Once upon a time, there was a little girl who couldn’t speak her thoughts. She grew up believing that all nice little girls should always listen to their parents because they are wise and powerful. She was taught that nice little girls always try to be good to every one.
She likes it when people are pleased with her for being cheerful and helpful. They heap praises on her, calling her every name that is bright and beautiful. She saw how these praises make her parents’ eyes glow with love and pride. Oh how wonderful it felt to be loved by them! She knew then that she could never ever make anyone angry with her. She must not hurt anyone, or make other people think she is a disagreeable child. She. Must. Be. Perfect.
Everybody looks at her and sees someone beautiful inside. She never told them that inside is exactly the place where it hurts. The feeling is worse than being stuck inside a box without much air to breathe. It is much worse than wearing a mask that does not fit; a mask that presses on the wrong curves of her real face --- it scratches and scrapes her skin. She knew that underneath the mask, the wounds are bleeding and raw. Yet she cannot take it off. She is certain that if she did, everyone would see her real face and realize she is ugly.
But once upon a time, this little girl grew up. She learned that life would never be fair, not even if she was the nicest girl in the world. She found the beauty of stories. She found the power of words. Upon that time, the not-so-little girl found her voice.
No, she was not strong enough to speak her true convictions in public. Not yet. But she found freedom in writing down her thoughts and feelings. It still hurt to expose herself to the scrutiny of everyone through her written words. She does not always like to announce to everyone the details of her life. But this girl wanted to be a writer. She wanted the objectivity that is necessary for a narrator of life. She wanted to get the little words out of the way so that the big ones can come. She saw self-disclosure as a way of training herself for the most important revelation of all:
That she is beautiful after all.
Without the mask.
I am truly sorry to those I have hurt in the course of my daily blogging exercise. I do not mean to be mean. I just do not want to mince my words. I admit that at times I get carried away and I am still learning my control over the power of words. But when I am writing, I am out of the box. And no, I will not let anyone stuff me back in ever again.
I promise to gain more control, and perhaps, restraint. At the end of the day, I am still nice after all. Just without the plasticity.