Ah, Halloween. The time of year when we don costumes and pose as something other than what we are. When children roam the streets in search of treats.
I love Halloween. I always have. Dressing up is fun, and not something that an adult can often get away with. I’ll be doing so tomorrow at work. I wish sometimes that I could get away with it more often.
The thing is, though, that I do. We all do. We all wear disguises of a sort. We do it all the time. It’s just that our disguises have nothing to do with fancy clothing, makeup or masks. Not physical ones.
Don’t you ever feel like no one, or perhaps only very few, know the real you? That you have to wear a mask of sorts to hide something? That if the world knew your true feelings on something, you would be judged?
Or perhaps you feel like an imposter. Like you are only pretending to know what you’re doing professionally. As though your colleagues are actually better and more knowledgeable than you are, so you must pretend.
I think that we all feel like that at least some of the time. Look at my own case. Here I am, posting every week, trying to be incisive or thoughtful. Trying to portray an image of myself. It isn’t the real me, of course. All of my flaws aren’t exactly put on display here. Or that’s how I feel.
The thing is, those thoughts and feelings aren’t quite realistic, either. These disguises that we all wear aren’t lies, even though we sometimes think that they are. I’m not lying to the world in these posts. You aren’t lying to the world when you use your talents and expertise out in the real world. True, we aren’t showing the real world everything, but we’re showing them something.
We wear a disguise that we identify with at some level. Just as at Halloween, we choose a costume that we identify with. No, I didn’t ever think I was a witch, or a playing card, or a princess. But I found something in those choices – all things I did dress up as for Halloween at some point as a child – that appealed to me.
I think the truth lies somewhere in between. The world doesn’t see everything, and doesn’t need to. But we aren’t as far from that disguise as we fear we are, either.
So. Go forth and don your costumes tomorrow, if that appeals to you. Who knows, you may just be showing the world a facet of yourself that you try to hide.