Paint yourself the picture of someone who has gone through amazingly low lows and has changed their approach to living just about 56 times. That would be me. Break out your tiny violins if you will, but in light of my ode to honesty, I’m just being honest about myself.

On my “journey to maturity” as I like to call it, I’ve stopped repeating the phrase “life is short” in vain. Life is short - in Facebook posts or tweets, in conversation about someone’s tragic death, to enable a spontaneous decision, etc. It wasn’t a crazy, explosive situation that led me to my decision to be as honest as possible in expression, but rather a lack thereof. A lack in true emotion and a lack in the satisfaction I got from living day to day. Embracing honesty was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Granted, it wasn’t easy, but I’ve come a long way.

This week I’ve been honest with myself. To start, being honest with yourself is hard as all f*%#. Its probably the hardest type because no one is on the other end reacting to your personal truths. They are PERSONAL TRUTHS. They are things that you have to find the courage to admit to yourself. Its hard enough admitting to myself that I’ve been skipping the gym way too much and not dieting to the best of my potential…but admitting to myself that as much as I care for this person, maybe they aren’t the best idea? That’s hard. Suddenly it’s not someone else telling you about yourself, it’s you cutting out the middle man and going about it on your own.

This week I’ve been honest with others - something that also took a lot of practice. There’s a very thin line between honesty and insult. I learned that the hard way. I thought it would be easy in the beginning. Tell someone what they’re doing wrong by pointing out all their faults and mishaps. “They’ll listen to me and take what I say into consideration because they love me,” I used to say to myself while shining my princess crown made of what I thought were gems. I got cursed out, a lot, before I realized that I was going about it the total wrong way. I learned to be honest through example and positive reinforcement. I learned to say, “What you’re doing is okay and I used to do the same…but look how much better your situation would be if you try doing it this way.” Sometimes people will listen and sometimes they’ll dismiss you, but it never hurts to care to help them.

This week I was the motive for someone else’s honesty. My own honesty was a catapult for someone else not wanting to keep a truth from me. AIN’T THAT SOMETHING WONDERFUL? Whether what I was shown was something awesome or it completely sucked, I made a difference in someone’s life. I affected someone enough to bring them to express a difficult truth to me. It was a bittersweet moment, but I’m happy to have shown someone else the freedom of fidelity.

Lastly, this week I have observed all types of depictions of “honesty”. No, not honesty, “honesty.” Something I like to call, for lack of a better word, FRONTIN’. Nothing grinds my gears more than an “honest” internet post - a false depiction of a truth someone is trying to uphold. Frontin’ for likes on Instagram, frontin’ for Twitter retweets, frontin’ to impress the Jones’. Lying for the approval of others is probably the worst type of dishonesty because you’re essentially living in your own deception. Instead of investing so much time using each false claim as a scaffolding for your double life, why not just…be yourself?

Allowing myself to be straightforward in all my assertions was a life choice I made for myself. It has been a trying haul, but it has proved to be more rewarding than anything. Don’t take my word for it and go all Jim Carrey in “Liar, Liar” on the world OR preach about how real you are. That would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it? Everything takes its rightful time. One day, one truth, one step at a time. Do better to be better. Most importantly with yourself.