Who is that behind the masks?

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Am I still a Lily? or is there some other flower under my masks?

I did something bold and really out of character last night.

Before I tell you what, let me fill you in. You see, I am on a mission. I am on a journey of self-discovery. I am searching for Lily… I need to find Lily under the debris of a broken marriage and betrayal.

I wore many masks to disguise the shy, scared person who searched for approval from everyone.

Suddenly my world turned upside down and many of the masks I wore came off. I retired, so can no longer hide behind the role I played at work. My marriage ended suddenly but I gave up the wife mask gladly. My daughter and grandson moved out to pursue their own lives leaving me living alone. I still wear the mom mask, but the role of mother and grandmother is different when your children leave home and become your best friend.  I also found myself led to find a new church home, and with leaving, I gave back the masks that identified the many roles I played.

I wanted to look into the mirror but I was afraid there would be a stranger staring back at me. Did I lose myself along the way? Who is this stranger that has risen from the ashes?

With an unmasked face, I have ventured into a world of discovery. I took art lessons. (Perhaps there is an artist mask waiting for me.)

Am I a photographer? I like wearing that mask.

Am I a photographer? I like wearing that mask.

I joined a photography club to improve my skills hoping I look good in that gorgeous mask.

Drama on the lake, the colours match the Sangria in my glass.

Drama on the lake, the colours match the Sangria in my glass.

I found two great social groups (We meet monthly for fun filled evenings socializing and doing crazy stuff like mini golf, murder mysteries or wine tours). I get together with new friends and old, often in the hot tub eating Jell-O or sitting on the dock sipping sangria and watching the sun set. (I love my friend mask)

I also belong to a writing group. (My writing coach and mentor has her own blog at,  http://giantsamongus.ca/  I recommend you have a look, you will be glad you did) Do I look OK in this writers mask?

My newest venture is Toastmasters. I went to my first meeting last night and discovered a wonderful group of people who are striving to become better at verbal communication. I have always struggled speaking in front of a group. I know what I want to say but when I stand up my mind blanks out and my tongue hangs limp. My vocal chords tighten and all that comes out are the soft murmurs like” um” or “ah”. In the past I have avoided the speaker mask. Perhaps the one I tried before didn’t fit so I am giving Toastmaster a try.

They tell me they will give me “the opportunity to find my voice while learning to tell my story with confidence” in a “positive and supportive atmosphere in a community of learners.”

Toastmasters… I take up your challenge and look forward to wearing the “speaker” mask with pride.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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14 thoughts on “Who is that behind the masks?

  1. Lily, you are an inspiration! I’m so glad you get to wear your friend mask with me!! I am so proud of how you are stepping up and making a positive, meaningfull life for yourself! Bless you as you contine to rise high from the ashes that you have already left behind! Hugs!

  2. Lily, what a beautiful and honest post! You’ve done exceedingly well with the “writer’s mask” and I bet your “friend mask” fits you perfectly. I love what I see with the “photography mask” too:-) You will thoroughly enjoy your visits to Toastmasters. Did you attend the meeting as a visitor, or are you already a member? Please keep us updated with your new venture!

    • I went as a visitor, just to check it out, but took the membership forma and will join officially next meeting. Thank you for your kind words.. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  3. Lily, I love the rawness and the questioning of your post. The places where we really connect as human beings tend to be the messiest! 😉 Ashes are a great beginning from which the Phoenix rises! I salute you in your life changes and new spirit of adventure(s). You just seem like an amazingly awesome woman! Hugs from a fellow writer.

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