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 Mental Illness

Looking In from Outside

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I realize that it is hard for people to understand the issues of others. However, I believe they need to try to be more understanding. I get very tired of people acting like my issues aren’t real or that they aren’t really that bad or just blaming me for them.

If I could just solve them, I would have done it a long time ago. People tell me just to be happy, but depression doesn’t work like that. I try so hard to see the positive in things, but sometimes I just can’t. People make me feel guilty for feeling the way I do even though I don’t want to feel this way either.

I understand that I’m hard to deal with, but if a person chooses to stay around, they have to accept that I have these problems and that I’m not always the most stable person.  I can’t be blamed for their inability to deal with me at my lows, and neither can they.  People like to say my age causes my issues because I’m immature or too young, but mental illness doesn’t have an age limit.

I’ve also been told I’m too dependent on people as friends. I don’t mean to be. I can be independent and deal with my anxiety attacks on my own, but it is so much harder. I can’t reason through it in the moment because I’m so overwhelmed. I can get through it by myself but it takes longer and is more difficult, so often times I reach out to people who can help. However, then these people seem to be annoyed with me when they’re the person who said they would be there and help. It just makes me feel like a burden on my friends.

I know that they’re trying to help deep down, but the suggestions don’t help. I have been told to go places and be around people when I feel like this, but I’ve tried. It doesn’t stop the breakdown. It just makes me look like a pathetic person when I’m bawling my eyes out in a restaurant or on a bus. It hurts me more seeing the way people stare and laugh and look at you if they notice that you are crying in public.

It makes me feel worse when people tell me to do these things that don’t work for me. It’s not a simple fix. It’s not going to just go away with a snap of my fingers. I mean I’m making progress at least, but they don’t see that. I feel like they’re blaming me for my issues, and that is not fair.  I don’t want to be like this.  I also feel worse about myself because it makes me feel like I should just be able to fix it, but I can’t which makes me feel like a failure.  I can’t even control my own thoughts.  I know they are not purposely trying to make me feel like this, but that doesn’t change the effect.

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.”  ― Willa Cather

This isn’t meant to attack or hurt anyone. I love my friends, and I know they are just trying to help most of the time. I just feel that people need to be more careful in general when making comments about these issues. I realize they have issues of their own and that they are important, and I’m not trying to say mine are more important in any way or make them feel obligated to help. I just wish they’d be a little more sensitive and careful with these topics. I’m trying my best. I know they don’t necessarily feel the same way I do about things or have to go through the issues I do. I am very glad they don’t really get it because I wouldn’t wish mental illness on anyone, but I don’t feel that they should assume these issues have an easy solution.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Friendship

Choosing People

“Friendship is so weird. You just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like, ‘Yep, I like this one,’ and you just do stuff with them.”  -Bill Murray

I find it so strange how people just randomly come into your life whether it be a friendship or relationship.  Friendships don’t just appear either.  I mean you know a person and gradually over time you become closer, and at some point you just look over and realize that they’re really your friend.  You can never really pinpoint the exact moment something changed; it could have been any moment.

I don’t think it really starts off as a choice because you don’t choose to meet new people.  It just kind of happens.  I think that certain people are meant to be in your life, and the universe has a way of pushing them into your path.  I mean I’ve met people and just been drawn to them.

“I have learned that friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who came and never left your side.” -Yolanda Hadid

Friendship, at least for me, is separate from time.  I’ve met people and felt like I’d known them my whole life after only a couple of weeks.  Friends just become such a big part of your life that at some point you can’t imagine going back to before they were around.  It would feel like an episode of the Twilight Zone if all of a sudden they weren’t in your life.

Time is an irrelevant factor.  People I’ve known for a couple of months or a year can care more than someone I’ve known for ten years.  It’s all about choice.  Whether you choose to be there for someone even when it’s hard and make time to for them even when you are busy.  It’s about whether you choose to stay or walk away.

