There is one thing I always wanted to do, yet never had the courage. I wanted to move far away from home. Sometimes I wanted it worse than at other times. Sometimes I wanted it to be farther away than at other times. But I always wanted it, since I was about twenty years old. Sometimes my reason was the desire for adventure. Sometimes it was simply the desire for escape. For adventure, I wanted to live alone in a secluded area surrounded by mountains, grow a garden, write a book…. For escape, I just wanted to be anywhere but here, far enough away to make contact with anyone here difficult. But most of all, I wanted to move to a place where nobody knew me. My entire existence has revolved around what others think of me. There are three versions of me: 1. what others think I am, 2. what I want others to think I am, 3. what I really am. People develop their perceived idea of who you are based on what they want you to be, and what you have decided to reveal to them. It’s hard to ever break that. I wanted to begin a new life, where I could start out being the real me. I wanted to live in a place where no one would say, “I thought I knew you better than that.” “That’s not like you.” “You would’ve never done that before.” “You’ve certainly changed.” No, I haven’t really changed that much. You’re just finally seeing what I’ve been the whole time.
I still struggle with it – this whole image perception thing. It has a hold on me that’s hard to explain. That grip of wanting more than anything to please people. The grip of guilt that I will cause disappointment. The death-grip of fear that they will reject me.
The desire is still there, after twelve years, quietly sedated in the back of my mind. But now I’m searching for the courage to remove the mask and expose the real me to people who have known me my whole life.
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