’There was once a chance I didn’t take.’ http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.ca/
Well, that was years ago. I used to live behind a mask. For years, people, even friends, didn’t see the real me. I would not allow it. The risk of revealing my woundedness bordered on expulsion from society. Only the pretty and the strong have a place within the inner circle. I knew the pain of being shunned for being different. What was different about me?
Years went by. I watched the pretty people enjoy invitations to parties, dances with the handsome boy, teacher’s favorite. I stood on the sidelines. Waited for the other misfits to notice me. How could they? I wore the mask, said nothing. Life carried on in an eternal shade of grey. Would I ever take off the mask? I couldn’t take that chance. Safe within my artificial world, I carried on as if it didn’t really matter. But then, something magical happened.
I discovered I had something few others had – an enormous capacity for courage to help others in need. Not just everyday need. No. These people needed a champion to rush in and fight their battle with death. Suddenly, I knew I had found my people in the ambulance, fire and police service. My need for the mask wavered. I was needed. Not just for my skill and training but for my genuine ability to relate to their need for caring and compassion.
Soon I wanted more out of life. I wanted to take chances, continually push the boundaries of my abilities further into the unknown. I wanted to live life to the fullest. Be all that I could be. Suddenly, the risk of failure provided the adrenalin that made me want to risk it all. The mask fell.
I wonder how often I still put on the mask, unconsciously. Don’t we all put on a mask at least some of the time?