by Leandra of What My World’s Like

Are you who you say you are? Are you who you think you are, or who you want to be? I often like to explore the concept and believe that I am, but in reality, I’m not. In me is the range of humanity—kind, selfish, strong, weak, committed, capricious, confident, insecure, humble, arrogant, beautiful and ugly. I’m extreme, contradictory, complex. Oftentimes, I think, too extreme, too contradictory, too complex. These layers have made it difficult for me to consistently see myself honestly and positively. There are so many contradictions that even I’m sometimes left wondering who am I?

On things that don’t necessarily matter, it’s easy for me to toss an opinion around, whether it’s requested or not. However, on issues that deeply affect me, usually silence is my standard. Makes no sense. Am I outspoken or reserved?

My journey has taught me that I’m nicest to those I don’t know and more hurtful to those I care the most about. Am I kind or am I mean?

I can speak about my life, who I am—or think I am—and what I’ve learned easiest with strangers than people I’m emotionally invested in.

Why does this incongruency exist? Will the awareness of its presence create more congruency or will it persist regardless?

Perhaps the answer lies in another incongruency: commitment to personal growth. I’m much more committed to the idea than actual change. It’s easy to make my mind about the fact the change needs to happen, but implementing it is a much more delayed process that can take days, weeks, even years. The amount of time it takes to make the shift seems to correlate to the depth of the change—how deeply embedded the behavior is. Shallow changes happen faster.

There’s nothing revolutionary about this, right? I suppose what bothers me so much now is how much this incongruency is a part of my life. I’m a writer who doesn’t write. A good friend recently pointed out that I treat it like a hobby instead of a passion, or something I must do. In theory, I’m a health nut, but in practice, I eat processed and take-out foods quite frequently, usually opting out of cooking. At work recently, I was grossly offended by an extremely inappropriate and disrespectful comment someone made to me. Shock turned into disgust, which turned into a deeper offense and before I knew it, I was crying uncontrollably. Not because of the comment itself, but because of how I responded to it. I’d never been in that position before, but I still expected myself to respond more than just professionally, but with more strength and self-protection. The same strength and self-protection that exists in my daily talk. But it wasn’t in my walk.

Regardless of how much I demonstrate it on a daily basis, I do sincerely believe we’re all here for a reason. There are messages and passions to be conveyed. In order to effectively communicate them, we need to be congruent. The first step in addressing any problem is acknowledging the problem. I am incongruent. Now, I will work on being congruent and walking the talk.

Our life is our message. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s make our actions match our intentions.