Last night I got back from a week-long trip out to the DC area to visit my sister Renee, her husband Robert, and my niece RG. Aside: in the past I’ve referred to Renee as my “virtual sister” or “sister by choice” but really, family is family – she’s my sister.
I had a great time visiting the R^3 crew and it was a very much needed break. We went on hikes, hung out, spent several lazy afternoons by the pool (I have a sunburn/tan!), and in general just spent time hanging out together. This morning it dawned on me that aside from spending time with people I love, the best part about the vacation was that I felt free to be Just Me. I’ve known Renee since we were 3 (or so she claims, I thought it was closer to 5 but there’s no arguing with Renee!). She’s one of a very few people who knows almost everything about me and with whom I feel I can share anything. And Robert, despite only knowing me 10 years instead of 30, accepts me as family without question. As for RG, I’m “silly” Uncle Casey end of story!
Since moving to Seattle I’ve not spent enough time with people around which I can be Just Me. I’m not the type of person who puts on a full personality costume when I go out, but it still takes me a while to open up to new friends. That process is happening but it’s slow. The situation is compounded by the worry about “what other people will think” that’s been ingrained in me by my parents which I strive to overcome on a daily basis. And while it isn’t up to the Will & Ned-level of effort, it’s still tiring.
I’m resolved to try and model ‘s MO of daily living life more authentically and spending more time in the company of the people here in Seattle I feel most authentic around already (Jeff, Jonobie, and Kevin – I’m lookin’ at you).