The image above is me on a summer’s day, spending some time alone on a hammock under a tree. That is the me unmasked. The one who wants to be away from everything, nose buried in a book. When I am by myself, that is when I shed my masks and just be who I am. Silent, brooding, and dark.
This is the me that most people know. Smiling, friendly, confident, candid, and bubbly. This is one of my masks. The one I wear for when I am with family, friends, colleagues, and the general public. This is when people believe I am in my element. This is when people think I am on top of my game.
They do not know my story though. Almost nobody knows the real me. Not one person can truly say they know me as much as they know themselves or their friends or their siblings…because I show different parts of myself to different people. I don’t know if I can truly show you the real me. You would have to earn my trust completely. You would have to know all of my stories.
That is me at work. The work I left behind because I had to take care of myself. With me in the photo are some of the people I hold dear. Sad to say though, I had to part ways with them…for my health and my sanity. While I loved most of the the members of the team I belonged to, I did not see eye to eye with the new manager. The way he compromises the integrity of our team almost every day made me see blood on more than just a few occasions and I had to stop doing that before one of these episodes could eventually kill me.
So, I absconded the job and the people I loved with a heavy heart.
That is me as a friend. Fiercely loyal. Loving and caring to the hilt. I love these two ladies to bits. And, I know, in their own ways, they love me, too…even if they do not understand me at times, even if they do not necessarily agree with what I believe in, even if they know my stubbornness knows no bounds.
This is me as a lover. Playful, thoughtful, giving, fun, mercurial, melancholic, fierce. Yes, I admit to being twisted in all aspects, I have my moments of clarity and darkness. And, when my depression looms…dark clouds hover and there is no peace for me or for this guy who professed his love for me.
The collage above are of me as a mom. I am neither the best nor a perfect mother. All I know though is I do my best to provide for my children. And, I paint with them, dance with them in the rain, tell stories to them under a makeshift fort made of a blanket and some pillows, cook for them, and give them hugs and kisses as much as they will allow me.
And, that is me, the writer. The photo captured the first moment I shared what I wrote before an audience. It was an exhilarating experience…one that I don’t mind repeating sometime in the future. However, before that day comes, I am just coasting along and being the me of several masks…the ones I put on depending on the people I interact with…the ones I shed when I am all alone, deep in thought, brooding over what was, what is and what could be.
This is me. All of me.