Sunday, April 4, 2010

Presto Chango, Now You See Me, Now You Don't or DIY: Unmasking the Superhero Within

I occurred to me recently that it's not easy being green... or just being me.  Especially when I don't always know what being me means. I play so many roles- and I do mean play, because none of them really feel like they're me. They're easy masks to slip on- even when I don't want to...maybe especially when I don't want to. It's gotten to the point that I can't tell what my honest response to a situation is.  My mommy role is easy to play- I learned from the best after all! (Hi, Mom!)  It's easy to give advice, clean up after people, and when my knees are feeling stiff, it's easy to be cross with eager beavers and whippersnappers. (Don't know what those are? Then maybe I really am just that old. "Sigh")
It's easy to be a flirt, especially when I just don't care how someone will respond. (There's a lesson to be learned in that somewhere, I know.)   It's easy to be the nice friend who doesn't mind being the butt of a joke. (Wouldn't want to let the lion out of the closet and scare anyone, would we? Would we?) It's easy to be  the professional and hide behind a desk, a laptop or a cup of coffee.

It's easy to be separate- to observe through the eyes of the mask.  That's why superheroes wear them after all. It's easier to play a well defined role than to have to make decisions and react on our own or be responsible for the decisions we refuse to make.  But I'm tired of masks slipping across my face without my permission. (Sounds creepy, doesn't it?) Perhaps, the only role I'm truly fit to play is my real one- the one that is scared, and unsure, but deep inside, ambitious and dreaming. I need to know that my thoughts are my own, and aren't filtered through the eyes of whatever mask I'm wearing at that moment. I need to know that my principles, my philosophies and most deeply held beliefs aren't interchangeable-fluid maybe, but not will o' the wisps flying from here to there. I need to know that I am not a stereotype, not a silhouette, not 2-D- but a fully fleshed out, often troubled, often wicked, but sometimes strong heroine all on my own (sorta like Mae West, but, you know, not.) 
[Don't know who Mae West is? Sigh. Don't worry about it.]

I don't have to play a role-but I have often chosen to do so, simply to make life easier and less stressful, for others as well as myself. But life really isn't about easier, is it? So let's go for the gusto, and accept the challenge. Let's be who we really are- in each moment, and thought. 
I am  not a leopard- I can change my spots, spread my wings, and spread my message.  I am not a profile, a stat or a number. I can change my programming, change my voice,change my life and be my own hero with a mask or without. And even if my responses to what life throws at me next are just what those closest to me "knew" they  were going to be, at least I'll know that  this time they were authentic.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.  ~Kurt Vonnegut

This is me in my dreams-maybe soon in reality too. Like it? 
Make your own superhero at and join the League!

Sistine by ~psalm16 on deviantART

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