I love Maria Shriver.
Ten years ago, my love for the former Mrs. Schwarzenegger would have been completely based on the fact that she is the daughter of the fierce Eunice Kennedy (I’m not ashamed to say I had a Kennedy obsession in high school…who hasn’t?). But today, I love her not because of her bloodline, but because of her.
Her. The girl who was born into an American dynasty that overshadowed her as a person. The woman who lived her life being a cheerleader and spokesperson for others. The woman who was brave enough to shed the expectations of others and wear her authentic self out loud.
Her. I love her because I am her. I clutch to the garment of expectation a little too tightly. I survive off of the identify given to me as a young woman maintaining a mental illness…As a native of Bridgeport…As an educator of young children…As a black woman.
But survival doesn’t require authenticity.
And how the world identifies me is not who I FULLY am… the problem is that I’ve been so wrapped up in the identity thrust upon me that I’ve yet to identify Authentic Me…fully.
So, I love Maria Shriver for reminding me that being clueless of my identify is human…that the search for one’s identity is a task we all have to endure eventually. Let the road to my authentic self, my identity, begin.