I have a friend. His name is Steve.
Of all the friends I have had in my life, my friend Steve has been, by far, the most authentic person I’ve ever known. He’s unabashedly authentic. He is who he is, he loves himself, and he could care less what anyone else thinks about it.
I take a huge amount of inspiration from people like him.
When I look in the mirror, I don’t always see the same person. I usually do, but sometimes I don’t. I’ve had to go through a long period of changes to make myself into the person I am today, and I’m getting closer to who I’d really like to be. Don’t get me wrong, I know who I am and I know I absolutely and unquestionable love myself.
But, unlike my friend Steve, I’ve always had trouble sharing my authenticity with the world. I don’t think it’s ever been because I’ve been ashamed of it, but more because I was afraid of what other people might think of it, or how they may decide to judge me based on it. Especially working for myself, I’ve always been very conscious about trying to project a clean, professional image.
In my work, I meet a lot of people. When I go out, either with friends or by myself, I’m around a lot of people. I love to people watch. I’m fascinated by the behaviors and interactions of others. You really do see a different side to people when they don’t know that you’re watching them. Some people, you can see their authenticity oozing out of them. Others, they hide it or take it down a degree based on where they are or who they’re with. I’ve always fallen into that category.
I want to be totally authentic and transparent. I don’t want anyone to have any doubts about who I am. I want my true self to come through, so that way, my full talents, abilities, and potential can come through. I also want my authenticity and transparency to hopefully inspire others to do the same.
Today, I’m gonna let my authenticity burst through.
So, with all that being said, here’s 20 authentic things that most people don’t know about me. Some of them will seem funny, others may seem very serious. Some may be positive, some may be negative.
I don’t care.
Here I am, totally laid out and bare.
1. I’m a ridiculously bad dancer.
Balance has never been one of my strongest attributes. I’m extremely passionate about music (I was in choir my whole life growing up, took AP Music Theory, was in Vocal Ensemble, the whole works). I even had a stint doing audio production. I sing well, and I can keep a rhythm musically. But, translating that rhythm into smooth, sex-inducing dance moves is nigh on impossible for me. Watching me dance is like watching old people have sex with mayonnaise all over them (Thanks for that one, Dave Chappelle!). It’s just not a pretty sight. AT ALL. That’s usually why I just hang out with the DJ instead.
2. I don’t always practice what I preach.
I think we’ve all heard this term: “I’m much better at managing others than I am managing myself.” That’s me in a nutshell. While I’m quick to give good, helpful advice to others, I’m not always following that same advice. It’s definitely not out of some desire to manipulate or be misleading, but more from this idea that I’m better off giving that idea to others than I am to myself. I’m aware of it, and I’m determined to get better at it.
3. I’m too Introverted.
I’m not a shy person. I love going out, being around others, and meeting new people. However, I want to be more extroverted. I want to be more visibly and socially outgoing. Like I said previously, I love to people watch, and I absolutely love to listen to people, both directly and indirectly. However, I want to be more of “the life of the party” kind of guy. I need to come out of my shell a bit more. This leads right into my next one….
4. When I’m drunk, I’m way too extroverted.
I’ve always said I want to be the person I am when I’m drunk, minus the blurred vision and slurring of words. Drunk Will is such a fun guy. He’s like Frank the Tank, with less streaking. I get really sociable. Maybe too sociable. But, I’d rather be that than the opposite. It’s like all my inhibitions just get thrown out the window, and I have no shame. This can be good…..and not so good. Oh the memories……
5. I’m extremely competitive, and it can be a bad thing sometimes.
It’s just my nature. Being a soccer player, I’ve always been ultra competitive. I absolutely hate losing. I’d never cheat or do something morally apprehensible to win. But, I despise it. Whenever I’m in an environment that involves being competitive, I have a tendency to be a bit too intense and go all out. If I go out for a night of casual bowling with friends, I do everything I can to win. Think I can’t jump over that railing and roll down the hill? Watch.
6. I can be too stubborn.
When I latch onto an idea that I really believe in, it’s near impossible for me to let go of it. I stick to my guns and I don’t back down. This can obviously be good. I think that, most of the time, this has served me well. However, there have definitely been moments where my stubbornness cost me something dear, or caused me to lose an opportunity I could have otherwise taken had I not been so hard-headed.
7. I don’t accept other people’s help enough.
I always try to be the first person to help other people, but I’m very reserved about receiving help from others, whether they be family, friends, whoever. I always feel bad when someone buys something for me. Once again, this can be good as it allows me to not get attached to depending on help from others. But, it’s also a negative because, the fact is, when we turn down the help of others, it’s easy to make them feel bad or unappreciated for it. I don’t want people to feel that way, so I need to be more accepting of help/charity from others.
8. I tend to be too self-conscious.
I have a tendency to do this with myself, as well as with others. I’m a big over-thinker. I’ll over-analyze things, and this can lead to doubt or just outright fear about something. I too often find myself looking for validation from a source outside of myself. I want to find validation from within. I want to be ok with who I am, and the work I produce, regardless of what kind of validation, or lack thereof, I get from the outside world.
