Me And The Man Behind Mask
Among the themes of the Weekly Photo Challenge, this week proves to be the most challenging. I dread the thought of showing my face with all its vulnerabilities. I was planning to skip it until I remembered that my family went to the Mall last week to buy masks for the New Year Masquerade Ball.
I took a few shots and my son was my final test trial if I’m recognizable or not. So, last night after dinner, I showed him this photo. He asked me, “Who is that dad?” I kind of lied and said, “It’s the new superhero. The one on the left is the good guy and the one on the right is the bad guy.” Now he got intrigued. He smiled and said, “So, who is it really dad?” Smiling mischievously, I told him “Go ask your mom.” He hurriedly went to the kitchen and showed my wife the iPhone photo and asked her, “Mom, who’s this weird guy in the picture?” My wife told him excitedly, “That’s your dad!” We all laughed so hard I thought he’s going to drop the iPhone. My test passed with flying colors.
The Side I keep To Myself
I’m usually a happy, humorous even goofy person. I knew this person since my high school days. I would get in trouble for laughing and joking so much. I didn’t care. I made others feel good about themselves. I was for most of the time care free yet responsible, calm, adventurous, friendly, talkative and persistent to achieve my very best.
The sociable, “happy-go-lucky” exterior covers up for the boy who grew up shy with a lot of insecurities. When I tell my closest friends that I’m actually shy they would laugh and say, “Are you kidding me? Seriously, you…shy?” This usually gets followed by more laughter till we’re blue on our face which by this time I’m part of. I guess the shyness gets covered up as well by my determination to overcome my weakness by challenging myself to pursue my potentials.
How did I get to be so shy? I was a sickly kid, too sick I missed 2 years of schooling. There was a time the hospital felt like home. So there goes my social skills and confidence. It was during this childhood isolation that I filled the void with writing and art. Years later I get to realize that I was book smart but not street smart. Same reason I suppose. But heaven balances everything. I’m married to a street smart woman whose love and confidence in me is unwavering. She believes I can move mountains. Maybe I can in my own little way because of her and my son.
A Part Of Ourselves In Our Children
There was a time I was so scared of getting old. I was afraid that I’m slowly losing the youth I used to know and enjoy. But now I see so much of myself in my son that I feel gratitude that God gave him to me and my wife. I see the optimism, the bright and happy kid, the dreamer, the achiever, the boy who embraced life with so much zest and adventure, the boy who loved with a pure heart and believed that all people are good through my son. He is my youth. He is the better version of me. I was not really great in sports but my son can run like the wind. His passion for Soccer when he plays inspires me and makes me so proud as a father. Do I still worry of getting old? Perhaps a little but it’s more about health and loss of autonomy. Okay, one thing he didn’t he get from me is that he is not a worrier like me. Thank heavens he is not!
So now you know why I’m not into sharing my full face. That mystery part of myself I wish to keep. Acknowledging the dark and weak part of ourselves can be scary but you are not alone. In everyone, there’s a man and a woman behind the mask waiting to come out, speak and express himself or herself. To those whom people shared themselves, listen to them with an open, none judgmental and kind heart. One day, it could be any of us.
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