I Shed my Skin from Time to Time

It can be so easy to assume an identity that’s not your own, a mask so likable and so acceptable that when you look into the mirror, even you start to fall for it. You start to believe that it’s your true face. You start to buy into your own bullshit. I had a name for the person I am… before this blog, and further back I had a name for myself when I was a kid. The first break from who I ‘had been’ was special because, well, after it became a dead, dried up mask it was the first I recognized as one. I guess you could say it was made of the image of who I was supposed to be, how I was supposed to act, and what I was expected to believe in. In retrospect, it was easy to resent, easy to rebel against, to betray, to hate, to destroy.

More than a mask though, I’d describe it as a layer of skin that – once outgrown – became a dead husk covering my face. And like any animal that this happens to I eventually had to shed that dead, dried out skin to reveal the person hidden beneath it. To myself, if to no one else. It used to be important that I show it to others too, maybe as a way of proving to myself that it was me through and through at last, and that I believed in it enough to show it, to let others challenge it, and to see how it held up to the question of whether it really was ‘me’. But now, as long as I’m honest with myself the rest is up in the air. I’ve got nothing to prove – and that’s not to say I don’t find myself endeavoring to do just that from time to time, as even I suffer from the occasional insecurities, but it doesn’t bother me to encounter them, and they’re ultimately not what decides who I am or how I live.

Recently, I’ve gained what feels like a more wholesome perspective on this whole process because once again, I’ve gone through a significant bout of shedding the old skin and squirmed my way into a new means of expression (here) in the process. The experience of it has opened my eyes to just how ‘me’ that dead layer was a part of me(and still is, though it’s purpose and function has changed, died, been renewed by what grew underneath it), and what made it so different to that first painful time of change and personal rebirth is that… this time, it was all about what I had set myself up to be and live up to.

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