Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 287 or It's Not Halloween But I Have Plenty of Masks

I've been thinking a lot about how honestly I present myself. None of us are 100% real, 100% of the time. And that is certainly true of me.

Masks can be fun. They can even be liberating -- watch any film with a Masquerade scene and you'll see people feeling freed by anonymity. They are allowed to be themselves. Well, sometimes, at least.

And wouldn't it be nice to have a mask that looked like our most beautiful self (like my mother's wigs in the 1970's -- they looked exactly like her own hair but on it's best day). I'd love you to think that I wake up looking fresh and rested and beautiful. Sooo not true. And unfortunately, no mask. But that's what makeup is for right?

But what about the other masks. The more subtle masks -- the ones that I use to define who I am. The mom mask. The friend mask. The wife mask. The student mask. The employee mask. Etc., etc., etc.

They are the masks that I put on to play the roles of my life. Somedays the mask accurately reflects my persona and somedays it does not. Yet the mask is firmly put in place in each arena.

But what about bigger ways that I hide who I am? When I smile when I feel like crying. When I giggle at a slight pretending to be a joke even when I know it's a slight. When I swallow my words in the face of a family member who is completely obliterating everything I believe in during a political rant. These are masks that I wear. And these are the masks that I am sometimes imprisoned by.

We all wear masks at times but I think that it is those last masks, the total denial of how I feel (and therefore who I am) that slowly chill the soul and kill the passion. But these are the hardest masks to let go of -- they are protective masks even while they are destructive. Yet I don't think that I can fully be the person I could be, should be without at least addressing these.

It's not that I expect to run around with all emotions blazing at all times -- not sure that I would stay asylum free doing that. But I don't want to live a life in a mask. At least, not always.

Do you wear masks? Do you feel limited or liberated by them?

9 comments:

Aging Mommy said...

Hi Traci

I think it is perfectly OK and necessary sometimes to wear a mask - for example if we are ill but still try and smile and joke with our children.

Where I think the wheels really come off the wagon is when we wear a mask for ourselves as if we can't admit our true feelings to ourselves then we are in trouble.

blueviolet said...

I think it's almost impossible not to avoid wearing them some of the time. Boy, have I worn a lot of them when dealing with my MIL over the years!

....Petty Witter said...

A very deep post. I agree, we all wear masks. I also think the mask one person sees is not the mask another sees. For instance Husband dearest sees me in one way whilst my mam will doubtless see a slightly different me and you will 'see' me in another way again - all the real me.

Unknown Mami said...

Yes, I wear them. I don't they should obscure the fundamental truth of who I am.

Tracie said...

I wear them when I have to. Like when I'm visiting in-laws or playing nice with the snobby moms at school.

Lee said...

I don't wear them...well, except for on vlogs.

ttownsend said...

Yep, I wear 'em. More than I should.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

I think everyone does as we try to fit in here or there but when you reach a certain age they are less and less.

Erin said...

I think we all do this. ANd I'm comforted to know I'm not alone in this. What a wonderful post. I sometimes feel limited by mine, but am trying to change that and my outlook...with the help of drugs, of course.

;-)