Thursday, April 27, 2006

Masks

Appetizer
Alright, this was brought on by DirtyDancer and spinnee actually. I started writing a reply, and then it grew longer and longer, till it is now a full fledged post.

Main Course
Are masks really necessary when we hang out with people? Is it required that we put forward a socially acceptable face, so that people can stand being in close to us?

I used to think so. I used to think that my friends only liked the good side of me. The clown of the party, the stand-up comedian, the irrepressible fool who is always happy happy joy joy.

Oh there were rare occasions of grief and pain and loss. But heck I didn't show it. Nobody knew. Or I'd like to believe nobody knew. All the time when I was sad I either hid from the world (said I was sleepy, and found the nearest quiet, dark corner to huddle) or when anybody asked me if I was alright, I'd be JUST FINE.

It was exhausting. And I was exhausted. And the people around me, well, I never really found out whether they liked the real me or not. Kind of a vicious cycle isn't it?

Some time along the way, I got tired of putting up an act. Oh, when hanging out with other people, it's only courtesy to take into account of the audience and adjust a little according to what their comfort levels about certain subjects are. Or the way of speech. Consider it, courtesy. But there is a natural state that I'll revert to, and I let it hang out. To hell to the people that don't like it.

Strangely, people seem to be more accepting to my natural state than say, if I kept up the mask. I haven't tried streaking down the streets without my clothes on yet. Maybe if I get sloshed enough, I just might.

And then there would inevitably be people that don't like me. In fact, there's this guy that hated my guts since secondary school. The amazing thing is, that we will end up in the same place over and over again, through the years. Same JC, same company in BMT, same camp after BMT, same faculty in uni, same major.

And if you think about it, there were only 50 people in my major, of which only 10 are guys, and he has to end up in the EXACT SAME COURSE. What are the odds? It's actually kinda funny too, seeing how he'd try to get out of my way, and when the hate is not mutual (I'm actually perfectly alright with him), it becomes absolutely hilarious.

And because there are people that don't like me, and so there will always be rumours. If I had a dollar every time someone came and told me a rumour about myself, I'd have hmm... enough for a couple of bottles of Mcallum's 18 year scotch. Don't matter to me really. Why? Simple. Cos the people that know me, know what I'm like. The people that don't, and if they choose to believe rumours, their opinions don't matter. In the enternal words from Gone with the Wind, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

And then I think to myself, actually there's an advantage when someone stereotypes you. That just means that the person is blind to certain things about me. Just gives me more room to wow you later, right?

But back to masks again. I can't live behind a mask. Meaning, if I'm gonna live, I'm gonna have to wear my heart on my sleeve. And it's gonna get cut sometime. And I'm gonna get cut, I'm gonna get hurt. So be it. I can't stop myself from getting hurting, then I'll just have to get stronger to take the shite.

Isn't life the same? When you have released the fear of failing, all that you have to do is to focus on succeeding. And chances are, you will. And it's gonna be a whole lot easier to do so as well.

Dessert
Have I accepted myself for who I am? Not completely. Does that mean that I'm not gonna grow? Nope. So it's kinda like a race. I'm growing and changing on the one hand, and on the other, I'm trying to find out about myself. Kinda fun, don't you think?

What can I say, I'm still human, and I'm still learning. With any luck, I'll finally finish learning an instant before I die. Or else I'm gonna be damn bored, and you know how dangerous I get when I'm bored.

After-Dinner Tea
Read "Maskarade" by Terry Prachett. It's funny, and it deals with exactly the same topic. I think I have read it 3-4 times.

4 comments:

The Horny Bitch said...

People are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes it hurts. But most of the time, they're just jealous!

sÞ¡ηηєє said...

Just live the life you want.

Even there's severe consequences i.e. outcast by pple, made used by pple, at least you lived the way you wanted, isn't it :)

when did i mention about mask? *blur*

Vandalin said...

HB - yeah well true, i learnt never to argue when you can't win. HAH!

spinnee, got lah, in the post on a need for space.

Anonymous said...

i hv learnt the hard way tt for some pp, being themselves means being the outcast, the brilliant loser... all for the lack of people skills