Why You Should Always Be Authentic – What Ever That Is To YOU

There’s a reason why the glass slipper in the fairytale Cinderella only fit her. Those sparkling glass slippers were made just for her, nothing like anyone else would wear to the ball. It’s true Cinderella was in a league of her own, which is why she stood out so magically that night. Life is a little like this, we all have our own stage, an opportunity where we can stand out in a crowd, make our own way – be our authentic selves. At the same time, we don’t have a fairy godmother to make us a magical pair of glass slippers but luckily we have her protégés, amazing shoe artisans and designers, that can indeed make you a custom pair of shoes that only fit you in the best way possible.

You don’t need a custom pair of shoes to create the life you want. It’s true, Manolo Blahnik’s ‘Contina’ Grey Suede Bow Detailed Pumps will fit you just as well as someone else you may never meet. They only commonality you will share is that you both have impeccable taste in shoes. But where those shoes will go, each footstep, that story will not be the same for either one of you. You will each wear the same pair of shoes in a unique way to all of the many occasions that happen in your life. At times you may stand out and at other times you may blend in…sometimes you will come across people in life who are just as outrageously stylish as you when it comes to their fashion aesthetic or just as uniquely simple.



Of course, fashion is just a metaphor. I think it’s the simplest way for me to express my belief that you should strive to be “your different”. Whether you seek simplicity or you seek to surround yourself with a labyrinth of colour. Your goal in life should never be to create your existence around the approval of others or to simply to blend in if it doesn’t feel right to you. Yes, if you step outside of the confines of the circle, I hate circles, I don’t ‘run in them’ as they say, this decision may not be met with approval by everyone. Who cares!  I am my own island, I am a pentagon or a shape that has never been created before. I don’t judge others based on shit that doesn’t matter. If I like you and appreciate you it’s because we see eye to eye on something. I respect those who stay true to themselves and embrace others who do the same. It’s nice to have friends who come from different spaces within life. This is how you learn about the world and what it really is to live a life beyond yourself. Most importantly, this is how you learn about yourself. You realize that your different, your desire to wear a pink tutu skirt in a crowd full of women wearing tight bandage dresses ( I don’t mind these dresses but I think they’re overworn and there’s nothing fashion about them – MY OPINION), yearning to get ‘the guy’s’ attention. That’s not the type of guy I am looking for…if he doesn’t like kimonos, fringe, sequins, bright prints and well-made shoes or a girl who really appreciates the beauty of fashion and textiles…he’s not the guy for me. Obviously, this point of view can be applied to men as well. You’re free to express yourself in ways that best represents you. A fashion nod of approval to the gents wearing floral printed socks, tie-dyed suits, tartan shirts, Sully Wong high-tops, Buscemi handmade Italian leather sneakers or simply a pair of Levis and a crisp white t-shirt – Do your thing!



I remember when I first moved to Toronto years back. I may have mentioned this before in a previous post. If you have ever been to London Ontario Canada, one thing you will notice is that there’s a lot of sarcasm and people use it quite a lot. This is definitely not the case in Toronto and one of my Vancouver friends who moved to Toronto years ago…I guess sarcasm is a thing there too! Noticed it as well. Obviously, there is a time and place for everything and there are times when you have to know the crowd/individuals you’re dealing with. I just don’t think you should cater your personality to meet the approval of others. We would often talk about this, how he felt a little left out being himself and the adjustments he made just to blend in with this new way of communicating in Toronto. I love Toronto, I love the people…it’s just very different from a small town. So it can be quite an adjustment for a newcomer. I am sure this is true for other parts of the world as well. In some places, it’s okay to be loud and boisterous, while in others a quiet and humble demeanor is the norm. You can’t please everyone, you’re either too loud, too serious (people say this about me a lot lol), or you’re too quiet, you don’t take life seriously, you talk too much, you don’t talk enough, you think you know everything, you’re annoying…the list goes on and on right?! Maybe you’re a combination of every list ever written? Honestly, don’t sweat it…it’s okay!

Just like the clothing you decide to wear, how you navigate yourself through life is a big part of that authentic self you strive to be. I don’t think you should be ‘fake’, honestly what’s the point, isn’t it exhausting. Particularly when you have a choice. You may not choose who you work with, this is a time and place where you adjust yourself accordingly, but not too much, just enough. Clearly, the jokes you say at home or with friends may not fly in a work environment. That doesn’t mean you can’t be the outgoing boisterous person that you are. The pink tutu skirt might not work in the office…in my office, it’s always welcomed. But when you have a choice, when it really matters be yourself, be your true self.

When it comes down to the people you choose to spend your time with, your authentic self should never be stifled in any way particularly by you. Welcome growth, we are changing dynamic beings. Embrace your flaws as much as you adore and accentuate your best attributes. This is all part of the process of getting to know thyself. Feeling free in your own skin and letting the best parts within you shine through. Before you ever decide to run in a circle (circles are lame, make lots of friends, create new experiences/memories) lace up those sneakers and run with yourself first. It’s pretty simple yet scary but trust me you won’t regret it. The more you come from a place of love and self-appreciation, where your “quirks” are your prized possessions that get you through life, you will find that walking in a room where maybe you’re not like everyone else doesn’t really matter. Why? Because you already know you’re someone and you matter and the right people will see this right away regardless of any differences.




Cover Courtesy: Redd Angelo

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Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief Follow Me on Instagram @thethingsiwishiknew

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