It’s Mary’s Birthday today.  We’ve been best friends in the absolute sense for 21 years.  We took a self portrait recently and it’s the perfect image of us trying to fit in to a world we simply don’t fit into.  We often reflect on when we stopped trying and the insane peace that delivered to us.  Now we hold each other accountable to being our most authentic selves, no matter how weird or out of step that may show up for others.

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Holding each other accountable to authenticity, especially when we feel like aliens, has been the gift of a lifetime, the ultimate example of noble friendship.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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