In the big picture, it seems so weird.  You meet a stranger form a connection or bond with them, and then you spend time together.  You learn about each other, and make memories.  You remember all the random details about this person, and know their life story.  When a short while ago, the two of you were complete strangers.  You don’t even really realize you are choosing them you just do.

I suppose they’re is something that draws you to the person in the first place like maybe their sense of humor.  Maybe you are drawn to their personality because they are more like you want to be whether it be their ability to be realistic or outgoing or maybe their optimism.  Maybe you choose them because they remind you of yourself in a way or because of similar experiences you’ve shared.

No matter what it is, you subconsciously choose this person.  You choose to trust them and let them into your life.  You choose to make memories with them and to be there for them.  You choose to love them for the strange individuals they are.  Most importantly, you choose to let them change your life.

-Love, Dee


Posted in Friendship

The Branches of Friendship

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane Austen

I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining with all the bad.  There is a lot of good in my life it is just hard for me to focus on it.  I do have a lot of great people I call friends in my life that offer me a great support net in all my endeavors.  I love every single one of them, but I find that our relationships vary drastically as well as the parts of my life I discuss with them.  When I think about it, I have six extremely close friends.

Two of these friendships are with people I’ve known for years and started in high school even if they became stronger after it was over.  Although I am ashamed to admit it, both of these people I have also turned my back on at times.  At the time, I somehow reasoned it would be better for both of us, but eventually realized I needed them.  Yet, even though I disappeared on them, they both welcomed me back into their lives.  I don’t talk to either of them everyday but they’re always there when I need them.  The first of those friends has supported me through a lot of major meltdowns and seen my all time lows, and I have in turn seen his.  If he hadn’t been around, I don’t know that I’d be here today.  The second of those friends is like my conscience.  He tells me the brutal truth even when I don’t want to hear it and even when it hurts because most of the time he’s already experienced the same thing.  These two know my history better than anybody else even if they don’t know the more minor details of my present or ever really see me in person.

The other four friends are more recent since I’ve been in college, and I see them usually at least once a week if not more.   They are the ones I go on adventures with and laugh with and escape my troubles with.  They make my life better just by being in it.

One of them I bicker with constantly, but we still care about each other all the same.   We complain to each other and can relate to each others issues.  The second friend is a newer friend, but that doesn’t really make that big of a difference.  I can text him for hours having deep really thoughtful conversations that are usually a bit on the morbid side.

The third of these friends is the one I consider to be my best friend even though sometimes we are polar opposites.  She’s the optimist and I’m the pessimist.  She was the cheerleader, and I was the nerd.  She’s the person who has a high self-confidence where I have no self confidence.  She’s so bubbly and friendly where I am quiet and antisocial.  We share a lot of interest which is part of the reason it works, but we also can act extremely goofy around each other.  I’m a different person around her.  I’m happier, and I don’t think about the bad stuff so much there isn’t really time.  We jump from one thing to the next so quickly.  She gives me a completely different outlook on life.

The fourth of these friends is a little different from the rest.  He has seen a lot of the different sides of me.  He’s seen me really energetic and happy, he’s heard all the details of my past, we can joke and laugh about everything, but the biggest factor is he’s been there for my complete meltdowns when I have an anxiety attack both in person and on the phone, and he just talks me through it always staying calm.

I mean there have been rough times with all of them, but friendship means sticking together through it and forgiving.  It means not abandoning them when they need you.  Sometimes it’s hard and painful, but in the long run, it is worth it.

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”  Bob Marley

Friendship is one of the biggest joys in my life.  It makes me feel like I am a part of something, and that maybe I’m not so alone in the world after all.  They help me carry on when I just want to give up.  I love my friends for everything they do and everything that they are.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Getting Away


“All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -the story of escape.  It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.” -Walter Bagehot

As of late, I’ve been feeling very trapped in my own life.  My entire life has taken place in such a small area.  I never really moved except a couple of streets over, and although my university is in a different town, it still seems to close.   I’m just starting to feel claustrophobic like the state borders are closing in on me.

