Living without a mask
A post about finding your true self and the warnings of being someone you’re not.
Transitioning from high school to college I had one family back at home, a great girlfriend, and best friends. I truly thought I had something great. Soon my parents would divorce, I would break up with someone I was with for around three years, and disconnect from my best friends. Out of everyone, I felt lost. Could this really be happening to me?
Aside from all other life events that occurred during these times I began to rediscover myself. Why? I had a bit of me integrated in all of these people that were weakened in my life. I no longer had strong ties to really anything except where I lived, who I knew, and what I was currently working on. When you attach yourself to people early on and at a crucial time of development as a person you risk what I faced. Not knowing who you are, what you stand for, and who you want to be.
Remember I felt lost, but my ex-girlfriend (whose also one of my best friends today) and my family knew I’d soon find myself again. And I say this only after what happened next.
Being in a lost state I was angry. I was frustrated. To relieve any despair, I put on many masks. These masks would entertain those around me, but confuse my family and friends before this state of loss. A mask would be created to gain grace, to be comfortable, and to feel right again. This feeling under the mask wasn’t my true self. My true self would get out every now and then and to those I recently met they saw that as the person with the mask. Think about the Beast from Beauty and the Beast in how different Bella and everyone else viewed him. I was the Beast and the problem was I pushed aside Bella and allowed the entire village to shape me.
A year passes by. In this year I met another girl, but she didn’t meet me. She met the me wearing a mask. What’s weird is that through her I knew for the first time that living without a mask is better. Better than being someone to entertain others for the sake of comfortability and ease. I ended up ending our relationship in hope for what was to come in my life without a mask.
Life is full of risk and wearing a mask lowers that risk. Rather than life being at risk your personal self is at risk. Today, I’d rather displease people because of my identity any day. It’s not worth living under a mask.
I’m now doing what I love, becoming and being friends with some of the greatest people I know, and being who I am. The values and beliefs I have are now my own with fear being something entirely new and different. Who I am is no longer tied to others. It’s what I do with who I am that creates ties.
And for that I’m living without a mask. I want people to see me for who I truly am. I hope that you do the same.