Un-masked

Just wait, this has nothing to do with that kind of mask. I’m not going to get into that. Okay, read on.

 

For the last few weeks, this place has been filled with inspiration. I have written fluidly and have felt there was real meaning in what I was trying to say. Today I felt I should probably write something.

But what?

I have something important that I’m working on mentally but I’m not quite there yet, so not that.

Anything amusing to talk about? Not really.

I could talk about how I changed my hair colour again (it’s two colours now actually, split right down the middle), but I am so determined not to be shallow. Is it shallow to talk about dying my hair?

Maybe not. What if what should be said is that we really need to start taking off the mask? I wore one for a long time, one of a typical young mother, devoid of personality in what I wore or what I did with my hair or my face. To be clear, my face is still very much bare, but that is a choice I’ve made, rather than a decision based on my desire to look like something I wasn’t.

Listen, I’m not talking about vanity. I’m not talking about self-love in the self-centred way that the world is. I just mean, if the colour red draws you in but someone once told you that you shouldn’t wear it because it was attention grabbing, maybe it’s time to let that go and buy a red sweater. If you’ve always wanted to see what it was like to have pink hair because it just sounds like fun and for goodness sake, it’s just hair, maybe it’s time to go for it, barring any real world/work scenarios where it would be inappropriate to have pink hair.

When I shaved my head, it was a stripping off of one more layer of the mask. It was liberating. And it turns out, my husband actually loves me for me and enjoys watching me change my hair colour every so often (he was the one who shaved my head for me, too). Did everyone around me like that I had done it or approve of it? No, of course not. But that’s not the point.

I think I have been a people pleaser all my life. I did things right, did things well, worried that I wasn’t good enough – constantly – and said yes to things I shouldn’t have out of a sense of obligation. Here’s a heartbreaking thought – it’s likely I didn’t move away or call out for help when being groped by a total stranger in a public hot tub when I was ten because I didn’t want to cause a scene or upset anyone.

What are we saying to ourselves when we continue to wear these masks? What are we saying to God? He made me LOVE colour. I am filled with joy when I can put on a bright green hoodie with a floral print dress or a purple skirt. I buy a white shirt and have to tie dye it (not just because I spill on everything and could never keep a white shirt clean, honestly). So why would I tell myself to buy all black and blue and brown and just blend in with the crowd? I realize some people love the sleek look of all black and good for them! I know people who thrive on a neutral wardrobe. It’s just not me.

These are my thoughts tonight, ones I’ve had before and may have even shared, but maybe they need to be said again. Maybe my tiny bit of bravery will help someone else to pull off the mask they’ve worked so hard to perfect.

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