AKA: My Mask Post – not about physical PPE but about mental PPE
I recently listened to an podcast in which an old friend spoke of how she felt during middle school and high school years, and how she was able to blossom once she felt ‘recognized’ and found her people. I am one of those people she found and recognized her. I do not think she knows she helped me as much as I may have helped her. I think that as much was done for me as was done for her. I too was recognized and found my people. It helped me to shed my mask. This was possibly the first time I found my authentic self and luckily it was a planned accident.
Today some 40 years later, I do not wear a mask, (well today in pandemic 2020 I do), however the figurative mask is gone. I do play different roles through my day and and often have to pivot from role to role in a second. Often stepping into different shoes for each role. I happen to have a huge shoe collection). There is a big difference though in my actions of today vs. 40 years ago.
Today, I get to do this with authenticity. I have figured out who I am and I try to stay consistent to myself. It is not easy but I do it. I need to thank Alisa Cohn for her podcast interview for helping me to remember that we all are a bit lost.
Here is the important part, I know that I am still growing and evolving, I know that we all still have work to do on ourselves and I know that my mask still is in my back pocket. I just do not need to put it on as much.
I like knowing that I need to still grow and I like knowing that I have the comfort that I still can wear my mask. The big benefit is that I can learn from every experience I have to grow a bit more. I am striving to be my authentic self. It is not easy.
So, what is the take away of my rambling?
- Try to figure out when you learned ‘who’ you are and follow your own growth.
- Do not shed who you were, even if you did not like yourself, it is part of what made you.
- Are you authentic every day?
- Are you (am I?) willing to grow and change?
- Be kind to others along the way.
- Recognize that we are always growing and may, at times, need our masks. However, also recognize when you need it and learn from it.
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable it is how we grow.
- And WEAR YOUR FACE MASK! It is 2020 and you need it to take care of others around you.