Yesterday was a good day. No need for lofty words or higher metaphor. I had a stressful and mentally exhausting day at work. I spent most of the day feeling stepped over. I had people questioning my very sentience, if they bothered to pay any attention to me. Though, to be truthful this was the treatment received by my character. It was my character that nobody was interested in interacting with. It was my character who struggled in vain to impress them, to give them a reason to interact. I sit behind my mask in my mind, not in the moment where I should be. I sit in my mind, knowing all the rules and all the limitations of my expressive abilities. I am not helped by those that are supposed to be on my side and the observers are mostly oblivious, simply following the current. Going where there’s a line to stand in that line. Taking pictures of what everyone else is taking pictures of. I used to scream when a message was misheard or interrupted. How dare you not know the rules for speaking to me? Most frustrating of all was knowing all the magic and joy I could share with people if they would just interact me but had no bulletproof way of communicating that. I was taking the way people were treating my mask personally. I reacted from inside my head, and not in the moment. I forgot that “Grace” herself was not presence in that moment, just the observer and my mask; who ever they perceive me to be, whether be an element of magic, simply a person in a costume, or some dumb machine. To be an effective actor I must not react from my own pride. I must remember that these people has no idea I, the being that I know I am, is even alive. They’re communicating with a character, some imaginary person they’ve chosen to believe or not believe in.
Sounds a lot like how I react in life. I am just a little too concerned with what I think people think of me. I am constantly worrying that people are judging me by how I think I am and not bothering to learn who they truly think I am. Always caring just a little too much if the person they see me as is the person I want them to see me as. I have a nasty habit of never truly believing in myself, I made Doubt my safety line to “reality”. Without belief in myself I need others to believe in me, so I generate an audience. I fight and perform and hide, whatever I can do to keep their attention on me. I need constant reflection to know who I am because I am too scared to look upon my own face, as if I were going to turn to stone if I did. I force my self to live in the tiniest of space, to make room for all my identities, all the props, all the costumes. All the people I wish to live as. All the ways I want people to see me and all the people I have to be so they will see me at all.
It’s time to let go, to stop making sure everyone sees me as the kind of good person I want them to see me as. Time to get rid of all that, time to clean out the closet. Organize the costumes, get rid of what doesn’t fit. I have no plans to get rid of my personalities, we all have our characters to play. But when these things get too big, too elaborate, too redundant, they obscure my true vision of what is me. It leads to my disharmonious experience. I am constantly asking which mask I am supposed to wear because I don’t even know I have a face anymore. I am finally learning to see who I am in my heart and I am listening for the first time to how to be that person. I cannot always sure people see me in the way that I see me, but as long as I know I am truthful, dedicated, and kind then I am. I am.
That’s why I’m so grateful that I have my soulmate. He’s the one I wear the least amount of masks for. I am almost to a point where I can wear no masks at all. I’m finally spending some time looking at my bare face and knowing that it too can be loved. I am reminded of this daily whenever we daydream. After work, we met for lunch at this cute little Thai place near us. We spent the entire time discussing our future hopes and dreams and how to bring them into reality. Our shared dream, the one that brought us together. Our little house in the woods. The home he builds for me and our children. It has a tendency to evolve to the spirit of the moment. After our time at Bonnaroo, this current iteration has become an artist commune and fairgrounds. And our tribe is dreaming with us, our closest friends understand the dream and they want to make it happen because it fits their dream too. That’s what tells me this is the one, this is the dream we can make reality. See we’ve done what we’ve always done, dreamed big. Really big. To the point that it all sounds a little crazy. But isn’t it true that our dreams always make sense in our heads and sound bat shit crazy the moment we try to explain it with words? You know in your heart how true your dream is, how it is the answer to the questions you left on your pillow. Don’t ever forget, dreams are supposed to start big so you have something to sculpt and chisel. Dreams can be made of whatever you want but what’s the point of all that material if you leave it an unrefined mess?
So dare, dare to dream as big as you can. Take off your masks and let your imagination out to play. Let it out to run around free to play and learn. Leave making it “reality” to the editing process. That’s the first step in making yourself.