Kurt Cobain said that “the worst crime is faking it”. When Nirvana was active I was not a big fan, but I have grown to enjoy their music, appreciate their legacy, and influence on countless other bands. It is hard to believe that twenty years have gone by since he took his own life.
This post could be about Nirvana and music, or about women faking it in bed, but it is NOT about either of them.
This post is about masks. Not Halloween masks, but the masks we wear daily.
We all wear them. Don’t lie and say this does not apply to you. This applies to nobody specific but everybody in general. I am as guilty as everyone, and use one of those multi-layered rock solid locking masks sold at the high-end mask stores (not the cheap one sold on late-night television).
Our masks are on every day, from the moment we engage with people, until we settle down at night with a book or in front of the television. We could be having a horrible morning, after a fight with our spouse or we are worried about our kid’s schoolwork, but when a co-worker asks “How’s it going?” we always respond “Good!” To do otherwise would be to go against social norms and admit that something is bothering us and that life is not peachy keen perfect.
Masks are our protection. They are comfortable and behind them is safety. They allow us to look and feel better than we actually do. Masks are the force field that keeps people at arm’s length and away from our troubles. Our masks allow people to only see the public persona that we have constructed for ourselves. We can live and act like everything is fine, and nobody can see the bad and ugly parts of our lives.
But this is a lie. A safe lie, but a lie nonetheless. Our masks allow us to deny to ourselves and others how we really feel. It is much easier (and safer) to make believe everything is great, than to admit that we have a problem, or are troubled by something.
It is easy to be a faker and make believe that everything is OK. It is a lot harder to be honest with how we feel, and that starts with how we feel about ourselves. Living life the safe way is easy, and our masks help keep us safe. Taking a chance and taking our masks off a little bit takes courage, but allows us to be who we want to be.
I am trying to peel some of my layers off. It’s scary, but I will let you know how it goes.