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message in a bottle

Hope + Authenticity

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Ahoy, ladies! This is your Captain, Kat Hope Jones, and I hope this message finds you all incredibly well as we navigate the final month in our SEAson of Authenticity. Today, I'm about to share a little secret with you that not many people know about me. You see, my middle name isn't actually Hope; it's Diane. Now, this might come as a surprise to those who only know me by the name I've built for myself, but to those who've known me since the 1900's, they recognize that when I'm in trouble, it's "Kathleen Diane" that my mama hollers, not "Kat Hope Jones" So, why am I sharing this with you today? Well, I believe there's a deep connection between authenticity and hope, and today is the perfect day to have that chat.

I know what some of you might be thinking: Why?

Well, you see, Hope isn't just a name I adopted out of thin air. It happens to be my mother's maiden name. My parents weren't married when I was born, and one day, as a little girl, while rummaging through a box of items from my baby days, I stumbled upon my hospital bracelet. To my amazement, it said "Kathleen Hope." At that time, I didn't see much of my dad, and I started to wonder if he was my dad at all. As you may know, I've always been an avid daydreamer, and that bracelet was all I needed to fuel my imagination. I began to fantasize about what life would be like if I were someone else, someone whose life wasn't as tough as mine. Someone named Kat Hope – she was everything I hoped to be, wicked smart, gorgeous, and loved for who I was.

As I grew older, I faced challenges that had me yearning to be anyone but who I thought I was. In highschool, my stepdad was shot in our front yard. As you can imagine, life was very different from what I planned. I made the difficult decision to stay home with my family instead of heading off to college. A few years later, I experienced another traumatic event, hitting even closer to home. – I was drugged and sexually assaulted by the man who owned the company I worked for. In the years leading up to his criminal trial, it felt like there was a magnifying glass on my character, with complete strangers reducing all my life experiences and who I was to a version of me that I didn't recognize. An uneducated blonde bimbo whose appearance earned me a horrific experience. It was almost too much for Kathleen Diane Jones to handle, but it wasn't too much for Kat Hope.

The longing to be someone other than who the defense attorney tried to convince me I was, combined with the rise of social media, led me to a life-changing decision: I decided to reinvent myself and become the version of myself that nobody else believed possible. I might have been labeled as "uneducated," but I was smart, and I had no reason to hide it just because of what others assumed about me. I didn't have to be ashamed of my looks either because deep down, my authentic self revels in both inner and outer beauty.

The process of becoming Kat Hope Jones was like shedding a skin, casting away anything that wasn't genuinely me, inside and out. For the first time in a long time, Hope was more than just a name – it was a glimmer of excitement for the future I was crafting for myself. When I stripped away what others thought of me and focused on being my most authentic self, I discovered that the person I had wanted to be as a child had been inside me all along. She was more than a creation of a little girl's imagination in a desperate moment, wondering what life would be like if she were someone else. It took me far too long to realize that the person I longed to be as a child was the person I truly was. Embracing "Hope" brought out my most authentic self, and embracing my authenticity gave me hope. No matter what challenges life throws my way, when I remain true to myself, I'll not only survive but thrive.

As women, we've often felt this immense pressure to conform, to fit into this mold that society has tried to shove us into. We've been told to shrink ourselves, to play small, all in the name of pleasing others and meeting their expectations. But here's the deal, my seasters – it's time to shed that old skin and embrace the glorious, authentic you!

I want you to take a moment to reflect, to dig deep into your soul. What amazing, genuine aspects of yourself have you been suppressing to meet the demands and expectations of others? It's high time we let go of that, and start celebrating our true, 100% authentic selves. Imagine the transformation that could happen in your life when you embrace your uniqueness, your quirks, your awesomeness, instead of trying to be some image that society projects onto you.

It's time to step into your power, to own your story, and to live your life on your terms. Let's be unstoppable, let's be fierce, and let's be unapologetically ourselves. You are amazing, and you deserve to live a life that's true to you. So, my challenge to you today is this: Go out there and be your fabulous, authentic self because that, my friends, is where the magic happens! Let's do this, and let's do it together!

All my love, Kat(hleen) Diane... Hope Jones.

Discussion Questions

  1. If nothing held you back, share three things you'd like to be known for. How many of those things already exist inside you?

  2. What aspects of your true self have you felt pressured to hide in order to fit the mold society has created for you?

  3. How does living a more authentic life give you hope for your future?

  4. What practical steps can you take right now to foster a life that is truer to your authentic self?

Connect in REAL LIFE!

If any of this resonates with you, and you're looking to join a group of authentic women from all walks of life, we would love to have you at one of our Harbor Meetups! They happen three times a month, all over Omaha. Come as you are, and enjoy a couple hours of SisterShip. Click the buttons below to learn more about our November Events! We really hope to see you there!

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