The scenery never changes. I see the same people who I’ve seen all my life over and over.  It feels like there’s no escape from the past or even just the current.  It all seems to be a little mind numbing. The same routine day after day with no variation.  Seeing the same places doing the same things, it’s no longer the comfort it once was.

I used to be so afraid of change and leaving, but now it’s all I can think about.  I just want to get in the car and drive, not caring where it takes me.  I feel like anywhere else would be a welcome change.  I just want to see the world after being sheltered from it for so long by barely leaving home.  I want a fresh start somewhere new.  I want to have stories to tell and new experiences.

However, for now, I just have to settle with the simple escapes life throws my way.  I feel like people can be an escape in a way; certain people are at least.  Something I often look for in friends in spontaneity (which I seem to lack).  The best kind of people are the ones that call you and say “I’m outside.” or “Let’s go to (insert place here).”  I mean it may not always be convenient, but neither is life.

I seem to like to be around people who make me forget all my worries and stress like they never existed.  Things seem so much simpler when you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe, visiting some random new place, driving down the road with unconventional music blaring, or just having a deep conversation with a friend.  The bad thoughts just disappear for a while and are replaced with happy ones. And you escape it all.

“That’s the funny thing about trying to escape. You never really can. Maybe temporarily, but not completely.” ― Jennifer L. Armentrout

Your mood is so high, but it doesn’t last.  You feel better about your problems, but once you’re alone again, they slowly come back.  For me sometimes, it takes a couple of hours to start the worrying again, sometimes a couple of days, but it always comes back.  I never seem to realize how good I was feeling until I hit a new low.

The happy memories bring me optimism though.  The next adventure is the light at the end of the tunnel.  I just have to get there, and thinking about what a good time I’ll have helps me through the darkness.

I live for those random moments of happiness that are so all-consuming that you don’t see the bad in your life.  For me, those moments, those adventures, they give life meaning.  I treasure each one, and I never stop looking for the next one.

-Love, Dee

Posted in Flamingos

About the Flamingos

“Be a Flamingo in a flock of Pigeons” -Savannah Larsen

I thought it would only be appropriate to explain my obsession with flamingos.  Flamingos are my favorite animal, but it is more than that.  I relate to what flamingos stand for.

I’ve never felt like I quite fit in no matter where I am.  I’m kind of socially awkward, and I think differently.   I spent all of my years in high school trying to change to fit the cultural norm.   I starved myself trying to lose weight to be thin because that was what I was told I should be.  It didn’t matter that it wasn’t really possible for my body type.  I never had the popular brands in clothes and gadgets because it was too expensive, and yet somehow, that gave my peers a reason to think of me as less and treat me like a second class citizen.

I wasn’t the kind of girl who wanted to sit around and talk about makeup, celebrities, and boys.  I was worried about the latest novel or comic, or superhero movie.  This never went well in social groups.  If I showed excitement for these so-called “nerdy” topics, I was laughed at or received an eye roll. The only thing about me they didn’t mind was my intelligence because I would always help them with homework, but as soon as I was no longer useful, I was no longer included.

The way I was treated made me feel ashamed to be myself.  I did everything I could to fit in.  I saved my money and bought the cool brands, I lost as much weight as I could and barely ate, I learned to keep my mouth shut about my interests and pretend to be interested in their conversation topics, and I helped them study and do homework.  I didn’t like myself much like that either because that’s not who I was.

Even after I molded myself into who they thought I should be, I wasn’t a part of their group.  I was still an outcast.  They never cared about me.  They only cared about what I could do for them.  As soon as they didn’t need homework help, they disappeared from my life only to reappear when they needed the help again.

I spent a long time realizing the truth and even longer time going back to who I really was.  I had to learn that it didn’t matter what people thought and to get rid of the stigma that I should be ashamed of who I am.

