Authenticity

“March to your own drum” is a phrase my mother often said to me. I’ve always been a little strange, hanging just outside the realm of normative behaviors, but I have always been me. I’ve always strived to be my own person, set my own path, and built honest relationships with folks.

So, to thine own self be true. 

 What does it mean to be authentic?

Being authentic is about being real. Expressing your real nature, actual beliefs, real identity, original thoughts. Authenticity is about being true to yourself. Now I hope that being your authentic self is a good thing for society – trustworthy, having morals, integrity, kindness, etc. As long as you aren’t a socio or psychopath, being your true to yourself shouldn’t be such a bad thing. I personally think authentic people live in the moment and are present for interactions.  

 Do you consider yourself authentic? 

About 90% of the time, I am an authentic and genuine social being, the other 10% I am trying to reign in my thoughts, attitude, and behavior to be socially appropriate (work events, lectures, etc.) I can admit that during trying times, being comfortable with your own imperfections and vulnerability is not easy – that is why they sell alcohol. {I jest, drink responsibly} – but self-reflection and meditation make it easier to accept yourself as is. Being authentic takes works, while you are you naturally, being content being yourself may not come naturally. It is a continuous cycle of checking our biases, self-reflection, and self-improvement. You have to practice what you preach. While I boast about being authentic, I am always reflecting on my words and actions (do they match), this sometimes takes me out living in the moment. I try to take note when I’m not genuine and challenge myself to redirect my behavior or speech that aligns with my true intentions ^ insert a Sassy Girl, better check yo’ self ^

I often ask my self what in that situation made me respond in a disingenuine way. It could be as simple as I’m hungry/ low blood sugar that made me act against my authentic self, or on a serious note, I could have been doubting my self-worth or purpose. And on a personal growth note – I know my authentic self could be less sarcastic and less direct. 

 Do you believe that some people do not have the capability to be authentic? 

I personally don’t feel everyone has the capability to be authentic. Some people lack the social ability to be themselves. And then there people who are just not what they actually claim to be. People put on a facade not reflective of their authentic self but a facade that aids their end goals. Additionally, there are people out there that have no concept of self. People who lack the ability to be authentic are always stuck in a dramaturgical stage (presentation of self), echoing what they think other’s want to hear, see, or do. Their actions and words may not line up regularly because they are not getting the social cues to align them. If you encounter those people, encourage them to reflect on their own wants, needs, morals, ethics, and actions.
People that compromise their identity to fit others interest are not who you want to be and are not someone you should want to be around.
Now I don’t think that being inauthentic is innately negative or evil, but it just isn’t what I want to be and not who I want to be around.

I think that you should try to surround yourself with people who share the message of their true self. Those who walk the walk, and talk the talk. I say try because we all slip and slide, show grace when you can and when appropriate – but remember that true character always comes to the surface.

Thanks for reading my random thoughts on authenticity. The subject matter has been on my mind recently. 

There are a lot of exciting articles on authenticity in business and social science journals. Check some out, google scholar that shit.

A Few Summer Movie Reviews

I got behind on my movie reviews (which really doesn’t mean much to my two followers)

So here are some real #quickmoviereviews –

Godzilla – 8/10 – It is an action movie, pretty much just has a bunch of monsters fighting each other. Humans pop in and out with some dialogue. The movie has a great message though – Stop fucking up the planet. We are pissing off mother nature and her titans are coming for us. If you aren’t into real deep movie plots and like CGI action, I recommend seeing this movie when it comes to Redbox or a streaming service. The film wasn’t really for me, but it kept me engaged.

Dark Phoenix – 7/10 – The next phase in the X Men Reboot. Not entirely thrilled with this movie. The story isn’t developed to my liking, and they have to cram a lot of information into a short time frame. I do love the franchise and the actors, but this movie was easily forgettable. Will the X Men be able to help Jean Grey overcome this dark power she has absorbed? Yes and no.
Also, there is not enough Quicksilver/ Evan Peters. If you are a fan of Marvel or X Men, I recommend catching this movie when you can, just so you can say you’ve seen it. I’ve seen the X Men do better.

