My biggest lesson during this journey to become a writer: Fictional characters constantly hide what matters most to them, by saying or acting differently on the surface from what is going on inside. For example, after a husband gets home late from work, his wife says dinner might be cold, instead of saying it makes me sad when you’re late because I tell myself you don’t care about the sweat I pour into cooking a nice meal. Or instead a 10-year-old boy, after his friend says toys are for babies, agrees, suppressing the joy and the belonging he feels when playing with toys.

Why do they (we) do this?

Once Adam and Eve eat the fruit, “the eyes of both [are] opened,” and they become self-conscious. They realize that they are naked, unprotected, and vulnerable. They realize how they can be hurt, how they will die, and how anyone like them is also vulnerable to death and suffering. With awareness of human vulnerability, the human choice of malevolence becomes possible. Mere animals also die, but they lack the self-consciousness to project their own mortality into the future. Mere animals kill, but the malevolence of Cain against Abel is a possibility only for humankind. – JBP

Showing the world what matters most to us, what we care most about, what we identify with, gives the world a key to our soul. We are saying, hey, look here, to hurt me, attack in this very spot. Tap it if you want to make me wince. Twist if you want me to squirm.

So instead, we put on a mask. We miscommunicate about who we are. And the world – as we all co-participate in this together – becomes increasingly more confused.

What can we do? What can we control? The hard one: we can choose the people we surround ourselves with, choose people who we trust to not stomp on our soul. And then, we can continually work to honor who we are. The harder one: we can separate our energy from others and not let other’s opinions shake who we are. And then, we can continually work to honor who we are.

Personally, I love cat memes and gifs, stupid little pieces of humor that add a spark of laughter to my day. Yet, I know those are immature, they aren’t anything important or vital or spiritual, aren’t anything that gets me ahead in life. So slide my mask on, brilliantly acting like I don’t enjoy them. I go on miscommunicating about them, so much so that the mask becomes more comfortable than my own face. So much so that I lose touch with my own face. I stop seeking out cats altogether. And that spark of laughter dies.

In this blog, I hope to honor and even discover who I am, through posting my thoughts, my opinions, and my writings. Perhaps if I can do it here, I can return to the world, passing out keys, to the ones in my life.