You wear masks, and you don’t even think about it.
You got a glimpse of the real you the other day didn’t you? Didn’t like what you saw. Who can blame you, people don’t like seeing themselves as they are. There is this idea that you have of yourself. If anything were to ruin that idea, then there would be trouble.
You’re more comfortable when you have that mask on aren’t you?
That’s what life among others is like, a series of different masks for different occasions.
You have your mask for your family, a mask for your friends, and a mask for your job. All these different masks. Sometimes you got to switch them out within a couple of minutes. You pop on the leader mask to get people to do what you want them to. There’s a tough question coming up and to get out of it people have to think you’re stupid. Now you have to put on the idiot mask.
All these masks, all these different personas.
Having to swap them out can be exhausting. All this switching back and forth, sometimes you can’t see properly. Sometimes you put on the wrong mask. You put on the confident mask when you should have put on the humble mask. Now you upset someone. Can you switch it out on the spot? They’ll think you’re crazy. Then you have to wear the crazy mask.
More masks lead to more masks.
You think to yourself, can I not just go naked? Can I not just be unmasked? Can’t I show the real me because after all, isn’t honesty is the best policy?
You know that you can’t do that.
There’s a reason for the masks.
You remind yourself why you wear masks. Every so often there’s that moment. The mask slips and those around you see you for what you really are.
When the masks slip, it becomes a scramble to quickly put one back on.
What would the real you look like?
Which came first, the person or the personality?
Can you learn to have a personality, or are you born with it? Sometimes it seems that who we are is shaped by experience. It looks like no matter how beaten down you get the parts that make you who you are peak through.
It seems like there might not be a real you. The masks are so well integrated into who you are that you don’t know where the edges are. Instead, you see the masks as these layers of clothing. There is a baseline you, but it might not be all that good, so you start putting layers onto yourself. You mask up, you accessorise.
You saw the real you, and you didn’t like it.
The real you came out the other day didn’t it? You saw it, you didn’t like it.
You did something that you shouldn’t have, and you got caught out.
What did you do? You lied, you lied to save your skin. It wasn’t so much a big lie but a lie that came out of somewhere that you didn’t even need to think about.
It was in that moment you saw the mask slip and what was underneath. Someone who was afraid and was out to save their own skin.
What you saw sent you into a spiral. It ate you up inside and made you uncomfortable that someone saw you for who you are.
There are some people in your life, and they have this prescient ability to pierce through all the layers. You aren’t always close with these people. If anything you are more wary of them. You always keep them at a distance because they bring out that side of you that you don’t like.
It’s funny how almost on a coincidental level they are always there whenever you mess up. Whenever you reveal the real you. These people are way nearer to knowing the real you than your closest friends. That should scare you.
Scare you it does, because they have the skill.
Which one do you live as?
This year though you have to decide what you want to do. This year you are going to have to let the mask come off a little more here and there.
It wouldn’t hurt to give your face a breather from time to time.
You have to make the decision to take the mask off. It will make you more at peace with yourself and by extension those around you. There may be aspects of yourself that you don’t like but you will have to deal with that as it comes.
You don’t have to perform the whole time.
You’re at a point now where you have a choice to make. Do you want to be continually performing? Do you always have the guard up and make sure that no one knows who you are.
The other option is that you allow yourself to become more vulnerable from time to time.
What’s the worst that could happen?
The worst that could happen is that people reject you but be honest how bad is that?
You would find out who you can trust. If someone associates with you only because of the performance are they worth having around?
They’re not, those people are only around you because of what they get from you.
There’s nothing wrong with the performance from time to time. Don’t only be the performance in the masks because that’s what cuts you off from others.
Personalise more interactions. Don’t just fall into the roles that are foisted upon us. Introduce yourself more to people and look them in the eye.
Make a connection.
How are you going to proceed?
You don’t have to perform all the time. That is something that you tell yourself. You tell yourself that because you see everyone else doing that. Slip on the mask and act out the script.
Don’t do that. Try and take the mask off more often this year.
Don’t feel like you are looking out from someone else’s eyes.
Show your face and let more people see who you are.
Who knows, if you do that, someone else might do the same.
You might make a friend.