Megan Hunt aka Princess Lasertron aka half of Hello Holiday led the Arthaus12 Event Five conversational evening and brought us into the fraught introspective territory of personal integrity and authenticity. Megan spoke of her own entrepreneurial success over the last decade, yet how she had hit a cathartic watershed (touched on in her detox post here) and an identity crisis.

What was marvelous was how every participant in the conversation sought to reflect upon themselves. We spend so much time in our lives adapting to what we perceive to be required of those around us that we spend too little time in interrogating our own psyche. As exhorted by the ancient Greeks at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, “Know thyself.” In modern western culture, we find ourselves existing in a conflicting duality where we construct an individual persona that, as it were, we cloak ourselves within publicly. The challenge for us is that we become less aware of who we authentically are, given that we are so intent on cultivating an alternative identity.

Megan was an example of someone whose personal “brand” was inextricably tied to her as an individual person. Whether genuine or false, self-imposed or socially expected, we find ourselves in a modern world navigating the “truth” of ourselves. The self-help pundits and personal branding gurus tend to confuse the issue more than aiding us, having turned what is a difficult, painful yet ultimately rewarding investigation of our place within our own lives into a monetized bundle of bromides that encourage manipulation of our “image.” What Megan provided at our Arthaus conversation was her own illustration of a stripping away of the pretense that we construct for ourselves in search of some sincere personal truths. It was a worthy lesson for us to hear.