Aladin – 8/10 – This is not a whole new world, I mean movie. Very few things were different from the 90’s classic. It had a grand opening, a new song or two, and of course some different Genie parts – but all in all, it is the same movie I remember watching as a child. I thought the effects were nifty, the actors did well. Will Smith was an excellent Genie. The film holds up. If you liked the OG one, you should like this one.
Personal Soapbox – there was not enough Raja, and I think they could have used a real monkey.

MIB: International – 9/10 – This was a pretty okay movie. I love Tess and Chris together. Their chemistry does wonders for the film. I think they tied this movie in well to the lore of the previous MIB movies. This movie is pretty typical. There are funny parts, few serious parts, and a couple of twists (that you can totally see coming). MIB: International entertains and delights. I recommend catching this one where and when you can.

Rocketman

10/10

This movie is fantastic, imaginative, and musical storytelling of Sir Elton Johns’ life. Elton John is played by the wonderfully talented Taron Egerton. This movie has all the things I love, music, fabulous outfits, and a compelling story with truth and fantasy.

Egerton performs as Reginald Dwight | Elton John in this movie depicting the career and life of Elton. The opening scene takes place in an NA|AA group meeting, then quickly taking us back in time to see young Reginald, his family, and his blossoming piano talent. We get to witness his dysfunctional family dynamics, how he grows his musical skills and finds stardom and his best friend/songwriter – Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell). The movie shows the viewer Eltons’ wild or unstable side and who the negative influences were in his life, ie, his manager John Reid (played by Richard Madden). We see Elton hit rock bottom with his sex, cocaine and alcohol addiction, and the alienating effects of said addictions. The movie shows how Elton leaves a performance to get help with his mental health and addictions. The film ends on a happy note, we learn that Sir Elton has maintained his sobriety, virtually my entire life, and has settled down with his husband and children.

The beauty of this movie is that the story is true but is fantastical. There are unrealistic and dramatic elements throughout, but all seem pretty necessary to tell the story of the legendary Sir Elton John. This film is a musical, with majestic scene transitions that revolve around classic Elton songs. That was probably my favorite element of the movie. If you go into this movie expecting a biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody, it will not meet your expectations. These are two different movies, going in two different directions, about two different people|groups (though for sure there are miraculous similarities).

I give this movie a ten out of ten. Of course, the story is excellent, it is a great tale to hear how Reggie Dwight became Sir Elton John. I really enjoyed the daydream elements of the movie, I love Elton John songs, and musicals in general, which means I really enjoyed the mix and match of songs, acting, and montages. A bonus is that I’m obsessed with Taron Egerton’s singing, and it’s his voice you hear throughout the movie. I suggest you see this movie if you like any of the elements as mentioned above.
Go see this movie! You will love it, because who doesn’t love Elton John?

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

9/10

This movie is precisely what you would expect in the John Wick chronicles. It is entertaining, packed full of action, not too much dialogue and of course Keanu Reeves.
–I am super late to jump on the John Wick bandwagon. I do not like to watch things where animals get hurt, and if you are familiar with the John Wick movies, that is the spark that brings Mr. Wick back to the assassin world. (I literally watched the first two movies the week before I saw the third in theaters. I prepared my heart for the first one and knew I was in the clear for the others)–

This third installment stays true to the world we were introduced to in John Wick. It is action packed, continually keeping the audience on their toes. This movie shows more of the bureaucracy that is the High Table – we are introduced to more characters in upper management, like The Elder, Sofia (Halle Berry), The Adjudicator, The Director (Anjelica Huston) and so on.

To open the movie, we find Mr. Wick (Keanu Reeves) right where we left off in John Wick: Chapter 2. Mr. Wick is running (along with his dog) from and fighting every assassin in the tri-state area due to the $14 million bounty out on him. Because of Mr. Wick’s actions in Chapter 2, he has been labeled excommunicado, and unable to seek asylum or use resources run by the High Table. This causes Mr. Wick to rely on his own marker and call on a favor. Mr. Wick has to travel across seas and back again. On this adventure, Mr. Wick travels to Morocco to call on a favor, he also meets more dogs and of course does some more over the top fighting. While in Morocco, Mr. Wick encounters – The Elder, the supreme leader of the High Table. Mr. Wick is given an assignment and heads back “home.”

