Hi.

My name is Alyonka Larionov. 

I am a Host, Producer, Speaker,

Writer, Podcaster + the Founder of

iN THE UNKNOWN.

I believe in Empowering Emotional Intelligence, emphasizing Curiosity of the Human Condition, and deepening personal growth in the Discomforts of The Unknown.

LIVE.IN.LOVE

Who Is Drake?

Who Is Drake?

I received a message last night. a DM to be exact. It went something like this

<< seems like your business and life are doing really well - at least via social media - that’s great. glad you could figure things out. but not me >>

I paraphrase because it was more intimate than that — details I don’t feel comfortable sharing — but it really struck a chord.

This idea of PERCEPTION. ‘How I am’ vs. ‘How I am Being Perceived’.

As a note: I’m working on separating myself from how I am perceived because I’ve been known to care too much about what others think of me.

For this example, however, the ‘how i am being perceived’ reallllly struck a chord because what I never want to do is to give a false impression of my realities and my truths.

Now, there is something to this idea of positivity and optimism and striking some sort of a balance (albeit, what does that mean?) but if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that LIFE doesn’t care about your dreamy state of optimism, it WILL throw shit your way and it WILL knock you off-balance. It’s an ever-lasting game that we play. The trick is to find the right tools for you so that you can recalibrate quicker. I won’t get into that today.

Back to my realities and truths. I don’t know how you or anyone on social media has been reading me. Meaning, have you picked up on what it is that I’ve been feeling or going through? If not, that’s okay. I’m not attached to the outcome. I don’t necessarily write to feed you. I write to feed me. It helps me to process things. However, because I choose to share some of that which I write, I am cognizant of my personal boundaries in regards to the public reader and how I share myself with you.

Thanks to Drake - (don’t ask) - I dove into a spiral of questioning why we share publicly at all?

I began wondering how much of this world is actually real. I’ve said this before, on social media we showcase the 1% of our most glamorous selves, while hiding the 99% of our truths; the truths being the difficult moments, the not so pretty faces and places, the growing pains, loss, grief, LONELINESS, depression, etc. But in thinking this, I realized that this type of sharing isn’t reserved strictly for social media. It’s done everywhere.

While sitting at Barclays Center I couldn’t help but wonder “who is drake?” really. who is the guy? what is he like? Is he lonely? When he travels does he actually get to see and experience places? Does he ever get tired of performing and traveling and seeing faces look at him in adoration? How does he feel when he walks out on stage and 17,000 people screaming his name? Lonely, right? How does he trust people? Who does he trust and why does he trust them if he does? How does he know if anyone truly cares about him vs. him as Drake? And how can we say we care about him if we don’t really know anything about him? We know his BRAND but is that who he really is? If it is, then I’ve been fooled, And if it isn’t, why create a false sense of self?

My point is that whoever DRAKE is there’s a chance I won’t ever get the answers to my questions. And that’s okay, because he’s Drake. As in, he’s a famous performer. He’s part of the 1% of people who’ve created a public image that is known throughout the world. This type of person has always existed in history. Just think of any public figure. Politicians, leaders, kings, musicians, writers, philosophers, psychologists, etc. Perhaps our fascination with them is because we know nothing personal about them. And if we do, WE RUN WITH IT, in the way that tabloids and paparazzi do.

I’ve never been envious of those people. I saw this from a much smaller scale by growing up around a famous father and his teammates. There’s nothing spectacular about this kind of lifestyle unless you’re a tried and true narcissist and sociopath — but even for them it catches up in time. There is NOTHING more taxing than having to live up to BEING SOMEBODY THAT YOU ARE NOT, or CANNOT BE THAT DAY.

The problem today is that EVERYONE IS ‘FAMOUS’, just on different levels, but ‘famous’ nonetheless.

Social media has given us the platform to put on shows and create personalities and play out acts of ourselves in the way that we desire to be seen. We are the puppetteer and the puppet. My concern is that we’re fooling everyone around us, but more importantly, we’re fooling ourselves. Because the more we pump out how we’d like to be perceived, the more we start to believe in that perception, therefore losing the truths of ourselves. And so I’d ask you, how are you different from Drake? Are you? And since when is everyone in the same category as the entertainers and the politicians and the leaders, etc.etc.

Back to the received DM and my question for why we share at all?

I can’t answer that for you outside of the obvious - we seek belonging, to be seen, connection, it makes us feel good, dopamine, it’s programmed to keep us on there, it fills a void, etc. But I think I can answer it for myself.

I think I share because of DM’s like the one above. That DM wasn’t about me and what I do, it was about the person who wrote it, in that through their perception of my story and it seemingly falling into place, they felt I had something they didn’t. And that’s not true. If it seems that way then that’s MY FAULT. I take full responsibility. Because the truth is that, sure things have been better but they’ve also been bad. It’s been a mixture. My emotions have been all over the place.

That is called living and being human. I certainly strive to attain some sort of clarity and stillness but it’s ALWAYS, ALWAYS a work in progress, and so if I’ve been leading some of you on to think that it’s been a breeze — it hasn’t been. At all. And I apologize for poorly communicating.

Some of you right now are probably swaying your heads back and forth thinking “oh my god alyonka will you ever stop being so hard on yourself”. YES. IF YOU MUST KNOW. I WILL. But I don’t take this thing lightly — this sharing my story. It’s not just something I toss out into the Universe to get likes or feedback or validation. I understand how words can change and manipulate and inspire and hurt people. I am mindful, careful, thoughtful about the way in which I deliver my message.

Why? BECAUSE I FUCKING CARE ABOUT YOU and I am hopeful that more people will feel the same way about others in their lives. I never, ever want to give off a false impression of the state of my being. If that’s where I’m heading - into the curated personality head space - then I’d rather not have a public presence at all.

I want truth

So that’s why I share. And how I share. And why I choose to check-in with myself whenever I’m leaning into “brand alyonka” vs. “real alyonka”. Since Drake will never read this, I’ll ask you: who are you, really? and why do you share what you do?

NY Broke Me into The Unknown Me

NY Broke Me into The Unknown Me

In Observation: Igor Turns 20.

In Observation: Igor Turns 20.