Walking alone like a one man army. Ready to deal with whatever heads my way. Full of my own bravado that I have created to fool others. That I am not easily flustered. I am not easily frightened. I am not easily broken. It's a paper mâché mask in the likeness of steel armor. From a distance I look ready for battle. From a distance I seem like an imposing presence. From a distance I seem strong.
I am a great illusionist. You see only what I want you to see. I could give David Copperfield a run for his money if I owned a helicopter and had his beautiful assistants running around. I could make the helicopter disappear. After all, I can make myself disappear. You only see the real me if I let you. Otherwise you see the person I want you to see. It's not that I want to be someone I am not, it's that I am wary of my weaknesses being assessed and used against me. I am not paranoid. I am just very aware that not everyone has your best interest at heart. I keep people at a distance until I am sure of their motives. We all walk through life wearing one mask or another. Some people's masks are pretty. Some of them have fake smiles and cracked teeth. These masks are the scariest. They welcome you and offer false words of acceptance. These people are almost always hiding something.The people behind these masks are dangerous. Some masks are withered and battle scarred. These masks mirror my own. The people who wear these masks are usually very much like me. Aware that masks are important. Aware that friendship is glorious but careful to whom they offer it to. Some masks are painted and decorated. These are the masks of artists of men. Some masks are winged. They belong to the advocates, doctors, nurses, volunteers, teachers, social workers, clergy that do not abuse others, people that live their lives giving unselfishly to others. There are many people and therefore many masks. It seems silly to wear paper masks as adults like we are stuck in an ever evolving Halloween party. Yet we all do it at one time or another. To hide our sadness, our fears, our truths; whatever they may be. The trick is to figure out which mask it is you wear. What illusion you want to present to the world until you are ready to share who you really are. Wouldn't it be great if we all took off our masks and were just honest? If we just stopped being afraid to be who we are faults and all? If we could just admit that we are not always strong, not always happy, not always sure of what we are doing or where we are going? Since I have been writing in this blog I have been chipping away at my mask bit by bit. I have been breaking it post after post. It has been so long since I have faced the world without it that I am no longer sure what lies beneath. I am sure, however, that I want to try.