It all started as a game.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a people-watcher.
As a child, I would watch people for hours before even attempting to talk to them.
I’d scrutinize how you spoke. What you wore. When you laughed. What you liked. Whom you talked to.
I would watch and watch, try to figure out who you were. What you wanted.
And once I put together the pieces of your identity, I would form my own, making sure they clicked.
It was like a puzzle that only I could finish and it amused me to have that sort of power over you: to control exactly what you see.
But under all of that, I’d ensured that I was that girl:
The girl you want to speak to.
The girl you share all your secrets with.
The girl you like.
I flit from one person to the next, as graceful as a butterfly.
Always smiling. Always pleasing.
You come to me when you don’t have anyone else, and it’s my shoulder you cry on, it’s into my ears you whisper your darkest secrets.
I am as smooth as oil, calm as the surface of lifeless water.
I soothe. I comfort. I encourage. I motivate. I charm.
And when I’m finally alone, I laugh.
I laugh at the world, at how gullible you are, to think you know me, to trust me the way you do.
I laugh till I cry and then I cry till I can’t breathe.
The tears never end, it seems, they flow and flow relentlessly, leeching me of everything.
The real joke was on me, all along.
And I’d never realized.
I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the shadow that looks back into my eyes.
I don’t ‘like’ her.
If I was being true to myself, I would say I despise her.
I see myself wrapping my hands around her throat and squeezing until the light slowly fades from her eyes.
And then, I realize the girl is me.
The irony: I’d gained the affection of everyone else, only to realize that I couldn’t win me over too.
Alone, I’m a coward. I’m despicable. Spineless. A doormat. A hypocrite.
I morph myself to suit the people around me. My very identity is built on everyone else’s desires.
I’m no one without someone to please. Nothing without a task to complete.
And there is nothing left of ‘me’ now, of the person I could have been.
Before. Before all the masks.
When I look back, all I see is crushed dreams, and when I look forward, I see an eternity of nothingness.
But it’s what I see when I look within that truly scares me.
Underneath all my masks, I am faceless.
PS In May 2019, I will be moving to a new web address. I’m shifting to a personal domain and I’m so, so excited for you to see it! Buying my domain is giving me so much more freedom for new features, design, and I can’t wait for you to get started there.
But on the downside, all those of you who’ve subscribed to my blog here WILL NOT be notified of new posts anymore. I’d hate for you to miss out just because I’ve shifted addresses, but WordPress doesn’t offer anything to straighten this out.
So to make sure that the change is as seamless as possible, I’d be so grateful if you’d enter your email ID below so we can stay in touch. You can opt-out any time, no hard feelings. I hate spam and I’ll only be reaching out every two weeks or so for blog updates, I promise.
Thank you so much for all your support. ❤