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From Our Readers: Do They Love the Real You?
Do they love you or just the mask you put on every day?
PHOTO Lily Collins | instagram.com/lilyjcollins ART Naomi Torrecampo

Do they love you or just the mask you put on every day?

This question always bothers me every time I look at my reflection on the mirror. I disguise myself everyday to look good, to look kind, and to look intelligent in people's eyes.  I am like a snake shedding and changing its skin every season. These are the masks I wear every time I go to school, when I am with my friends, and even my family.

I pretend to be strong but honestly, I am weak. People say they like my unique confidence, but I am not that type of person. People say they like my leadership and bravery, but I want to shout at them about my fears. People say they like my company because I make them laugh, but I cannot even make myself happy. People say I am smart, but I just pretend that I am. People give different definitions of who I am, and I am wondering why they do. I am searching for something in common, but I can't find any from.

People say they like my company because I make them laugh, but I cannot even make myself happy.

Honestly, I enjoyed wearing these masks every day just so I'd fit in. I experienced to be part of the Dean's List, to be adored and appreciated by people, and for me this is the definition of happiness—pretending. One night, I looked at my reflection on the mirror again, I saw a girl with a crooked smile and a burden in her soul.

It just came all of a sudden that everything has changed. Lately, I realized that all my masks are fading and that I am tired of pretending. My grades weren't that good last semester. I just laughed so hard while in deep pain, because I knew it was not the best and that my parents will not be glad. I passed, and I can't believe that happened to me. There was a time when I hated my family because I felt like they didn't care. They always compare me with my cousins who are performing great, and they always made it a point to highlight my mistakes.

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I realized that all my masks are fading and that I am tired of pretending.

I started not to talk to my friends. I didn't have the energy to go to school. And my smiles are nowhere to be found anymore. My mind is floating in the air, just floating in vain. I always wished my grandfather would come back to life because he was the one who truly appreciated me in every way since I was a little kid. Am I busy searching for the real me or am I just in doubt? Is it because I don't appreciate my capabilities or maybe because I don't appreciate the people who still believe in me?

Maybe one day I will find all my answers. For now, I want to be true to myself so I can keep myself away from self-doubts and stop struggling to gain a little self-confidence. Lastly, I want to be true to myself to  free myself from this disguise.

I also realized that having a mask isn't that bad because sometimes in life, we all become what we pretend to be.

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