I remember growing up thinking I was the only one living with a mask on. Most of my days were acted in a way I could fit in the world around me. Standing out was not an option for me.
After all, the shock I got from being bullied as a 4–5 year’s old who couldn’t run at all due to a disease in my legs already made me stand out too much. I actually had to learn to run to be able to fit in. And still, I spent most of my middle school being part of the girls’ team in sports because I couldn’t run fast enough to join “the guys”.
The impact was certainly too strong and as a result, transferred to my entire personality. I didn’t want to stand out anymore. I just wanted to be seen as an average joe. Things I didn’t enjoy much but people around me liked became things I liked too. Whenever I had different opinions, I would keep them to myself, trying to fit in.
As the years passed by though, some aspects of my personality grew too big to be left hidden anymore. I spent years as a geek who loved video games “way too much”, started spending a whole lot of time learning languages which were not “popular” around me, and grew as a person by confronting others opinions more and more.
But there was something which shocked me the most.
The world didn’t crumble
When I would show my true self, not everybody would like it, but nothing awful really happened either.
Why was I hiding my true self if nobody really cared that much?
I cannot remember exactly when I first had this realization, but I do remember clearly thinking “Fuck it. I’m tired of this.” and starting willingly letting my personality flow outwards.
Little by little, this got me to experience great things in my life and evolve as a person, not only in society but also internally.
Hiding our true self feels like an automatic response from our brain but there are already so many times our brain has gotten something wrong! Why would this reaction have to be correct?
It just doesn’t.