DL Hammon: On December 19th, anyone who decides to participate will re-post their favorite blog offering from earlier in the year, or one that you believe failed to receive the exposure it deserved. As the day unfolds and everyone hops from one blog to another, what they will be reading is the best of the best (as determined by you) from this 2014. The blogosphere will be chock full 2014 writing brilliance! Encouragement, enlightenment, knowledge, bared souls, stimulation, hilarity, insecurities, success stories!
Feather Stone’s Contribution:
Living Behind a Mask
The following is an article I posted for the WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) blog hop. The theme of this hop was Taking Chances. Enjoy, especially if you happen to be a self-proclaimed, happy to be introvert. Are you?
’There was once a chance I didn’t take.’ In truth, there were many, so many it pains me to realize how much of my life went unlived. I had been paralyzed by fear.
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 – or so I thought. Only the pretty and the strong have a place within the inner circle. I knew the pain of being shunned for being different.
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 wasted so many years, chances missed, because I falsely believed I couldn’t or shouldn’t. I shrank with the cruel opinions of others. What was different about me? I was painfully shy.
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