I have to start by remembering that even though this is presented as a public blog post, I am writing this primarily for myself, not anyone else. A public personal journal is just the same as a private journal, a space for me to write down the things that matter to me personally, except that it is then willingly published for anyone to come read.
I am fully aware of how strange and pompous it sounds to have a public personal journal. How self-absorbed must one be to spend time on doing something like this? And not to mention, how dangerous it sounds. But I have very specific motivations for doing this. Some of those motivations are personal, and some others being a bit more universal.
I have always been a very private person. I don’t reveal my thoughts and ideas to anyone very easily. And I have always been very selective about who I share my mental activity with. To me it is intimate, personal and filled with richness and I don’t wish to have it desecrated by sharing it with the wrong person. It has been a matter of personal defense for me to conduct myself in this way. I have always been very different as a person and my thoughts are so wildly different from the kind of conversations that happen around me or the kinds of things that I know other people tend to think about. And in the past when I have shared my thoughts and ideas with someone, I just get looked at with judging eyes as if I’m an alien. Not a very encouraging response. And even without that I can sense that I’m just operating on a completely different frequency than most others. But I have also come upon individuals that I’ve shared my thoughts with and have them say that I’m a breath of fresh air and that I should be more open. I’ve always said, “No thanks” to that. And in my moments of reflection I realize that the basis of that reluctance to share is fear.
I am afraid of being judged, misunderstood, belittled or ostracized for who I am. It is not an unreasonable fear. It is wise to fear the power and insanity of fools who are in agreement about things that they don’t understand. And the most reasonable response to that fear is to guard your true nature in secrecy and paint a mask over your face so that you can hide in plain sight. And this is indeed what all of us normally do in a society, whether we feel profoundly misunderstood or not. What is society if not a great race of face masks? It starts out as a useful accessory and then takes upon a life of its own, one that you later end up slaving and toiling to sustain the supremacy of. And the ironic thing is that most of us end up losing touch with our true selves, which is the very reason the pursuit begins in the first place.
But covering your true self in secrecy and wearing a mask may not be the only valid response to the fear. Or at least I don’t want it to be the only successful strategy to deal with the fear. Because the inevitable result of everyone practicing this strategy of normalized secrecy is our current societal reality of co-existence in isolation. One where we brandish our masks and live for it in immunity from what we fear, but also untouchable to all other possibilities. It is certainly sad that we must hide ourselves in fear of getting hurt. And I know that I am not the only one. I’ve encountered countless beautiful minds and hearts that hide from the brutality of the world.
I want to envision a world that is compassionate to difference, one where we needn’t fear the prospect of being unmasked. It is one thing to have your mask stripped away from you as you fight to keep it on, and entirely another for you to willingly lay it down and say to the world “this is who I am, and I’m not afraid to show it.”
A rather romantic idea, I admit. What could it even achieve? What are the odds that this public personal journal is an extraordinarily terrible idea? What if this attempt to unmask myself in itself becomes a construction of a more elaborate mask that I then hide behind? And I speak of this fear of being unmasked as something so legitimate and universal. But what if it wasn’t? And I am alone in this? How can I assert this as a universal human phenomenon when I obviously can’t be a first-hand observer of others’ internal experiences? Maybe it’s just my own paranoia that results in this fear. I have no definite answers as of now. And I cannot know the answers to these questions if I do not pursue this, and hence we have my public personal journal. My hope is that we can come together in feeling assured that each of us is not alone in dreaming of a more compassionate world, one that is filled with individuals who respond to difference with tolerance and genuine curiosity rather than fear and hostility.
I have to note that I only got the idea to do this a week ago and it excited me a great deal. It falls in line with my evolving thoughts on transparency. My thoughts on the matter are in a constant flux. But for now, this is an exciting experiment. Let’s see what happens.