‘All people have three characters, that which they exhibit, that which they are, and that which they think they are.’ – Alphonse Karr
I’ve never written a blog post before so please bear with me while I find my feet. The digital world is so vast that it’s dizzying with everyone sharing memes, taking photos, and telling their stories on countless social media sites. A new one pops up every few years and we’re all scurrying from one place to the next trying to fit in with the latest trends and newest friends. Our lives are plastered across these but there is very rarely any depth. They’re show-reels of our ideal selves, photoshopped and surreal highlights of who we want the world to see. Everyone is guilty of this, even me, but I realised that life isn’t all rosy-coloured and joyous and that there is real pain there too. We hide behind these profiles, burrowing deeper and deeper into ourselves, until the pressure makes us crack. It’s not pretty. I bottled up my pain and ended up on antidepressants and then in therapy because I couldn’t handle it. It made me have suicidal thoughts and that’s when I knew that I had to make a big change. This blog is part of my therapy, like a personal journey, as I explore my feelings in their rawest form and work towards a more meaningful life.
I’ve always felt lonely, even though I know I’m not, but there’s always been a little hole in my heart that is ready to let people in. I’ve got the love of my husband and my family but I’ve never felt these same feelings returned from my friends. We feel like acquaintances, strangers even, as I’m so ready to spill my soul and show how vulnerable I am, showing people every raw and secret truth, but when I do express these feelings I come up against a set of reinforced brick walls. Suddenly, the mood shifts and the energy drains from the room. They hastily try to change the subject or wheel out whatever distractions they can to stop the feelings leaking through into their night. It hurts when I’m always hit with lip service but when I actually want to talk about my emotions that no one wants to truly listen. I feel like I never really know these people and all we share are the same lines from the same script. There is nothing new, nothing daring, nothing honest between us.
‘Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.’
― Albert Camus
I used to think it was me. Now, I’m not so sure. People wear masks every day as they walk down the street and I’ve often wondered as I catch someone’s eye or a snippet of their conversation what their stories are. Who are the people beneath it all? Sometimes I imagine their lives playing out in front of my eyes like an old sepia-tinted motion picture hastily patched together and made of fake memories. Usually, these scenes will be lovers holding hands or friends enjoying each other’s company, but sometimes things take darker turns and end in tears and I find myself worrying about the fate of strangers. It’s weird the way my mind works but I can’t switch it off or expect it to take me on a candy cane carousel of happiness. Sometimes I see things etched upon faces, worry lines, or smiles curving too high, that make me realise that people hide behind social masks. It saddens me that people have to do this and can’t be their honest selves without being judged by others. I do it too, I’m no different, but I don’t want to be this way. I care a lot, perhaps too much, about other people and try to help them in any way I can. I can’t just be a bystander to other people’s pain – it’s my nature. I just wish they’d let me in so I can help them. That way we can share our pain and our happiness and feel whole. Maybe it’s my fault too because I don’t ask the right questions as I’m afraid they’ll think I’m prying into something that’s none of my business. Then again, maybe I need to dive in there headfirst and just ask them outright and not be afraid of the consequences. Maybe they’ve been wanting someone to ask them for ages and no one has had the bravery to do so.
‘The fault…is not in our stars. But in ourselves’ – William Shakespeare
The reason I’m writing this blog, or journal, is because I want to share how I feel about certain things in the most honest way possible. Life hasn’t been an easy ride for me so far and I’ve a lot of pent up emotions that I need to get out of my system so I thought that this would be the best and most cathartic way to let them out. I’ve had my share of heartbreak and pain, love and loss, and I know you’ve felt these too. Being able to share my life story with complete strangers and finding connections across the globe who have felt the same way or experienced similar events is comforting, just in knowing that somewhere out there, there are people like me.
If you follow me and enjoy my musings then I promise that I’m here for you too. We’re all in this together so let’s make the most of it and be friends.