Only you can find the strategy that best suits your path and pace towards the best version of yourself…
By Luis Augusto Nobre
It doesn’t matter which year we are in; every single January, I hear my friends, family and colleagues (oops…myself as well) sharing goals and expectations to be realized in the brand new year in front of us. It is the perfect time to celebrate 365 days of new opportunities, like blank pages waiting to be filled with words, drawings and colours. There’s the excitement of the unknown and how we can explore those adventures of just living our dreams.
One thing I decided for 2023 (and it could be a common milestone for many of us): I want to continue my journey of living and celebrating my authentic self. I know some people around me who have been seeking something similar, but they are afraid of trying it. I am aware that it isn’t an easy decision, as we might need to show more of our vulnerabilities and imperfections.
Although facts are really important to endorse our decisions, I do like to use some non-concrete approaches to expand my mind to visualize new angles and inspirations. For example, a curiosity about 2023 is that the sum of its numbers is seven, and one of the meanings of that number in numerology is plenitude. It could be a year for us to reflect on our wishes and desires and to move in the direction of making them come true. We would fulfill our souls and hearts with everything that creates the best version of ourselves. We could live better because the sense of accomplishment is felt from different perspectives as we open ourselves to who we are.
To ground us in this self-knowledge journey, we should also have in mind that another meaning to the number seven is perfection. Many of us have the goal and challenge in life of being perfect in everything that we do, and then experience the impostor syndrome as it is so hard to maintain those standards. However, the path to achieving this perfection level is more important than its actual achievement. We have to learn how to be perfect with our own imperfections and use them to understand that we aren’t any better than anyone else. For something specific, we might be, but in the end, we are equivalent to each other. This is the secret.
Using other meanings from numerology to get inspired, we can break down the number seven into different combinations, but I like the combination of the creativity from number three and the practicality from number four. This special sum could take us to the path of a life free of obstacles because we will have several and imaginative perspectives about who we truly are and what we really need. Different solutions to our own problems when we open our minds.
This piece could be one of my attempts to use the combination above. I can see and interpret my own words to guide me on this path of rethinking my imperfect writing and to look for new understandings. I revise my vulnerabilities while I show them to you, and I can apply this opportunity to build my self-knowledge towards my authentic self. It is cyclic, as I will keep repeating all the same steps in an upward spiral every time I read it. It might be the same for you, or it might take you to link my words with other content on your path.
I want to continue writing about who I am and who I want to be in those blank-page opportunities called days in front of me. They will take me to look into the mirror with my questions and my answers. They will allow me to see my beauty and my ugliness, my strength and my weakness, my heart and my soul. Regardless of what will happen to me, I am not afraid but conscious of trying to live my authentic life as well as I recognize being defeated in my expectations. I have to maintain a healthy balance of what is possible with the current tools and skills.
You cannot be sure that using my shared strategies and suggestions will help you to find and celebrate your authentic selves. It would be too pretentious to assume that these words are any kind of checklist to an individual journey; we need to consider our own baggage and lived experiences. Only you can find what strategy best suits your path and pace towards the best version of yourself. Hopefully, my thoughts will inspire you to be adventurous and find out.
If I can wish something for you in this new year, I hope you can find your way to live without fear of showing others who you are, and celebrate yourself wherever you are (if it is safe). I am still learning, but I see how many steps I took and the challenges I have faced. It hasn’t been easy, but I am not afraid or ashamed anymore when I share in any environment that I am a queer man. Queer and proud.
The new year is just starting. See it as an opportunity to celebrate you. Take the chance to make the impossible possible. If you feel fear, move on with the fear. Many times, it protects you, but don’t let it paralyze you. Your capacity to overcome all the challenges should be bigger than the fear of living your authentic self. Celebrate you. Write your destiny. Draw and colour your dreams. Live the best version of yourself, because you are awesome and deserve the happiness of just being who you are.
And hey…have a wonderful and colourful new year, as every day is a new cycle beginning in front of us.
LUIS AUGUSTO NOBRE is the communications coordinator of Pride at Work Canada/Fierté au travail Canada, a leading national non-profit organization that promotes workplace inclusion on the grounds of gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, visit prideatwork.ca.