Posted in Appearances

Behind the Mask

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

We all wear masks to trick the outside world that’s just the way life is.  You portray yourself differently for different people.  You act innocent and respectful and sweet around your parents.  You act smart and hardworking in front of teachers and your boss.  You try to be your best most interesting self with romantic interests.  Even with friends, you probably don’t tell each one everything.  Maybe who we are is all of these masks combined and maybe it isn’t.

It’s hard to tell where you stop and the mask begins.  If you act a certain way for so long, it becomes a part of you.  We pick up different traits and actions.  We mimic others.  At some point, you have to stop and ask yourself who you are.  I know that I couldn’t come up with an answer for that question.  I might really be who I am when I’m alone, or I might be a combination of all the people I am in different settings.  But that still doesn’t answer which thoughts and traits and actions are entirely my own and not influenced in some way by an outside source.

When I read a book, I pick up ideas and see personality traits of characters that I admire.  Subconsciously, I feel that this alters who we are just a bit.  If I’m around people for long enough, I pick up mannerisms and habits like sayings from them, and subconsciously do them myself.  So how can I ever possibly determine where I stop and the mask begins?  Everything gets all muddled together.  We are constantly changing and putting on a mask.  Everyday you might be someone different.

“Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?” ― Søren Kierkegaard

I think maybe the mask is a form of protection.  If I don’t know who I am, how can anyone else know who I am?  If they never see the real you, maybe it hurts less if they reject you.  I’m not sure that you can ever fully know someone, or that they can know you.  I think we do this as a survival mechanism to blend into our surroundings and do the best we can there.  I know that it really upsets me when I find out that people aren’t who I though they were, but at the same time maybe misrepresenting themselves wasn’t intentional.

I think we kind of act how we perceive the person we are around wants us to act.  We try to be the exact replica of what we think that for that person is ideal.  But even if it’s subconscious, different traits of ours that are less than ideal always break through at some point.  This is when people realize they don’t know you.  This is when relationships end.  This is when people leave.  I feel like it’d hurt a lot more if people rejected entirely who I am rather than just a faint shadow of it.  Maybe, we put on a mask just because we know that we aren’t yet who we want to be, and we don’t want others to see us until we are perfect.

I don’t really think there is one clear solution.  I know a lot of people struggle with identity and where in this world they fit in.  I can’t just be me when I don’t really know who I am yet.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Emotions


“Don’t go away. I don’t want to be alone. I can’t stand being alone.” -Arnold Rothstein

I’ve always had quite an issue with being alone.  It doesn’t really fit well with being antisocial either.  It’s a really conflicting feeling.  I don’t want to be around people, but I don’t want to be alone either.  I think part of my problem with it may be the way other people act about it.  In school, there were a lot of times where I didn’t have friends so I spent my lunch period eating alone or reading alone in the library.  People always look at you funny when you do those things they laugh or whisper, but the majority of the time they don’t care enough to be nice or to try to talk to you.

Now, that translates to life after school too.  When you go shopping alone, or eat at a restaurant alone, or go to a party or event alone, these fully functioning adults act the same way those mean girls in high school did.  I feel embarrassed and a little pathetic in these situations because of the mocking looks people give.

I hate to feel alone.  I mean besides all the judging of other people, I think too much when I’m alone.  Sometimes, I realize harsh realities that I wish I hadn’t.  It’s easier not to think and to find a distraction.  When people are around, you have this false sense of security.  It’s a distraction to what is going on in your head and life.  But the problem is, even if you fool yourself into believing otherwise, you are still alone.

“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” -Orson Welles

We are alone.  We have to face the world alone.  There is no one by your side.  The fact is people don’t stick around they leave.  They may be there for a long time, but they won’t be there forever.  People grow apart or die in some cases.  Families turn their backs on each other.  Marriages fail.  Friendships end. People move away.

Everyone always says that’s not me that won’t happen, but it does.  It always does.  You hear from people less and less until you look down and realize its been years.  I’m tired of trying to pretend that it won’t happen and that people stay because they don’t.  The distractions are nice while they last, but it’s still an illusion.  No matter what happens you are alone.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Goals

Following Dreams

“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path. ” -Phillip Sweet

I have spent my entire life looking up to my older cousin.  He’s always had such big dreams and has done so much to accomplish them even when the world seemed like it was against him.  He’s always seemed so sure of himself and the things he wanted.  I’ve always wished I could be more like him.

My cousin always wanted to be a musician.  He loves music and was always very good at it.  He can pick up an instrument and learn to play in no time at all.  When he was young, our family thought it was cute and supported his love of music.  As we grew up, that changed.  We were both outcasts in our family because my grandmother considered us “not country enough.”  He never seemed bothered by this even though it tore me apart.

Around the time he was in high school, he grew his hair long and formed a heavy metal band with some friends.  He took it very seriously, and they played lots of shows.  He was happy and getting to do what he loved, but our family made fun of him for it.  They told him it was just a fad to cut his hair and grow up, and that he sounded like Nickelback (it made no sense that had a screamer in the band and it was a different type of music altogether).  I think he may have taken it more as a challenge because he just threw himself into his music even harder.

After he was out of school, he took a lot of crappy jobs.  He put his music first and that meant he needed off for shows.  When a place wouldn’t let him off he’d quit.  I mean it’s not the best thing to do, but it was his life and he knew what he wanted to do with it.  At some point, his band broke up after going through lots of different stages.  We all thought he’d quit music after that.  Our family gave him a hard time about not having good jobs and changing jobs so much and for wasting so much time on a music career that they didn’t believe would go anywhere.

He started doing music solo and posting videos on YouTube.  He did some covers and some originals.  It didn’t really take off too much.  He started settling more into his life.  He got a more serious job and worked his way up to manager.  He also had a health issue for a while.  His music took a backseat for a while.  Our family finally thought they had won that he’d just quit.

He started playing again and posting videos.  He played shows solo and recorded his music at a studio.  He actually sells his singles on music websites like Itunes.  He has a small following.  He always believed in himself through all this he even got his own lyrics as a tattoo.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou

This may not seem like his dreams came true because he’s not a rich rock-star, but he is living his dream in a way.  He’s happy, and he’s doing what he loves.   He’s working to get his music out there.  He has so much confidence and drive.  He never let anything or anyone stand in the way of his dreams.  I feel like people should fight for their dreams in this way and do what they love.  I know that I wish I could accomplish even parts of my dreams like he has.

-Love, Dee