Mask

Smile, chat, laugh… you are alright, you are happy, satisfied…you are ok.

You have everything you could have ever asked for, a loving family, a home a bright future, and friends, plenty of friends. You are surrounded by people that care about you and wish you the best things in life. You are happy to have them and they know it, because you always smile for them. You tell them you are fine and they shouldn’t worry.

The illusion of the outer skin can portray the ideal feelings and expressions of each individual. I live in a depressive despotic environment that has corrupted any sense of happiness from this ailing nation of zombies. Within that world I have grown to be a successful woman. I have defeated every obstacle that life has thrown my way so far. But perhaps achieving “perfection” has increased my solitude and reduced my chances to truly be myself and live according my own rules. “You’ve achieved greatness there is nothing else you could ask for”.

I have always been the nice girl, the kind soul; the mediator amid a family’s dispute, or between a friend’s argument. “Be patient and indifferent, pretend you are not afflicted, you must be strong for everyone else”. My courage depicts the outcome of what is approaching; my actions are the final decision to uphold a composed façade and the ideal symmetry. “Be nice to them, but not too nice, they will turn their back on you eventually. That is how the system works, that is how our intellect and acceptance works. But its fine you don’t need them, all you need is yourself, a successful career and your hypocritical sympathy”.

As I was growing up, I understood that there is always someone who has to maintain the calm and establish a peaceful balance within the hierarchy of the family and the structure of the pyramid of survival. For some reason I took upon that task and silently became a cocoon inside myself unable to set free in order to not disturb said balance with unnecessary and childish setbacks. Therefore I have become an empty hollow shell, incapable of differentiating contentment from obligations. “This is the least of their worries”. I told myself, “It is not something grand you can’t solve on your own”.

Therefore I keep my qualms hidden within the depths of my psyche and heart, bring out a cheerful grin, and continue breathing, studying and being the spotless lady I have ever been. Forever be the pride of my family, the joy of this “civilization”. I had already forgotten what once made me sad, whenever there is a brawl, instead of confronting, I prefer ignoring. I use this as a method to better myself and boost my confidence, one that is practically nonexistent. To reach that result, all I have done it study till the splinters in my fingers bleed and my brain is on shut down.

You study approximately twelve years when growing up, four years or more for a Bachelors degree, roughly two years for the Master’s and a couple more if you ever decide on doing a PHD. That is without counting the extra years you spend learning everyday bullshit that will probably never be useful. In the interim you find a job to officially and permanently become a member of our rotten society, and gain yet more stress to deteriorate your physical and mental health, not to mention your well being, even more than it already is. You begin searching for a potential husband or wife, detecting with your, prejudiced and discriminatory inspecting skills, who will become that seamless candidate that will own your heart, and half of your life’s income, forever. You’ll have an enviable married life and beautiful children to complete the nuptial charade. All your “friends” are gone, each their own way, but suddenly you remember that they have been gone for a long time, it’s been a while since they had left a dark empty void in your heart. It doesn’t matter though, just concentrate on what really does. Keep searching for new ways to earn money for the government and reach the biased standards implemented by society.

Study, Work, Study, Work, Study, Work, Study, Work, Study, Work, Study, Work, Study…

We live in an autodistructive culture; we consume to destroy ourselves and create to destroy others. Its plain simple, it’s the circle of life, for me to gain, others must loose. It is all business, and we are all entitled to it. It is all survival of the fittest, we either fight or get eaten, and this decides who becomes more miserable than the other. We say we fight for our rights but we give up as soon as a gap towards the “better life” opens an enduring path our way.

Our status quo defines who we are in the eyes of others, some may not belong to a specific social strata but “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and so are appearances and ambitions. As long as I appear better than others and believe I am so, I’m unstoppable. We raise our shoulders, high chin, to step on the lesser. We trample on those on a “lower” scale than us, and at the same time we bend and curl our backs, face down to the “higher ups”. Those on top of the scale sink in self pity, regret and fright to lose what they’ve gained and what they’ve become. Day by day we rehearse a joyful expression and show it off to cover our imperfections and uncertainties, incompetence and frustrations, our defeat and our burden. We aspire for more but, we don’t really know what we aim for.

Time passes and you realize you are already old. You are retired, and divorced, your children have all left. You try to do the things your youth left behind; you attempt to accomplish more than 40 years in 20 years or so. Regrets and sorrows are constantly knocking at your door, forgotten memories and broken dreams gather at your porch. You remember how you spent your days wearing a mask and pleasing others rather than yourself. You recur to the times you preferred to swallow your pride and your concerns, to gratify the rest. At the time it was the only thing I could do. You wrap yourself in self-indulgence for what’s to come and rely on the reminiscences of “what could have been”.

What is this familiar sentiment, this aching sense of déjà vu? Ah… I get it now is the same feeling of isolation I so much abhor but has persisted in my daily routine in order to protect myself and not get hurt or hurt others with my dense insecurities and tactless behaviors. You look out the window and comprehend that all this time you forgot you had a life. You bend in a fetal position and drown in tears, the same tears you cried every night alone inside your dull, hostile bedroom. It’s ok though, I was able to reach my goal and become the wonderful happy child that didn’t bring any inconveniences and everyone was proud of.

By Jess
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