The motivation for this project was sparked one day just before the new year. Sitting in my therapist office telling him how tired and exhausted I felt by pretending to be strong all the time. How tired I was of protecting everyone's feelings. He asked me, well who is protecting yours? It was also the same conversation where he said I'll never feel the kiss of a loved one wearing a mask. I drove home that day with so much passion and motivation to shed my protective shell. It wasn't protecting me and it was just too much weight to bare anymore. I was on a mission to let it all out. What did that look like though? What would shedding this protective shell mean? From here I spent the next few weeks forming ideas about how to do what and so on which eventually led me to making this project. Somewhere along the way though, my motivation for why I wanted to do this got lost in fear and insecurity. How was making an Instagram account where I don't have to follow anyone I know to unmask myself to actually being vulnerable? Even if I did follow a bunch of people, the likeliness that they would've have followed some random account back is unlikely. 90% of the people following me are strangers who know nothing of this masked version. Not to add that they are also finding me through the hashtags because, they too, are on their own path of practicing vulnerability. Even more so, it won't hurt if they don't like me after they learn all this about me. The other 10% are people who I am super close with and already know parts of the unmasked version. That's what was so easy about Instagram. Who did I really unmask myself to!? No one. Ironic that I named this project "Unmasking" and even wrote a post about fake vulnerability. Projection much!?? I think so. It's weird to learn so much ABOUT yourself, and then FROM yourself.
So what does all this realization mean? It means that it's time for me to really put myself out there. I'll be sharing this project with my friends and family via Facebook. My aunts, uncles, cousins, Mom, step dad, brothers, and all of our friends will see this. My old teachers. My old crushes. People I have known practically my entire life. I'm fucking scared. This fear is fear I felt when I first made this account. This is the fear I gave into by starting the project here. I'm done with fear. It's time to step out of the shell entirely.
“Sad Song” Christina Perri