After Mr. Wick returns from his adventure overseas and returns to the New York Continental, Mr. Wick, Winston and Charon (everyone’s favorite concierge) plot against the High Table though their motivations to revolt are not the same. This is an action movie, so there are some elaborate fight scenes throughout the film, the best one, in my opinion, happens towards the beginning of the movie. You may need to shield your eyes. But I have to say that all of the fight scenes are entertaining and give me minor anxiety attacks.

Staying true to the John Wick story style – things are not nicely tied up at the end. Is there a John Wick 4 in the works? Maybe. I don’t know, I didn’t research it. But purely going off the movie, there is definitely an opening for chapter 4. I would give this movie a 9 out of 10. I won’t say that the dialogue in this movie is exquisite, but the action and storyline keep progressing and engages the audience. If you like to watch Keanu act out cool martial art moves and what not – check it out.

Finding friendship through personal growth

Anyone who knows me semi-well knows that I have had one hell of a year, or two, or life. The past few years have been a struggle for me. I struggle to be social, I struggle to be happy, I struggle just to be, and this had made me not the most pleasant person to be around. All apologies. I am working on this.

Over the last decade – I’ve accumulated fabulous friends, but honestly, I think of almost every one of them as an acquaintance, and I treat them as such. I am sincerely thankful for them, but I have a problem with building meaningful relationships with people.  I’m not sure why that is my default move, professionally I would suggest my upbringing is the cause, but I can’t blame everything on my parents- or can I? – No I guess I cannot. Reflecting on philosophy, let me share that there are three types of friendships – utility (useful), pleasure (enjoy same activities), and good (mutual admiration). I believe people search me out for a utility friendship because I am always looking to make myself useful. I have attempted to work towards having a good friendship but end up with either a utility or pleasure friendship. This is not a bad thing, but it is just not as fulfilling as a good friendship. In social psychology, I learned that the role of friendship is pivotal to the development of class, status, and power. Which is why I issued myself a challenge. Being from the lower class, I could use a little help increasing my status and power.

I have challenged myself this year to be a more engaged friend and develop those good friendships. I can’t say that I’ve been successful yet, but I believe and hope that I am on the right path.

As part of this challenge, I decided to I join a social club, Junior Woman’s Club of Fort Worth (JWC). JWC is a great group of women in the Fort Worth area that combines a social and service into one group. JWC is made up of countless remarkable people, embodying all types of personalities, experiences, and professions. I really fancy volunteering at our club-wide events, getting to meet women outside of the two groups I joined. I really do love it when I make a new contact. Making a connection with someone is not hard for me, maintaining and building a more solid relationship that is what I need to work on.

So back to this challenge, I assigned myself – making friends, keeping friends, being a better friend – altogether that shit is hard. Joining JWC has put me in the situation to make friends, but is it has not made me a better friend. I have still just been expanding my pool of marvelous acquaintances.  

If you did not know, friendship is tied to your self-perception. With a poor self-perception, how can one expect others to want to build a  rapport? To succeed in my challenge, I need to be working on being a better friend, and do that, I need to work on myself. I’ve put off working on myself for almost thirty years, I guess now is an excellent time to start. To commence personal growth, I have been trying to take care of myself better- physically and mentally.  I have been taking time actually to focus on me instead of others. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my narcissistic moments in the past, but overall, I have had a tendency to become preoccupied with meeting others needs before my own.

My version of self-help – Move more, Think less, eat better.

I started doing yoga, and I am so pleased with my yoga instructor and yogi mates. I have in general just made sure I am on the move more – hiking, walking, soft jogging (because I cannot run), etc. In addition to yoga and other forms of fitness, I started meditation, two to three times a week. I am not exceptionally good at being alone with my thoughts yet, my small attention span causes me to drift away and lose my clear headspace.I have also been creating and reading more.

