Confession Time: I am a really good actor.
I mean, I am phenomenal. When I was in elementary school, I was given the best speaking lines in the church pageants. In high school, I attended all the forensics tournaments and directed segments for competition. I was voted "Most likely to win an Oscar" my senior year. But I'm not talking about acting on stage, where it's safe to be a character and praised for being entertaining and obviously engaged in pretend play. This is about putting on a face and presenting myself to the world on a daily basis. For this, I am colossal.
The best role I've ever cast myself in, is a bubbly blonde whose snark and wit often earns her big laughs. She's a smiler--been described as inspiring and confident. I've been portraying her so long, she often feels real. Most people don't seem to notice that she part of a life-long improvisation. We all know what "normal" looks like and I've done research, like any other actor worth her salt.
It's easy to show people what they want to see; they usually do the majority of the work me by ignoring subtleties and discontinuity. It's not hard to change my words to fit what I should be feeling or how I understand what needs to be done to cope with stress. I've lied to therapists, friends, family, and occasionally myself in this aspect.
The truth beneath this persona, is that I am tired and frightened. I don't know what reaction I'll receive if I am unabashedly candid. That perhaps my mood is so easily corruptible, I'm viewed as unstable, weird, or the dreaded crazy. Because I am unusual--often feeling broken and unfixable--there is no place for me outside of my own mind. I do not want to answer your ritualistic greeting with, "I'm fine." But because, "I feel overwhelmed with minor grievances and daily living is exhausting." is a bit of a harsh bummer, I tend to retreat into the likeable and healthier version of myself. I am a real adult, with responsibilities and obligations. But I seriously have a hard time getting my shit together most days.
Today's subject line quote is ― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
3 years ago