To Create or Uncover

In a recent post I made on my Facebook feed, I got some interesting comments.

The post itself was about the masking I had developed over the years to hide various things about myself from my more effeminate nature, depression, ADHD, and more. It has been a hard process to undo all that construction and to connect with what has been within. While the masking protected me from judgement of my natural tendencies, it also created judgement by the distance I kept from others, and for a time, that was how it was.

I preferred the judgement of self-isolation from the judgement I feared if I was open and honest. Afterall, my youthful experiences did leave an impressionable mark affecting my sense of safety being true. That isolation eventually turned into its own undermining and destructive trait.

I finished off the post talking about the process of unmasking. Reconnecting and accepting who and what I was. My inability to trust men in general preference for female presenting people was a main focus of the post, as I reflected on how hard it was to select a good gender spread of people I felt comfortable with for a night out.

Two of the comments made reference to the same quote by George Bernard Shaw. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

This struck as me as incredibly misunderstanding what was in the post.

Having spent years trying to create a persona using masks and performance, I then went through a process of cleaning. I went searching for who I was, as opposed to what I thought or wanted to be. To describe a process of demasking, akin to pealing back layers, and then have it compared to a process of creating was, let’s say it created a malfunction in my brain.

Creating, to me, has the ring of starting with nothing but raw materials and building from scratch. My life has been anything but that. It has been the building of a scaffolding to buffer and hide within, to then dismantle it just so I could breathe again. It has been realising that I had a primed structure in place that just needed some care and attention, maybe a little cultivating and support.

So I have to disagree with Mr Shaw. Life isn’t about creating yourself. Life is about accepting, loving, and developing what you have. You are a seed that, with guidance, can blossom.

Use what you have to be awesome.

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