Furthermore, I have been a little more cautious about what I eat and put into my body. I try to limit my gluten and sugar intake (this is another challenge within itself), I have given up eating meat, and I have been sticking with a routine of probiotics and vitamins. These simple changes and additions to my life have helped me gain some clarity, assisted me in decompressing, and readjusting my attitude | perceptions.

I know that I am still a work in progress, but I think these resolutions will help me to be a less anxious, neurotic, fatigued, and pessimistic friend.

Things that I intend on continuing in the future to be a better friend:

  • Listen more
  • Communicate more
  • Trust more
  • Give more
  • Find others to share my passions with
  • Challenge others to do the same


Pokemon Detective Pikachu

8/10

Got to catch them all, Pokemon!
To be honest, I have never really cared for Pokemon, mainly because I am slightly afraid to watch Japanese cartoons, but I enjoyed this movie. Pikachu is so stinking adorable, and hearing Ryan Reynolds voice come out of little Pika is hilarious. I can feel it in my jellies that this movie will keep you amused for at least 100 minutes.

This movie is a bit formulaic and predictable, but it does provide entertainment, and really that is all it needed to do. I enjoyed the banter between Justice Smith and Ryan Reynolds. The animation was great, and there were so many cute little pokemon.

This movie follows Detective Pikachu (Reynolds) and Tim Goodman (Smith) on an adventure to find Detective Harry Goodman, Pikachu’s partner/ Tim’s missing father, who was declared dead after a mysterious and fiery accident, where no bodies were found. The twisty thing to their partnership is that Tim is able to understand Pikachu, (and because of that, we get to hear the sassy and lovable Reynolds). The two meet in Ryme City, a place where pokemon and man live side by side, Tim and Pikachu depart into the city to find answers about what happened to Detective Goodman. Pikachu happens to also be suffering from a bout of amnesia caused by the accident that supposedly killed Pikachu and Detective Goodman. Pika is on a mission to retrieve his missing memories. To recover these memories, Pikachu and Tim take off through the city, to investigate this accident and missing memories, they do this by interrogating pokemon, talking with city officials, and teaming up with an aspiring reporter and her pokemon, psyduck. The foursome follows clues that lead them to a lab that genetically experimented with pokemon (a lab ran by Rita Ora!). The team learns that a Mewtwo is somehow involved with the accident and was experimented on in the lab. They also learn that there is a lot of corruption going on with the city officials and the founder, Howard. The big climactic point in the movie is when all hell breaks loose. Howard has some crazy plans for the people and pokemon of Ryme City, which involve some odd symbiosis technique. Of course, it is up to Tim and Detective Pikachu to fix everything. Without spoilers – There is a great dramatic scene involving every character you have met along the way, including Mewtwo and Detective Harry Goodman. The movie ends, and everything seems to work out for the better. You will leave the movie satisfied, though most of the dramatic or twisty events are predictable. The actors and animation make this movie. I give this movie an 8 out of 10. It entertains and is enjoyable, the storyline was not too imaginative for the most part, but cuteness and sarcasm make this delightful for those, like myself, who don’t know or care too much about pokemon.

Side note – I found that my pokemon spirit animal is psyduck. – they have chronic headaches, are full of anxiety, slightly unstable, but they are super cute

Avengers: End Game 10/10 (Spoilers)


This movie was everything I expected. It was action packed, emotional and let us enjoy all of our favorites in one movie, one last time. I give it a 10 out of 10.

