Wearing a Mask…

Mask“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. — Nathaniel Hawthorne 

I got this quote from a young blogger friend. It struck me as poignant as it did him. Being that I am in a different stage of my life I approach the quote in a different way than he did.

In order for us to really say what we think we often do it in an anonymous manner. We don’t want to take the risk of possible reprisal for our words.  Many people, through their on-line comments show their Internet faces.  I’m sure many comment via a fictitious identity.  With the internet many think they are free to make up their own reality. If they want to make a point about welfare fraud they make up a story about a neighbor who is scamming the system. If they want to sound like an authority they give themselves experiences and educations that are far from reality.

With this in mind I often read comments on the Internet, and even some on my blogs, with skepticism. I just don’t assume everything said is reality.  Many are likely embellished to make a point that just isn’t there. This is especially true of the trollers who search out sites such as mine for the vitriol words. Those of us who blog need to develop a rather thick skin and not be put off by mean rhetoric but instead understand that it comes from sick minds and is part of the territory.

I have on occasion contemplated turning off comments on my blogs so I don’t have to face those who despise what I hold dear. But in the end I am willing to face these sick rants in order to hear the heartfelt words from others. I learn from those comments. It shapes what I blog and even sometimes changes my mind about what I believe.  Many of you have become virtual friends over time.

My mother, God rest her soul, was an extreme narcissist throughout her life. About the only thing we kids got as birthday presents were pictures of her! She truly thought that was the best thing she could give us.  Throughout her life her homes were strewn with pictures of her on almost every wall.  Everything she did was about her.  Even her limited attempts at caring was more to reinforce her self-professed profile than anything else.

Toward the end of her life she had put on so many masks that she finally lost track of who she might have really been.  She was a doctor although she never graduated high school. She was a leader although no one ever followed her. She truly believed that she was many things but few were reality. In her final years she totally lost track of what was true and what wasn’t.  Having this lifelong experience, although only in temporal spurts, drove me to the exact opposite pole.

Am I putting on a face here  that is not true to me? I can tell you right now that what you see is what you get.  Everything about me that is in the list to the right of this post is who I am.  And you can take that to the bank. 🙂