Mask Off

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.

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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.

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Dating?

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So I’ve noticed that the closer I get to thirty the more everyone seems to be interested in my love life. I’m not just talking about my parents and family, I mean my girl friends, guy friends, strangers, people I run into at church, stangers… EVERYONE. I’m not sure if anyone else is experiencing this but its weird. I promise in the past 5 years or so conversations went from “Girl, you have all the time what are you rushing for” to “Girl you better hurry up. What’s taking so long?” “Have you heard of Tinder, Bumble, *insert any name of dating app*?” I mean its crazy. From birth to 25 yes TWENTY FIVE I was practically shamed for being interested in men or even insinuating that I may get married and have a husband one day because I needed to “focus on my goals”. I was always taught that college isn’t an option and you have no time for boys, just one degree isn’t an option, you need to stop worrying about those men and get a good salary paying job, you can afford yourself. Those men aren’t going anywhere, then it was try to start a business then it was ok you have a salary paying job now what side hustle will you be doing. Then BAM “girl why you not married”. And to be quite honest, I don’t know. In my mind I’m thinking “I’ve been out here living the life I was raised to live but not once was I taught about romantic relationships.” I grew up in a two parent home so its not like I never saw one or wanted one but I just never saw it as a priority.

I’m going to be embarrassingly transparent when saying this but at the tender age of 29, I do not know how to date. A few posts back I wrote about missing a few classes on life and this is definitely one that I missed and I know that I’m not the only one. I started to think about of the the girls “dating” in middle/high school and noticed that the experiences they were having back then I didn’t experience until my 20s.

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I was talking to some friends (1 man 1 woman) at a birthday party and my guy friend asked my girl friend if she was dating anyone and what was going on with that. He was shocked when she said no. He replied by saying “ you have everything” and started to list her accomplishments and at that time she and I both answered with “But sometimes that’s too much”(keep in mind she has accomplished way more than I could imagine) and we shared experiences when our accomplishments hindered us from dating and we also joked about how the next time we are in that position that we’re just going to lie and keep that to ourselves because guys don’t want that.

Ok now before I go on, I already know somebody is sitting over there with pouty mouth and I am not trying to cause turmoil. I am not saying all men are like this and I am also not saying that women who are in relationships/marriages are not goal driven. I am saying that these are the men we have come across and these are our experiences.

I have had conversations with friends about this and how we feel about the fact that a lot of men would rather have a girlfriend/wife that they build with or help build up then one that they can combine forces with. To be honest sometimes I wish I could back and wait on somethings…but since I can’t, I’ll just continue to ride this ride.

If you are anyone else has experienced anything like this please leave a comment or send your experience to Jiibberjaaber@gmail.com. You can use your name or choose to be anonymous.