October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween Everyone!!
Well I was just chatting to my wonderful friends Suziblu and Joyful Artist and it got me thinking about some things.We were chatting about our school days amongst other stuff,so I started thinking back to those days.I was very quiet and shy in grade school. And having a condition (xlh) which caused my legs to bow, made for some serious hard times. I was picked on a lot! I didn't have many friends then, and would often 'fake sick' to stay home.I was quiet, shy, and almost too nice. Then my brother died tragically when I was just about to turn 13 and start Jr. high (or middle school, as they call it now.) and something inside me changed. Looking back I think it was a combination of things. Anger at losing my brother, anger towards all the kids who'd bullied me for years, normal teenage hormones, rebellion, the need to fit in, etc. So I entered Jr. high determined to fight back! And I did. I wasn't truly a bad kid, but I did start getting into a lot of fights. Mostly with the same kids who were notorious bullies. I started to wear this mask, this persona that wasn't really me. It worked well for me, I was no longer picked on. I became more popular, probably because some of the kids were now scared of me and wanting to remain on my good side,others maybe respected me for standing up for myself..Who knows? But as the time went on it became more difficult and confusing for me to have these almost dual persona's. At home or among my closest friends I was just Kelley, with a pink room, who wrote poetry, drew flowers, loved animal etc. But at school I was totally different I was Kelley who wore a black leather jacket, smoked butts, swore and got into fights. No one picked on me anymore. The so-called cool kids were now my friends. But most of them weren't my real friends. They just wanted to hide behind me, or fit in themselves, be fake too. My real friends were a small select group, who saw the real me, and accepted both sides of my personality.
As I grew up and left school I thought I didn't need the mask anymore. That I didn't wear it anymore. But I was wrong. I still sometimes hide behind my mask. I pretend to be braver or more confident than I really feel. I hide my fears, my insecurities, my anxieties. Sometimes I even hide my talents. Afraid to rock the boat. Afraid that others may criticize or think I am being conceited. If I allow myself to shine to bright, others may feel threatened. So I hide. I hide my fears, my insecurities. I hide my talents, or downplay them so as not to ruffle anyone else's feathers. And I wondered tonight sitting here, remembering my school days, realizing I still have a mask..Does anyone else feel the same? Do you have a mask you hide behind? And if you do, what does your mask look like? What does it hide? And how wonderful it would be if we could all throw our masks away....and just be ourselves scared but shining...

6 comments:

artistikitty said...

Kelley, I loved this post. <3 I especially loved your final thought..."just be ourselves, scared but shining." I would like to think that I don't wear a mask at this point in my life as well. I know better tho! With that said, I am going to give this some thought and return with a follow-up comment.
And, Kelley, you shine with all your might. We want to see your talents. We're here to share in your fears and anxieties too. YOU ARE A SHINING STAR and I'm happy to call you a friend.

xo artistikitty

Walk in the Woods said...

:)

I have several masks. I rarely wear them anymore ... yet, on occasion, they are perfectly fitting (and sometimes life-preserving!).

renelli said...

God if I was just myself my skin wouldn't recognize the feel. If I didn't tame my natural personality I wouldn't have any friends... I'd put my foot in my mouth all the time and tell the full and complete truth which would hurt peoples feelings. Hidding a little is a good thing in my opinion. If I let my true feelings show people would not want to hang out around me for fear my weirdness would rubb off on them?

Verlene Brooks.com said...

Kelley I too loved this post. I have worn masks all my life up until the past couple of years. As a child I had to wear a mask, my mom hated the quiet me and wanted me to be the "entertainer" - my alter self. Thank God I don't wear masks anymore... what you see is what you get. *LOL* Love ya . - verlene

nanakin1 said...

Thank you for being so open and sharing your life. One day I hope to shine too, in spite of my fears.
Hugs,
Nancy

sugarplumfairy said...

kelley, I appreciate you sharing this post. I genuinely am sorry for the hardships that you have faced...I hope you know that you are more than these things that have happened to you...I know this because I can call you my friend and I think you are an amazing woman!
hugs and love
sugarplumfairy