Kylteri 02/23

A Quest for Authenticity

In her column, Kylteri’s journalist Aleksandra Vučinić reflects on how job interviews have influenced her perception of authenticity and self-awareness.

You don’t know who you really are. In the age and time where our appearance is under frequent scrutiny due to pervasive surveillance, it feels challenging to be our authentic selves, without facing potential repercussions. Maybe I’m just foreshadowing here. As a person who’s gone through a ruthless job-hunting season (unfortunately), I’ve been forced to think about who I am. So, I started thinking and talking with people. I concluded, only a few people really know themselves. In this late-stage capitalistic society, where everything is optimized, how are we supposed to separate one’s genuine actions from the shallow ones? I don’t think everything done is for the sake of achieving a goal, but I dare to claim most actions sold under the guise of genuineness, do in fact hold an ulterior motive. Let’s be clear – I’m not calling people liars, I’m calling them unaware.

I dare to claim most actions sold under the guise of genuineness do in fact hold an ulterior motive.

If you ask any unassuming person what they would do if they won the lottery, many of them would probably still choose to work. The issue here is not people liking their jobs, it is that most of them can’t even imagine a world where they wouldn’t have to work. This matters because it puts things into perspective. If most of our jobs are tied to making ends meet, it’s difficult to separate the work that we do that isn’t. Thus, our actions are not authentic if their core purpose is not recognised as such from the beginning.

Building on this idea, making connections with other people is the only thing that makes life worth living in my opinion. I don’t believe in life wasted on completing task after task and not understanding the why behind it. I’ve been surprised by how many times I thought I was being true to myself only to be shocked by the opinions of my loved one who saw me for who I truly am. To be lucky enough to be alive and a part of our universe just for a tiny fraction of time makes me appreciate the true parts of myself that aren’t tied to any societal structures. I still don’t know who I am, but I hope I’m a small step closer every day.

The author threads the line between convention and rebellion, always in pursuit of deeper truths.