I was at Sex Geek Conservatory,  with Reid Mihalko of ReidAboutSex and Cathy Vartuli of The Intimacy Dojo. They had us do an exercise where we took two minutes to teach one simple concept and as I thought about that, what I realized is that the most important thing that I could give to someone would be the advice to be yourself, to be authentic, especially in your relationships.

I learned this lesson the hard way.

I was in a relationship for four years that was great on paper. It was exactly what everyone told me I should be doing. I got married. I did the monogamy thing. I was doing what everyone else thought that I should do.

But it made me miserable. I didn’t feel happy. I didn’t feel healthy. It didn’t work for me and it’s not because there was anything necessarily wrong with my partner. It’s not because there’s anything necessarily wrong with being monogamous or being in a traditional marriage. It’s that that wasn’t who I was. I was trying to be someone else to make other people happy and I learned that you can’t do that.

You can’t be anyone but who you are.

You have to be yourself. That is the only way that you can be happy.

I was willing to accept a life of misery because it was what other people wanted me to have and now that I live this life, now that I’m being authentic and happy and joyful, yeah, there are some people who don’t like me as much. I don’t necessarily fit in in the same way. But at least I’m being true to myself. I’m doing what I know I need to do for me.

That’s the one piece of advice I would give you. You have to do right by yourself.

You are the only person you have at the end of the day and if you’re trying to do something because it’s what makes other people happy rather than it’s because what is authentic for you, you’re never going to be as happy as you could be.

So be authentic. Be you. Be real. Do what it is that you want to do. Find that space to be fearlessly yourself and live from there.