It Puts The Lotion On Its Skin
I've been wearing a different coat for a while now. A different skin I should say. I've been wearing it for the past three years and it doesn't fit quite right. It never did. It doesn't feel entirely uncomfortable but it just isn't right. It's a skin that I am not sure how I came to possess. All of a sudden I looked up and realized I felt...different.I take the skin off in the city. It just falls right off my shoulders as I step onto the concrete and head forward. I am sarcastic, quirky, a force to be reckoned with. I'm snarky, clever, a believer in all things that glitter and shine. I'm a mix of confidence and anxiety. I am no one and someone at the same time.Then the coat is put back on. I'm quieter, more reserved. I'm not confident, I'm almost shy. I'm smiling a lot. My quips are less because they surprise those around me. I'm feel...nice, complacent, pleasant. I'm someone who is behind a lot of other someones. I don't get to be no one.One of my favorite exercises I learned in college to do when learning a new role is to take the script and read it three times. The first time, you just read it. The second time, you read it and take note of what your character says about themselves. Their hopes, dreams, attributes, how they see who they are in whatever world they are in. The third time, take note of what everyone else says about them, whether to their face or behind their back. This is especially helpful in Shakespeare because everybody talks about everybody. I find it helps develop a person from all angles.I see myself very differently than others do currently. Maybe that is less time spent with me. Maybe it is the skin I put on to try and fit in and shed who I was. Regardless, I want to be the person I talk about from my past that no one seems to believe existed when I mention her. The person those who have had more time see within me in spite of this shield I've put up.It's not all bad. It felt good at first. It felt open and airy, soft and flowing. But then it grew tight in some spots and began to itch in others. I'd try and adjust it and it would tear and pull. It didn't stretch as much as I thought it would. It sort of stays the same size.Without the skin, I am free in a different way. In a more unstable way. I fall, fail, climb, achieve. It feels better to do those things without the skin. It isn't as harmful, it isn't all I have. When the skin comes off, I see myself again in the mirror. The girl I shaped from heartbreak and checks on bucket lists. The girl I grew from a small dreamer to a big one. The girl the skin is covering.Without the skin, I talk back. I defend. I walk away. With the skin, I tend to hesitate, to stay put, to keep silent. It's very strange. It just sort of happened. A light dimmed slowly and here I am, walking around disguised as someone who does not stand out. That isn't me. It is now somehow. I let it happen slowly, thinking it would fit, thinking it was what I wanted.It isn't.It's almost been a very long game of pretend. It is not a regret; it's a discovery. Pretending is my favorite game. It always has been. It is what I want to do for a living. So I pretended with a skin I accepted. I could decide to keep wearing it and it would feel fine. I still have fun, I am still creative, I am still a lot of me. But I also don't fight, speak up, or take risks. Without it, it feels much better than fine. It feels endless, open, full of possibilities.I know I could be very wrong about this entire feeling. My gut has led me astray many times. But when it feels off in more than just Mercury in retrograde, something inside me clicks and tells me to look up.We all wear some sort of skin at one point or another. I think I want to take it off for a while and see what else can happen. I want to see what I can recover and discover. I can always put it back on.