Words said by Mero of Desus & Mero on Viceland, from an interview on the 6pm Sportscenter with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, that never rang truer than at this moment in time. Just to put it into perspective, about six months ago, Desus and Mero were just doing a segment on a show called Charlamagne and Friends, and the Bodega Boys podcast; Charlamagne Tha God, the host of that show, was doing his show, co-host of “The Breakfast Club” on Power 105.1 in New York, and co-host of The Brilliant Idiots podcast; Michael Smith and Jemele Hill were co-hosts on their show “His & Hers” on ESPN2.
Six months later, Charlamagne is the author of Black Privilege, host of Uncommon Sense Live on MTV 2, along with The Breakfast Club and The Brilliant Idiots; Michael & Jemele are the hosts of the 6pm Sportscenter, the most coveted show and time slot at ESPN; Desus and Mero have their own show on Viceland and the Bodega Boys podcast. All of them have unique ways in which they do their job, but are all the same people on and off the screen, as told by the people on different shows that they visit.
Something resonated with me when Mero said, “Authenticity is winning,” that had not before though. I equated the saying to “just be who you are” and most of the time when I heard people say it, either they were not being 100% of themselves so I didn’t think that being successful in “just being you” was necessarily possible, or they were 100% themselves but weren’t successful to me. With this being my observation, I thought that success and authenticity had an inverse relationship to each other.
I think that was because being you wasn’t necessarily encouraged in my house. It was more of be the best representation of my parents that I could be, so being you meant being their idea of how their child should be. So, more often than not, I was rewarded not for being my authentic self, but for following this neat, nice, quiet package that was acceptable for most. That was more trash than a landfill, but that was “me” for a big portion of my life.
As I grew older, I realized that it didn’t feel right to me to just follow the package like a UPS tracker, I wanted to be me. I’m not saying that I walk around cursing people out just because I feel like it, or even that I just do whatever I want, but I am saying that I find ways to be me in everything I do now. Instead of just following directions, I will find a way to change something that I think will fit with who I am, to give it a personal touch. I will see something that has stringent rules and if I get frustrated with them, metaphorically express frustration that will toe the line of the rules and deal with the consequences.
My advice is on this would be, find ways to be who you authentically are. Tip toe on the metaphoric line-in-the-sand of the boundaries that hold back who you are. Figure out ways to let out your frustrations and displeasures, and those feelings of euphoria. If you feel like you need to curse to get a point across, then do it dammit! Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but the great philosopher Drake said, “Started not to give a fuck and stopped fearin’ the consequence.” So, if you can handle the consequences being 100% you, then do it; if you can find subtle ways to you in every situation, then do it; if you are fine with hiding who you are, then do it, but as always, IDK THO.