“Dig a Hole”
Plant a seed, top it off, watch and see, pray for rain, wait a week. It never comes.
Humans are curious creatures. We acknowledge life is infinitely complex, but in spite of (or perhaps because of) this knowledge, we try to control everything around us, from the frivolous to the significant. There is an innate feeling within us that recognizes the vanity of our actions, and yet, we stand midstream, trying to stop the river with our hands. Because we’re afraid of the uncertainty and the unknown, we do our best to control ourselves and put guards up against what might destroy our comfort.
But just behind the curtain, just behind the curtain, something is happening.
For the past year, I have been outside what I consider my comfortable place. Last year, another continent became my home, and I was faced with the necessity of meeting and interacting with new people constantly. Ever since I was little, I have struggled with the repeated pleasantries, the worry they’ll find me annoying, the crippling fear of rejection. But I’ve learned to hide it well, and I would guess most people don’t realize that, inside, I’m panicking about whether my joke was funny or if I’m interesting enough. To cope and make it through the encounters, I hide behind my mask for each new meeting, hoping it will get people to like me.
I don’t want to be lonely, and I don’t believe I’m the only one. I’m sure many other people I meet all stand behind their own masks to hide their secrets, insecurities, or invisible pain. Everyone has pieces of themselves they want to keep behind the curtain.
I tell myself, “Gotta make you happy, whatever cost, whatever fee, tomorrow comes.”
Sometimes our masks begin to define us. But a mask is a lie. Instead of being ourselves, we become stuck, trapped between the person we really are and who we think another wants us to be. In the fear that they might leave us, the desire to control takes over, and we try to change ourselves. The fiction of it all sweeps us up, and we forget how to truly be happy. We forget we deserve to be happy as ourselves.
Open up your hands and let go. How impossible it seems. It’s possible to me.
It’s difficult to surrender to the unknown and present yourself to the world. But we have to learn to love and accept ourselves before we can release the insecurities, jealousies, and resentments. Our uniqueness should be cherished, and we all have something special to add to others’ stories. When we understand we deserve to be loved for who we are, we can take off our masks forever.
Perhaps it is only when we let go of our desire for consistent control of life that we can embrace it fully.