As much as I’d love to say that I don’t wear a mask… truth is I think in some respects we all do… Some more than others…

Current events have forced me to look at things that I’ve buried deep down because it was easier… but that’s not fair. To anyone.

13 years ago, I never stopped wearing my mask. To the world around me I had the perfect life. I was married, had a beautiful baby boy and another on the way. We had a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. I smiled and pretended everything was perfect all the while I was slowly dying a little more each day.

My “partner” (and I use that term loosely) is far more adept at wearing his mask… still to this day…although that is another post for another day.

I talk about living a life without masks… unfiltered and raw… but the truth is I’m not strong enough to be that person all the time.

There are times I DON’T wear my mask… a conscious choice to never hide my happy, excitement, joy. I let that flow out to anyone around. The world needs more of that I think… but then there are the times I can’t… or won’t… take my mask off.

I wear a mask that hides my fears… because I sometimes feel like I have to be the strong one.

I wear my mask that hides my disappointment… so as not to put added pressure on another.

I wear my mask that hides my truest of feelings… to protect those who aren’t able to truly deal with the complexity that makes me me.

I wear my mask that hides my pain… so that those who cause it remain oblivious.

I wear my mask because it’s easier.

And yet… when we are wearing a mask all the time, how do we ever let people in? How do we connect with another on a real and meaningful level?

Not everyone can handle me without my mask. I’m passionate – in good and bad ways. I’m easily excitable – again, a double edged sword. I’m OVERLY emotional… this really shouldn’t be shocking news to anyone.

Y’all may have gathered that I’ve been watching Dexter… and while I’m not righting the wrongs of the world by killing off the bad guys, I can relate to his character. Having to wear a mask to hide who we really are because we fear the world won’t accept us if we don’t. Wanting to be able to connect with others but terrified that if we let them in completely, they will reject us or see the monster within… that our own version of “the dark passenger” will scare them away… Mostly because life has proven this to be true.

And then? Every once in a while you meet someone who you feel completely comfortable sharing yourself with completely. You take off the mask and they don’t run away screaming. They sit with you and, in their own way, love you for who you are. And that is utterly beautiful. Because wearing the mask is exhausting.

I’m thankful for my friends who have allowed me this freedom. The freedom to, even if only for short moments, take off my mask and be completely me. Unreasonable, emotional, judgmental, crazy… the friends I run to when the world is just too much. The friends who can sit and laugh with me… who can sit and just be… who can see past the smile when I say that everything is ok and know that it’s not. I’m thankful for you who have held my hand and my heart when I was lost and helped me to remember that I’m not alone…

I know what a blessing friends like you are and I’m not going to ever take that for granted.


Axis of Ineptitude


  1. I take your mask, paint it pink, and cover it in glitter. And then I set it on fire while you grab the marshmallows.

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