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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

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masks

Challenge Day 10: Masks Part 3

Today’s prompt: What would the consequence be if you didn’t put on the show? What do you believe would happen if you showed the world who you truly are?

So I guess this question assumes that you are putting on a big show for people all time, playing the perfect wife, perfect daughter etc.

Like I discussed in my last post, over the past few years I slowly have become more and more comfortable with who I am. To the point that I really don’t care if my class does think that I am a giant geek (because I am one, and that is ok). I don’t care if the world knows that I play not one, but two different Role Playing Games (RPGs) neither of which are Dungeons and Dragons. My idea of a fun night, involves crafting something whether it be sewing, knitting or even cooking, going for a long walk in the forest and then probably going to bed early.

People are pretty self-centered so naturally everyone thinks that everyone else is going to make a bigger deal out of things than they end up making because we are the ones that have made it a big deal in our heads. I only realized this recently when I was obsessing about ‘coming out’ with my vaping. Most people didn’t care. You know who cared the most, who worried the most about what people were going to think? Me. Yep. Me.

So I stopped obsessing. I mean I’m not walking around sharing the deepest, darkest parts of myself or posting links to this blog on my Facebook page. Boundaries are still a good thing to have too, but I can say that almost 99% of the time what you see, is what you get. No show. Just me. It has taken awhile to get here, but it feels good to feel this comfortable with who I am. I think back to almost anything I’ve worried about what other people think. Like when I worried for months about telling my now husband about my kink. He was totally underwhelmed. Even when I started vaping, he didn’t necessarily like it but he accepted it. I think he would have words with my if I told him I was going to start again (I’m not) because he said he never wants to have to go through me quitting ever again.

Bottom line, people are more concerned with themselves than they probably are concerned about some minute detail you are worried about.

Meditation: The Inner Smile

Challenge Day 9: Masks Part 2

Today’s prompt was: When are you choosing to put on a show? When do you feel like you must put on a show? Do you enjoy this part of interacting with people?

Like I said in yesterday’s post, I don’t put masks on or play at being something I’m not most of the time. But if I could choose anytime where I’ve ‘put on a show’ it would be teaching. When you teach, you tend to have a ‘teacher persona’ and depending on how close that persona matches who you actually are, determines how much work it is to keep it up.

When I taught junior high, I felt like I had to pretend to be mature, the adult in the room. My teacher persona was a lot less fun than who I actually am. I think the students could see through it or had trouble connecting with me sometimes because of it. One of my colleagues told me I needed to let them see more of who I am, as that is what they were dying to see. Students forget that you have a life outside the classroom, that you are a real person sometimes. Sometimes, they put you up on this pedestal because you are their role model and for me that made me feel like I needed to be perfect. In short, I found teaching junior high exhausting. I love the age group, but because I hadn’t found a way to be myself around them it was utterly exhausting to play that role.

Now I feel like my teacher persona is the closest to my actual personality. I’ll admit, this took time and didn’t happen overnight. But teaching in jail, I feel like my students needed me to be more real with them, more human. At first, I think they found it really hard to relate to me. As I shared things I’ve struggled with in my own life, they were better able to connect with me. Now that I have taught there for 3 years, I know the culture, the language and I know that they’d spot a fake from a mile away.

Do I like playing a role? Not usually. Not unless I’m playing a character in a RPG game. I mostly find it exhausting so I don’t do it.

Meditation:Deep Relaxation Meditation

 

Challenge Day 8: Masks Part 1

Today’s question: What parts of yourself do you regularly hide from others?

I think we are wear masks. We wear masks to keep ourselves from getting hurt, or at least that is why I did and sometimes still do wear masks. I think I also wore masks sometimes to protect me from myself. My masks have changed over the years. Wearing them always felt wrong, like I was hiding who I was.

As a teenager, my mask was first one of being a happy person when the reality was I was depressed. As my friends started to experiment with drugs, smoking and alcohol, my mask was one of superiority when part of me was really desperate to join them. In part, that mask was thanks to my parents instilling in me that I shouldn’t do any of those things.

For my parents the mask was of the dutiful daughter. I still wear this mask. I wonder when I will gather the courage to remove that mask with them, and allow them to see me as the flawed human I really am.

I remember going to see Mulan at the age of 14. At the time, I had few people I could call my friends because I had alienated them all with my holier-than-thou attitude. I remember feeling a bit lame that on a Friday night, I had nothing better to do than to go see a movie with my mom, and at the same time feeling grateful that I have such a good relationship with her. I recall crying when Mulan sings the song Reflection.

Look at me,
I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.
Can it be,
I’m not meant to play this part
?
Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,
I would break my family’s heart
.

Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide
Who I am, though I’ve tried.
When will my reflection show, who I am, inside
?
How I pray, that a time will come,
I can free myself, from their expectations
On that day, I’ll discover someway to be myself,
and to make my family proud
.
They want a docile lamb,
No-one knows who I am.
Must there be a secret me,
I’m forced to hide
?
Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?

As I get older, I hide my flaws less and less. I am kinder and gentler to myself, although I still sometimes can be quite self-critical. I think that is why it was so important for me to let go of my tightly held control over my smoking, give in so that I could get to I place where I wanted to not smoke or use nicotine rather than tightly moderating something I really wanted to do. As I get older I hide less and less because I feel more and more comfortable with myself and care less and less about what others think.

More on this tomorrow as today, Thursday and Friday’s questions are all related. So you could say this is part one in a three part series.

Meditation: Guided Visualization for Deep Sleep

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