Deja Vu: Living Behind a Mask

deja_vu_2014

 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?

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August WEP taking chances1

’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.

DSCF2269

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.

Shotover River x-1

Athabasca ^1982 3 days, nearly drowned-1

snowmobile mama 1-1

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.

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?
Garden at blue house 1994 x-1

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6 thoughts on “Deja Vu: Living Behind a Mask

  1. My mask is still firmly in place. The only time it comes off…is with my immediate family…and when I’m with other writers. 🙂

    Thank you for re-sharing this today. The quality of the posts today is phenomenal…and this is no exception!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hiding from life because of shyness and fear-of-rejection from others is merely inflicting the rejection on ourselves. I’ve struggled with shyness my whole life, but have worked hard to press through in spite of it — and I have NEVER regretted stepping out of my comfort zone. I only regret the times I didn’t take the chance to do so.

    My life is always better when I take off the mask.

    Happy Deja Vu!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing post Feather Stone.
    I think everyone wears a mask at some point in their lives. It’s only since I started writing that I realised I have been wearing my mask all my life and it still only comes off when I write….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Incredible and brave post! I so relate. Not because I’m shy, but because my mask has always been my fear of not being enough. Not good enough, not thin enough, not rich enough, not cool enough. I’ve spent my life feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere…Yet no one would ever believe that if I shared that with them. I’m outgoing and vivacious when I’m around people, BUT I never stick around for long. I stick around just long enough until I start to feel that I don’t fit in. And then I slink back to my safe space, my world at home, that place that I feel I fit in. And I know this is all bullshit. I know this is all junk in my head. Maybe it’s an excuse…but it’s an excuse that has cost me many an opportunity. Thank you so much for sharing this post for your Deja Vu piece. I needed this!
    Happy Holidays.
    michele at Angels Bark

    Like

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