The Masks we Wear
Recently, I was shooting a large number of headshots in a medium sized company
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, one remark stood out to me and made me pause for thought. This young woman asked for another shot where she wasn’t smiling, because she felt she looked unprofessional.
Does that resonate with you? Do you think that smiling at work is unprofessional?
It made me think about the masks we wear throughout or lives. Some masks simply oil the workings of society, don’t they - smiling at the bus driver even though you feel down, waving at a neighbour when you’re in a hurry. We can wear masks at work, in relationships, at the school gate… do you think that sometimes we forget that we are wearing those masks and start to think that is who we are? Do we forget sometimes who we really are as we get to our middle years?
Depression is often an expression of not being true to who we are. Forcing ourselves to behave in ways alien to us for the sake of our monthly salaries, staying in unhappy relationships, denying ourselves time to pursue the things we love. Often, we have no idea what we love anyway because we are too caught up with navigating our day to day.
I think that our middle years are the perfect time to start casting aside the masks we wear. At least to start recognising those that constrict us, that stop us from expressing who we truly are - even to ourselves. For some of us, that happens naturally. For others, awareness is the first step to liberation.
What do you think? Are you aware of masks you wear? Do you wear them, or do they wear you? Do you think you have outgrown them? Or are they a necessary part of life?
There are lots of ways we can help you to enjoy the journey through the sometimes messy "middle":