Being real means being true to oneself, one's heart. For me that means sharing my heart with others, offering FREE HUGS to strangers, telling Stories, learning Stories, being curious, being whimsical, being serious, being open minded and open hearted.I feel fortunate that I have allowed myself to be who I am for quite a long time. This came from growing up in a difficult household, my father suffered from severe clinical depression and tried to kill himself several times, he died when I was 22. My father was never allowed to shine. He never figured out How to shine. My mother has anxiety, she is so concerned about what others think, it completely incapacitates her. My brother turned to alcohol for comfort. I turned to Theatre. And in doing so discovered a place to Shine. To become and learn and grown and BE. I carry my bubbles and FREE HUGS sign with pride. I am a Storyteller who serves others to shine and share their stories. I am GRATEFUL. What helps me to stay true to myself is reminding myself of how fulfilling life feels when one is true to oneself. And I remind myself of the myriad of experiences I've had personally that opened up to opportunities for growth when I am me. Hugs to all of us on the journey!