9. I’m too much of a perfectionist.
When I do something, whether it be work related or otherwise, I always want it to come out the way I envisioned. However, as life loves to do, it can make things turn out the complete opposite from the way you wanted it to. Sometimes you can control the outcome. Sometimes you can’t. I’m getting better at striving for perfection, while understanding that imperfection can be just as good. As long as it’s done with passion and purpose, I can be ok with the result and be satisfied.
10. I’m easily distracted when working.
Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, 4Chan, YouTube, ESPNFC, Email, Phone Calls,…..the list goes on. I’ll get into the zone when I’m working, then I’m easily distracted by something else and off I go on a tangent. Damn you, Interwebz. DAMN YOU!
11. I love Romantic movies.
The Holiday is one of my all-time favorite movies. I own The Notebook. I’ve watched Love Happens, 500 Days of Summer, Notting Hill, As Good As It Gets, No Strings Attached, A Lot Like Love, and many MANY more countless times. I’m definitely a romantic. I’m a total sap for it.
12. I’m a massive dork.
Dorky, nerdy things I absolutely love:
Puzzles & Word Searches
Magic the Gathering
Lord of the Rings
The Pagemaster (Huh?)
That is all. Pretty self-explanatory.
13. I’m absolutely in love with Eastern Culture.
I’m a soft Buddhist. I’m into the teaching of Buddhism, and my room is filled with tons of Chinese & Japanese Scrolls, Buddha Dolls, Dragon Statues, and Samurai Swords. Eastern Culture is a passion of mine. I just love the philosophy and outlook on life that it has. The Way of the Samurai, and the moral code by which they live(d), is a big inspiration in my own life. One of my life dreams is to spend a month in rural Japan with Buddhist monks and just living a simplified, minimalist life where I spend the day contemplating life and meditating. Some Tao Monks make incredible home-brewed beer as well.
14. I’ve made a concentrated effort to hang onto my childish side.
Peter Pan is one of my all-time favorite people. I really believe in what he stands for: “Never grow up.” I have an insane imagination. I love to swim through ball pits. I love to build pillow forts and play with kids. Kids love me because I’m so ridiculously childish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very mature as well. But, I can switch it on and off, and I never want to lose that playful, innocent, imaginative side of myself. Life becomes too serious and overbearing once it’s gone. Stay young forever, my friends.
15. I’m an old soul.
I was raised by a mother who was obscenely passionate about classical films and music. I grew up watching movies like 12 Angry Men, The Tramp, and It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m absolutely in love with old, vintage jazz music. I love Charlie Parker and Lester Young. I wish I had a time machine so that I could go back in time and be like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. I believe in old-fashioned gentlemen-ness.
16. I completely wasted most of my 20’s.
Though I made a lot of life-long friends, and have a lot of incredible memories from my twenties (July 2nd 2005 immediately comes to mind), I definitely wasted the best part of my 20’s. I wish I would have taken my life more seriously, and started my career much sooner. I wish I had failed more, taken more risks, and learned life’s lessons earlier. The good thing is, I feel better now than I ever did in my 20s. Can’t wait for my 30s. My 30s are going to be amazing.
17. I’m terrible at making the first move with women.
I’m never good at making the first move. My philosophy has always been that, if they’re interested enough, they’ll come introduce themselves to me, or they’ll touch me first, or they’ll lean in for the kiss if they really wanted one. Yes, that’s all happened before. But, most of the time, it doesn’t, and there have definitely been moments/relationships where I could have, and should have, taken the initiative, or started the initial conversation, but never did because I was too shy.
18. I can be too outwardly opinionated.
I’m VERY opinionated. I’m not afraid to say what I think, or stand for what I believe in. This is a great thing I love about myself, but it also leads me into unnecessary battles, debates, and tensions with other people. I want to do a better job of knowing when to open my mouth, and when to just shut up, not say anything at all, and listen.
19.I’m an atrocious Procrastinator.
Man, this one should probably be at #1. I hate it, but I always leave most things for the last minute. I always overestimate my ability to get something done efficiently when doing it last minute, but it hardly ever works out as planned. Maybe it’s the pressure and thrill of the deadline I love? Either way, it’s not good and I’m actively working to change it.
20. I cuss too much.
George Carlin made a career out of talking about language. I always loved his observations about how humans manipulate language, make things sound more important than they really are, and make certain words/phrases a taboo. I like to cuss. It can add some emotions and power to what you’re trying to say. But, I want to do it less. I want to find other ways to express what I want to say in a strong way without resorting to profanity. And, despite your disappointment, I’m not going to cuss in the section “I cuss too much”. That would be a huge cliché.
Eh, fuck it. Just couldn’t resist it.
Well, there ya have it.
Honestly, being authentic and transparent is so invigorating. I feel like I just unloaded a huge weight off my shoulders.
I’m not ashamed of anything.
I am who I am. I love the person I’ve turned into, and I can’t wait to become the person I’m going to be in the future. I love my strengths AND my weaknesses. I love the sensible things about myself, as well as the quirky things.
I encourage you to do the same.
What are 20 things about yourself most people don’t know about you? If you’re up for it, do like I did and make a list so you can see yourself on paper. You’ll be surprised at just how authentic you’ll feel once you can see it face to face.
I can promise you that you’ll love the way you feel, and you’ll love the person holding the pen once you’re done.
So much for number 20.