May 12

I’m wearing the painted face
that you gave me,
the one with the sanguine smile
and the happy eyes that reassure you
you’re an inanity,
no pressure      no attachments
nothing real that will force
feelings.
It’s a tight fit, uncomfortable over
my chagrin, and it lies
heavy upon my somber countenance.
I wear it
as a painful reminder of my credulity
my punishment for playing
the fool.

There have been way too many times in my life that I have not been my true self, for fear of not being accepted or loved or understood. (Hence the poem above, which I had titled Effects of Folly.) I think it has to do with moving a lot, as I mentioned in a previous post. Moving required meeting new people, which required trying to make new friends and fit in. But I’m really not that good at pretending; it doesn’t last. The true self needs to emerge if we want to live authentic lives. I’m sure I’m not alone in that realization. Thankfully, I’ve become quicker at recognizing the difference between wanting to get along, which we all have to do at times, and wanting to be a person I think someone else wants me to be. Not the person I need to be. And in being more true to myself, I’ve found people who really care about me. And genuinely like me. Maybe it sounds rather childish and simple, but honestly, isn’t that what we all want, no matter how old we get? To be accepted and loved for who we are. I’m thankful today that I feel that I am. And thankful for the people in my life who know and genuinely like the crazy me.

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