I’m preparing for a public campaign. One that, right or wrong, opens my life up to the scrutiny and judgement that is politics.

Here’s the thing I loathe about politicians: it’s a lack of authenticity. I cannot stand for someone to not look at me when I’m trying to engage them in conversation. I can tell, and I think most people have a pretty good idea, when they are being simply schmoozed for their vote, or sincerely listened to.

And I don’t ever want to be that. A schmoozer.

So I will strive for authenticity. I keep being reminded of the Shakespearean phrase, “To thine own self be true” and at the end of the day, when I close my eyes at night, I want that to have been the case. I want to be true to myself. True to my faith. True to my family. True to where I’ve been, what I’ve learned and who I’ve become through all the ups and downs of my life.

I want the votes. I want this job. I want to win this election. But I will not be something I’m not. I will not resort to being all things to all people. Maybe it’s a risk, maybe it’s not smart politics. But at the end of the day, here’s what I know:

God created me for a purpose, many purposes in fact. I follow His guidance and He’s never led me astray.

Some people are not going to like me. Some people, in fact, probably ALREADY do not like me and will not vote for me. And that’s okay.

I have the best support system in the world of friends and family that lift me up in prayer and love and encouragement.

The outcome of this election is ultimately not in my hands. As most things in life are not.

So I will be authentic.

I will be real.

I will be true to myself.

Because I can absolutely control that.