Words of the Week: Masks

I’ve never been really into poetry, but when I was little I did have the Shel Silverstein books.

Of course, when I was younger I never saw the true meaning of many of the Silverstein poems.

Today, the poems are just as cute but I can understand their deeper significance on a much different level.

I was on Tumblr the other day and saw this graphic of this Silverstein poem:

poem

After I read this, it really got me thinking…why do we wear the masks we do?

It’s inevitable that all of us wear these personality masks at least sometimes, if not pretty often.

For a long time, I found myself struggling to put on the mask of perfection. Especially when I first got to college as well as last semester, I wanted to always wear the perfect outfits, do my hair and make up perfectly, have a perfect body, get perfect grades, be a perfect friend, daughter, sister. Last semester, I worked tirelessly to be a perfect chapter officer in my sorority, perfect girlfriend, perfect person.

What I learned was that attempting to wear that mask of perfection brought me nothing but frustration, exhaustion, and a lot of tears.

This semester I have worked a lot on being myself and loving myself for it. I have found that the less I wear masks the happier I am. I also frequently find myself admiring those around me that are so unafraid to be themselves.

Still, I wonder why we so often wear the masks we do. If there is one thing I have learned throughout college,  it is that being honest with yourself about who you are and where you are in your life is the most freeing feeling, and it makes life a million times easier.

When do the masks we wear become who we actually are?

Imagine how free we would feel if we all shed our masks and showed our true selves all the times? How many things do you think would be different? How many more opportunities would we have the chance to seize?

 

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