Last week, I took a leap out of my comfort zone and posted a completely untouched, no make-up selfie online. To some of you that may not seem like a big deal. But to me, it was a huge step! I was scared shitless! After posting it, I was going to give myself five minutes, then take it down. I was consumed by panic! I know. I know. It sounds vain, but really it was more about being shy and hiding behind who I’ve created myself to be, rather than revealing my true self, whatever that is. And THAT’S what is scary. Despite myself, I kept the picture up, and to my surprise, I received such a warm and welcoming response to my naked face. It felt liberating. It felt bad ass.
Likewise, online, we hide behind our avatars, creating false facades and online personas. We’re all hiding. We can get away with more, by abrasively attacking people we disagree with, trolling, and un-friending those we’ve known for years, while taking no accountability, safely masked by our devices.
We select and choose how we reveal ourselves by choosing our words, only posting flattering pictures of ourselves at our best angles, only sharing the idealized side of ourselves. We are creating ourselves.
Or are we? Does a mask that I’ve created really and truly represent who I really am? Could everything that I’m not revealing about myself give even more insight into a greater whole? Our personalities are twofold: what nature created and what is nurtured.
I spoke to a scientist last week that I met in San Francisco at an event who explained to me how the eye is truly the gateway to the soul. Literally. Everybody’s eyes are completely unique, like a fingerprint, but evolving. Your eyes’ patterns evolve with your unique life experiences. This means you may have been born with hazel blue eyes, as nature determined, but the choices you make and the events you experience change the appearance and patterns in your eyes. They are like fingerprints of who you were born to be, and who you have become. So in many ways, we are both what fate has determined us to be, and what chance and choice have contributed. Nature is nurtured. And what is nurtured is natural.
So while the facade I create may be a part of my true self, I have suffocated some integral parts of who I am “naturally.” And come to the realization that the facade I create is indeed bullshit. It’s merely a reflection of what the world expects me to be, versus who I really am.
Enough is enough. I’m not so sure that this sense of privacy has served me because what I’m actually doing is pushing aside myself to serve somebody else’s fantasy of what they want me to be. No more hiding. The facade is a partial truth. And a partial truth is in fact a lie.
Every night around 2:00 am, I sit and write in a candle lit room. What I write is a very private collection of my feelings and experiences in the form of poetry, short stories, prose, verse, fiction and non fiction. It’s in these moments when there is a direct correlation between who I’ve been, who I am, and who I want to be. This is my truest self. No longer do I want to hide. That little experiment with the no make-up selfie proved to be a very enlightening experience. I’m ready to be me. Naked and true, walking the walk.