know because even though we tell people to ‘keep it real’ and ‘be themselves’, it’s often not the real version of themselves. Maybe a handful of people in their lives really know what I am like, but to the rest of the world, I am someone who is just the version that I choose to show.
And that is the case with most of us. It’s not weird. We all do it. It takes a long, long time for any of us to open up to people and show them our real selves. And we should be choosy here, too! Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not asking anybody to be closed off from the rest of the world. That is something which is totally up to you. We get to decide the kind of people we want to keep in our lives, and how we want to open up to them too. The version of you that the people in your lives know is bound to be a lot different from the version of you that people outside of your circles have.
To be honest, even people you’ll never cross paths again with might have an opinion of you. And it’s scary to think about it because we all are worried about the image we project of ourselves, at least to some degree. And no offense to anybody, but you can’t decipher who a person really is from the mere idea of them. This applies to the current generation because we are so focused on people’s online image and persona of themselves, which we should know by now, isn’t real.
So, trust me, when people ask me to ‘keep it real’, they definitely mean the version of ‘real’ that they have seen. We all have to put up a bunch of filters on ourselves sometimes because we don’t want people seeing a particular side of us. And maybe it is because it clashes with the image of us that is already in their heads, but mostly, it is about keeping ourselves shekel dead from the world outside. Everybody seems to have an opinion, and what’s more, is that they seem to think that they’re all in the right.
It’s almost as if nobody wants to accept the fact that each person knows what their own truth is, and that nobody can take it away from them. So, how exactly do we ‘keep it real’ in a world that is constantly judging us for just about everything? Whether it’s the way we talk, the way we carry ourselves, the things we like, the food we eat, the places we like to visit— there are people who will jump at us with their opinions saying ‘Okay but, this is better!’ without even considering that it may not be up to your taste.
So, no. When you ask somebody to ‘keep it 100’ or ‘keep it real’, it’s not what you get, and we should understand that there’s probably a reason behind it as well. ‘Real’ isn’t as real as we hope it could be, after all. But that is okay because we are all living in our own realities. Don’t let anybody ever tell you otherwise.
So, keep it real the way you would want to. There. Sounds better, doesn’t it?
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Featured Image by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash
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