authentic authenticity

"You just never really know a person, do you?" I've heard that from a few different people lately. I understand the shock when a person ends up being nothing like I expected. I get the hurt when someone I know well turns out to be very different from how I knew him to be. I comprehend the disbelief when someone I hold close proves to be nothing like I thought. It makes me question everything, myself included.

Why did he change so drastically? Or was he always like this and I just didn't realize? I guess I really didn't know her as well as I thought I did.

I completely get the painful bewilderment when you're hit with the reality that you never really knew someone.

But I'm not sure I'm ready to concede that I can never truly know a person.

Maybe it's my naivety or my blind hope, but I have to hold onto my trust in authenticity. And transparency. And intimacy. I have to trust that those I know best and who I consider to know me best, aren't leading me on. That they are being genuine; that they are giving me the real them just as I give them the real me. I have to trust that I can really know a person. Deep-down, hearts-connected, honest-to-goodness, truly know someone.

I desire to be known in that way, and I desire to know others on that level. And I refuse to believe that intimacy is only a sandcastle waiting for a wave to erase it from the shoreline. Some things just have to be real.

What about you? Do you think you can ever really know a person?