Drop Your Mask

STANLEY: [imitating Dr. Neuman] That’s correct, Wendy. We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking.

[Stanley laughs, puts on mask, it starts to suck on his face and he pulls it off]

STANLEY: [bewildered] Yeah, right.

Stanley Ipkiss in “The Mask”

You wear one. I wear one. The check-out girl at Tesco wears one. It is our innate human nature to don the appropriate disguise for whatever situation we find ourselves in, and – to a point – there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Sometimes we’re trying to act cooler than we feel on the inside. Sometimes we’re trying to pretend we’re not as excited as we are on the inside. Or as scared. Or as in love. Yada yada yada… masks.

We need masks. Society couldn’t function if everybody just went around wearing their hearts on their sleeves all day every day. It’d be exhausting. And yet…

Do you have any idea just how many people are waiting for you to drop your mask?

Do you know how many people’s days it would make if just for once you led with the real you, the proper you, the deep-down you, instead of the socially-acceptable version of you?

It’d make my day, for a start. If there’s one thing I’m never going to wish there were more of, it’s people living in fear of their own shadow. People who pretend to be what they think “the world” wants them to be. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t want that – I’ve seen enough of it already! I want to see some originality! Some edge! Maybe I’ll love you for it, maybe I’ll hate you for it. Who knows?! Variety is the spice of life!

Of course, this path is not without its consequences. Fortunately, though, they are good consequences.

Probably the “worst” thing that will happen is that some people will tell you you’ve changed, or ask you why you’re being “weird” all of a sudden, or mock you for daring to express your individuality. THIS IS A GOOD SIGN. Fuck ’em. Seriously. They’re not worth changing for. You’ll find new and better people on the other side.

And if they should cry “disloyal”, or try to guilt you by reminding you of all the things they’ve done for you in the past, laugh in their stupid faces. They want you to live a lie because your truth reminds them too much of the lie they’re living. That’s on them, not you.

Oh, and I haven’t mentioned the “best” thing about this which is… just a really, really cool feeling. I was tempted to call it “inner peace”, but that sounds unnecessarily spiritual. You’ll feel “cool.” That about sums it up.

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