Avengers: End Game essentially picks up where Avengers: Infinity War leaves off. (Though the first scene of End Game is a cold open and is so brutal to watch. Just a heads up, the tears come early in this one). So anyways, half of the universe’s population has been dusted, the other half is devastated. The following weeks after the snap the remaining of the Avengers {Rodgers, Stark, Romanoff, Hulk/Banner, Rhodes, Danvers, Okoye, Rocket, Nebula, and Thor} band together to find Thanos and undo the snap. Unfortunately by the time they get to Thanos he done fucked up their plan by using the stones to destroy the stones. But don’t worry. Thor finally gets to cut off his head, though his timing could have been better. The End. Fast movie right? Well no, in true comic book and sci-fi fashion, the beloved superheroes find a way to do some avenging, but it takes them a few years to get back on track, five years to be exact. Most of the remaining Avengers keep in contact and try to help fix problems in the universe, except for Hulk/Banner, Barton, Thor, and Stark, they are out there living their own adventures for five years. – Actually, Thor is not so much living out his own adventure as he is succumbing to depression.
But the movie plot keeps moving when Lang pops back up. When he finagles his way out of the quantum realm, he finds that he has missed a whole lot of shit. Lang makes his way to Avenger base camp and shares an idea for a time heist, this could be a solution to fix everything. This idea is brought up with Stark, who dismisses the team, as he has moved on with his life and wants to focus on his wife and daughter. So Lang, Rodgers, and Romanoff work with Hulk/Banner to figure out this quantum leap stuff. Of course, they struggle with this and some hilarious and terrifying moments occur. Stark gives in, figures out flawless time travel and shares his plan with the group. And at some point in time, Barton comes back to the team, as does dad bod Thor. All together (or what is left of) the Avengers hatch a plan for the time heist. Everyone is paired up to travel through space and time and collect the infinity stones in the past before Thanos and his goons get a hold of them. (An additional plan is also laid out to return the stones to the past as not to screw up timelines and cause paradoxes).Essentially each pair has a storyline with the stones. All filled with their own excitement and epiphanies,  but a few storylines are dark. There is too much detail to type but just know that: in one-time line, Loki disappears with the tesseract, and in the main timeline Barton and Romanoff go to retrieve the soul stone and Barton is the one to return. While Nebula and Rhodes are out beating up past timeline Star-Lord, Thanos finds out about the plan due to the paradox of two Robotic Nebulas existing in the same era. So while {almost} everyone returns from the Infinity Stone quantum realm adventures, Thanos does too. And again the team has to fight him. While having all the stones, the Avengers fashion their own gauntlet to snap. Hulk/Banner takes on that responsibility to snap the other half of the universe back into existence. He gets banged up. Then the new fight with Thanos ensues. Luckily, ALL of the Avengers, Guardians, Wizards, Wakanda folks, etc, show up ready to kick some ass. They all work together to fend off Thanos from the new gauntlet. Its a whole drawn-out battle scene, you get to see every Marvel character do some damage to the bad guys. There is a great scene where Danvers flies in to take the gauntlet from Parker, and all the strong badass female superheroes have a little moment and show off their super skills.  (Super cute, super feminista. I loved it). Well, things aren’t looking so great for the team, Thanos seems like he is going to get the upper hand again until Mr. Tony Stark does a selfless act and saves the world. Stark takes the stones into his own robot glove and snaps his fingers. Poof the bad guys disappear, but unfortunately so does Stark. Okay, Stark doesn’t disappear in the same dusty way. The power of the stones truly fucks him up and we lose him. He gets to share his last moments with Pepper and Parker. The good guys won, but there were good people lost along the way – IE Stark and Romanoff. Stark’s funeral is included in the movie, everyone who is anyone is there. The movie shows everyone returning to their lives and with the appearance of moving on. But what about those stones and ripped timelines that occurred when everyone went galloping around in the past? Hulk/Banner rebuilds the time travel machine (lost in the battle) and sends Rodgers back to return all the stones. Unfortunately or fortunately, Rodgers does not come back as planned. He sticks around in the past to be with Agent Carter. We get a glimpse of Rodgers as an old dude {had a Joe Biden feel}, passing his shield on to Wilson. Rodgers finally got to live the life he missed out on. Very touching. But I’m still sad about Romanoff and Stark not being alive.

As I said, people returned to their lives after Starks’ funeral. Thor though instead of going back to New Asgard, jumped on the Milano with the Guardians. Should we expect a Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Great Oden’s Raven, I sure hope so.

So this movie tied up the loose ends from Infinity War. It was a great movie with adventure, drama and lots of sarcasm. I’m looking forward to the next phase in the series, though I will truly miss some characters. I’m also super concerned with the paradox that Captain America had to have created by staying in the past. Guess the Russo brothers will continue to keep us on our toes for a little longer.

I would recommend this movie to Marvel Fans, and if you aren’t a Marvel fan, at least watch Infinity War before you see End Game.