I am no longer afraid to surrender my mask. Human beings aren’t perfect, we have hardships, burdens, and baggage that we carry on our backs like concrete. We falter, we make mistakes, but the one thing we most often do is hide. We hide from the truth of our journey, we tell others that we are fine when we are hurting inside, we force ourselves to put on a charade in order to seem like we have it all together. In reality, no one truly does. We are all just trying to figure it out, and the beauty of that is mutuality. The beauty of speaking to a friend and telling them that you are sad, the beauty of confiding in your siblings when you feel like your back is up against a wall, is that you will almost always be met with an “I’ve been there. I’ve felt that.” Suddenly, the mask is off, and the face you see behind the character is one that you recognize far more than the contours you gazed at so often before.
I am no longer afraid to be a voice in a quiet world. We may tremble, our notes may shake, but when we speak up about the things in our lives that live within us, when we yell our stories from rooftops and share our demons with the world, those sound waves echo. They echo into the heart of someone who is struggling, they create a resounding boom within the ribcage of another human being who is suddenly inspired by the courageously motivating strength it takes to share a breakdown. Like dominos that dot the planet, walls crumble. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing someone put themselves out there for the world to see, in order to share a part of them that will always vibrate within the souls of others. There is nothing more beautiful than hearing an inaudible voice gain momentum, nothing more beautiful than hearing freedoms song.
I will say this again – I am no longer afraid to let the world know what I have been through. I am not fearful of being too honest, too open, too tender to the experiences of life that have molded me. I am no longer willing to be a silent warrior in the war against connection; I am going to be a messenger. I am going to use my story like a kick drum, I am going to speak deeply and genuinely about the things that have happened in my past, because they may prevent someone from experiencing the same afflictions, they may protect a mind from feeling alone, and most importantly, they may bond me with those who are seeking refuge in a world that has yet to teach them that openness is the truest form of connection in life.
Do not be afraid of your story. Do not hold it between your teeth like a secret you will not release, do not let its nature rust the inside of your mind. Let it go. Tell it to the wind if you must, but let it go. Gift it to the world and watch as your courage multiplies in the various lives you inspire, until you are walking the streets surrounded by people who are not afraid to show themselves in all of their entirety to a world that so deeply needs their voice.