“A flock of flirting flamingos is pure, passionate, pink pandemonium-a frenetic flamingle-mangle-a discordant discotheque of delirious dancing, flamboyant feathers, and flamingo lingo.”  – Charley Harper

I am getting to the flamingo part, and it does relate to that story.  This experience drove me to love flamingos.  When I used to think of Flamingos, I would picture the plastic lawn flamingos which most people think of as cheap or trashy, but that is so one-sided.  There is so much more to them.  They are living, breathing, proud, and beautiful creatures.

Flamingos are so majestically awkward.  They stand on one leg, and even though it looks impossible, they fly.  Flamingos couldn’t hide in a crowd (not that they would want to).  The bright pink color makes them impossible to miss.  They are social creatures and live in flocks like a family.  Most importantly, flamingos keep their heads held high.  Even though they are different from all the other animals, they are proud never ashamed.

I love flamingos because they stand for all I aspire to be.  I want to live beyond what others see me as.  I want to have that much confidence and not second guess everything I do.  I want to be unapologetic for who I am and to be proud of it.  I want to no longer feel the need to fit in to how others want me to be.  I just want to be the person I already am, beautiful in my own way.

                                                                                                                -Love, Dee


Posted in Love

Love As I See It

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.” -Nicola Yoon

    Through the years my perception of love has changed.  When I was young, I used to believe in love the way you believe in fairy tales.  I believed it was some perfect magical thing that was easy and uncomplicated, but as I learned, that’s not even close to true.  Love hurts a lot.
     I find that I love very easily and freely which leads to a lot of heartbreak.  I also don’t distinguish love into categories of romantic or friendship.  I just love.  I see love as a choice just like you choose to get up in the morning.  There is nothing forcing you to, but you just do.  You may not be able to choose that you care about someone, but once you care deeply enough, you ultimately make the choice of loving or not loving them, and you continue to make that choice.
     Although most romantic love I’ve seen in my life has been pretty screwed up,  it is still easy to see that love is hard over time.  People fight and have disagreement or rough patches, but choosing to love this person means staying for them, and also sometimes it means leaving for them.  Love means doing what’s best for them even if it hurts you both.
     To me love is very complicated.  It’s just a word without the actions.  It can mean always being there when they need you, or telling something they need to hear even if it hurts.  It can mean doing what’s best for them or just putting them first.  I tend to love deeply and give my all.  I expose my vulnerabilities even though I’m typically a private, closed off person.  But I also love the wrong people who take advantage of that vulnerability and trust.  These people manipulate me because of the emotional vulnerability, and eventually abandon me once they’ve warped me.

     The first couple of times, I got right back up, but a person can only tale so much before they break.  I shattered after a while.  I built up a wall, and I swore I wouldn’t let anyone in.

“Love is giving someone the power to completely destroy you, and hoping that they won’t” -Suzanne Wright

     The problem is more likely than not, they will destroy you.  I hung on to this idea for a long time to try to save myself from the inevitable pain.  However, living like that alone and closed off, it causes just as much pain.  The lonely pain doesn’t even give you good memories.
     Ultimately, that era came to an end.  I met someone, and even though I promised myself I wouldn’t care and that I wouldn’t get attached, I did.  He made it pretty easy though.  He made me feel something different from I ever had before.  He treated me in a way I’d never been treated before.  Even though he never loved me, he still made me feel more loved in those two months than I’d felt in my entire life.  And even though it ended I don’t regret a second of it, and we’re still good friends.  He’s one of my best friends (whether he knows it or not) if I’m being honest.
     My whole perception changed.  I realized these things aren’t my fault, even if its hard to stop blaming myself.  Maybe it’s a good thing that I love so freely and emotionally; it is hard for some people to show those emotions.  I used to want people to love me so badly, but now it doesn’t really matter.  It’s perfectly fine for me to love someone, and them not to love me back.  I just feel more deeply.
     I realize that life is fleeting, and you never know how long you have.  In that context, I’m glad I can love easily.  I also feel the need to tell the people I love that I love them as frequently as I can.  I suggest you do the same.  You always regret the things you didn’t get to say.
                                                                                                                     -Love, Dee