One of the harshest realizations I’ve had in my late 20s is that most adults are able to express themselves and socially function by wearing a proverbial mask. They can paint this mask with whatever they want. For many, nothing is lost in the automatic translation from emotions and thoughts to words, social norms, and nonverbal cues. It’s like they’re unaware of the process even happening. It’s magic to me. It really is. It’s an evil magic, but magic nonetheless.
For others like myself, donning that mask is not an innate ability we have. I haven’t even found my proper “mask” yet and I intend to keep it that way. The one I had on had done enough damage. I learned how to socialize by analyzing my environment and unfortunately, masking is part of my environment. Almost everyone does it. You get jobs by masking. You gain useful social status by masking. You succeed by masking. I look at other people and their masks seem like an ego-soaked roadmap of who they actually are. I’m done trying to fit that mold. It’s fucking disgusting and makes me mentally and physically ill.
The reality is that I never was supposed to wear a mask. I’ll leave that to Jim Carrey.