"Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem." W. Somerset Maugham.
I worry about this - and have since I was a youngster. I know, I know - what a strange thing to say! But from the beginning, people saw me as "Doc's daughter", Greenbrier's little sister, is she smart like sister K , is she as 'fine a Christian' as her mother.....the list is endless when one grows up in a small community. I rebelled as best I could, but was shy when the mask got askew. At the age of 17, I headed over the waters to Western Australia....as far from home as one could get. I was totally unknown, though as a Rotary representative there was a label of sorts. But I felt the freedom to actually be Beth - to say and do and act as 'me'! Frankly, it was life-changing. I've had my memoir writing class students write their tales of discovering their true selves....some can't put their finger on it, some don't feel the need, some wont admit it, but many know exactly when they discovered themselves - and they've never looked back. - Beth Almond Ford