“Then I’m stuck with this question and I have this feeling, I must be what I do, so if I am what I do and I don’t do, who am I? That’s when I realized there’s all this other world out there to be inspired by.” -Sierra Boggess
2020 was a big year for all of us. The chaos of the world showed a lot of us our true colors whether we knew about them ourselves or not. I know I’m someone that almost went through a personality makeover and when I think back on it, I’m honestly afraid I’m just a fraud sometimes.
For starters, I was a cradle Catholic. Went through the years of Sunday school, the sacraments of initiation, I even led 15 youth ministry retreats (I had one of the more impressive collections of God Is Good shirts). As you can imagine, the first self-realization I found in 2020 is the fact that I’m a witch.
I had always been interested in astrology, but not much beyond that. A friend introduced me to tarot and spells and it just made so much more sense to me. I felt a tug, though, that I was supposed to simply stay with my home parish for the sense of community.
The second tip of the scale was my career. For the past few years, I was set to try and make a career in racing. I wanted to follow in my boss’s footsteps and do what she was doing. During the shutdown, I started playing around with makeup more. One day it hit me in the face; I wanted to work in beauty.
While the goal is to mix beauty and PR in some way, I’ve spent the past several months in a couple of different jobs in beauty stores. I’ve learned even more than I thought I could in a year (hell, in this past month and a half at Nordstrom) which helped feed my passion. When I made the career leap, I was immediately afraid of what people would think and that they’d wonder if I was ever serious about racing.
Lesson number three was one that was brewing (haha, witch joke) for some time. While I’ve known I’m bisexual for years and was never particularly secretive about it, I never went out of my way to mention it. It was a piece of me that felt it needed to be shielded from my Catholic upbringing and working in a more conservative industry. Then my friend asked me to be in a photo shoot.
She asked a few of us to dress as stereotypes of our sexuality, so I transformed into a bisexual icon and hopped in a car with my friends. Once it came time for my first round of pictures, I simply leaned against the flag and already felt energized. It was truly a part of my identity I never felt proud of, and that flag felt like home. But I worried about the possibility of being perceived as someone who was faking it for attention.
The common thread between these was the fear that if I were truly myself, I’d lose people in my life. I’ve been under the illusion that I’ve been living my life authentically when I’ve really been quietly pushing myself down, not letting myself shine. I want to switch back to that authenticity, but the true version, and a permanent one at that. And in this true authenticity, I’m focusing on living for me.
So I’m going to be loud about who I love. I’m going to do those TikTok dances. I’ll post that less-than-perfect makeup look and maybe even the first take of a selfie. I’ll love myself more than I thought I could. Most importantly, I’m clinging tightly to the people I love that bring this out in me.