This was likely the last Halloween that I was able to roam the neighborhood with my son as he collected candy at each house. At 12 years old, he's reached that age and size which will no longer be acceptable in another year, without getting the questions "Aren't you a little old to be Trick-or-Treating?" After we got home and he'd gotten in his pajamas, I thanked him for his constant good manners, even while pillaging for candy, and then I broke the news. If this was indeed his last year, he'd gone out with a bang, producing the best costume that I'd ever seen on him, with much of the hard work being put in by his Mom. For as much gear as he wore for his Civil War inspired attire, he wore no mask. While we walked the neighborhood, kids pored past him, all wearing masks and various different coverings.
One day per year, we celebrate wearing a mask in public, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that we wear masks every day. We put on a front, both in our public personas as well as our online presence, typically showing the world all the great things we're up to, but never really mentioning the defeats. We pretend we're alive, by all these amazing moments being broadcast for all to see, but inside, there's a lot of us that are dying. We wake up, put on the mask, go to work wearing it, and come home to finally take it off, once we're safely out of the presence of our peers.
As I walked the blocks with my buddy, his son and mine knocking on every door in the 'hood, we talked about stuff that dudes don't normally talk about. In this conversation, we wore no masks as he spoke about things that had been struggles in his life and I reciprocated about my own. When we take off the mask and allow others into our actual real world, we break down walls. Life is actually more beautiful when our true self shines through, even when it's difficult to confront at times. Peel back the layers. Stop pretending to be alive by putting on a mask. Let others see you for who you really are and allow them to love you even more for it. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 56.