A mask is a covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or terrify other people. A mask is meant to be used for fun. To be taken off after an event or holiday for you to return to your natural face. The face that everyone knows you as. But what would happen in you enjoyed your mask more than you regular face and started to wear it day in and day out. Besides everyone around you seeing it as strange they would also want to know what you are hiding and why you would prefer to stay behind a hot mask. Your skin would start to suffer underneath. It would be hard to breathe. You would start to lose friends. Your family would worry. You would be asked to seek help.
What if I said all of the same was true about the figurative masks we sometimes wear? Yes, its ok to throw it on real quick when you’re having a bad day but need to go to work so you mask your feelings and deal with them later. Or things are so great with your SO so you guys put on a mask and act like everything is fine while you go out with friends or family then deal with you issues later. Those are natural and OK uses for our figurative masks. But what happens when you wear that mask for too long? Your skin starts to suffer. You will appear strange if you’re happy ALL THE TIME. Your friends and family will want to know what you are hiding. It would be hard to breathe.
You cannot wear a mask forever. That is not a part of it’s purpose. I had to tell this ery same thing to myself because I had been wearing a mask for YEARS and it gets tiring waking up and making sure to remember my mask. Getting home and dealing with myself when I took my mask off at night when I was alone. Having to wear it overnight when I wasn’t able to be alone long enough to take it off and be me. It was getting hard to breath. My skin was suffering and people were trying to figure out what I was hiding.
I got tired yall. I got tired of that mask. No I am not always fine and that is OK. No, I’m not what everyone expects me to be and that is OK. I’m learning to love myself without the mask and its not easy but its worth it. Did I go cold turkey? HELL NO that’s terrifying but I made sure to start with people that I knew who would accept me no matter what and eventually started opening up (or cutting off) those who I was skeptical about. Am I mask free? NOPE. A work in progress is what I am so when I need to, I grab my mask and wear it for its intended purpose and that is ok but I refuse to wear it long enough to forget who I really am ever again.
For some reason I’ve been really in tune with my thoughts and feelings this year and I’ve been trying to figure out why certain things that use to be so exciting have lost their thrill. Since the beginning of this year’s holiday season, I’ve been trying to figure out where my love for Christmas went and how to bring it back and this is what I have come up with.
As a child I was always surrounded by family during the holidays and even into college, when I would come back home I would come back to family and familiarity. As the years have gone by my family has become very spread out due to the death of my grandparents and everyone going their own separate ways as they start their own families and start their own traditions. I’ve also noticed that when I’m out in stores and around the city, not much is decorated, you don’t really hear Christmas music and life goes on as usual.
As an adult, the holiday season turns into a burden. It just adds another checklist to our lives of checklists and stress draped in bright lights and pointy red hats. We stress over who’s getting what? How am I going to buy all this stuff? What are my travel plans?? Not to mention trying to party every other day which means more gifts!!!!!
This year I decided that despite the madness of the season, that I was going to enjoy and soak in every bit of this Christmas season. I decided that I was going to get back to the basic things that I loved about Christmas, and thats enjoying the scenery and having fun with my friends and family.
To set my Christmas spirit into motion, I started playing my holiday songs and went on a shopping spree (in the thrift store) for any christmas sweater or t-shirt I could find. I put up my tree and threw lights all around my house I invited my parents down to visit me. We did a little holiday shoppings, went to the AHHMAZING Christmas program at my church, took holiday pictures and hung out. Then I went and saw Christmas lights and in between stopped by an ugly sweater party and a white elephant party.
I am satisfied with the outcome of following my decision to slow down and enjoy life because I am determined to enjoy Christmas this year… and so far, I’m having a great time!!
So I came across this tweet the other day and it got my wheels turning.
I saw this and started thinking about my friends and how their lives are set up. Of course I have a few friends who had a kid or 2 before they were 25 but most of us are either near 30 and still childless or had kids after obtaining at least one degree.
*DISCLAIMER: Before I get into this, I have nothing against anyone who had kids early or did not graduate from college or whatever it may be.
As I read the article that accompanied the tweet, I saw how it was comparing our (millinnials) generation to what people were doing in 1975. It basically stated that we do not see having a family as a priority and our generation is getting married and starting families older. My first thought was that societies standards are definitely higher than they were back then plus just to live a comfortable life a high school diploma just won’t cut it, unless the military is what you want.
Time passed I kind of forgot about this whole discussion, then I came across this gem:
And BINGO!!!!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself! We’ve sat around and watched our parents live paycheck to paycheck to give us a comfortable life and don’t want to repeat that cycle. In a nutshell, we millennials just want to work smarter, not harder.