I just can’t write without a crippling fear. Crippling anxiety. Crippling voices in my head telling me I have nothing worth saying. Voices that are on a loop repeating it over and over.
Sounds kinda crazy doesn’t it?
But yet, I’m here. Disconnected from an audience of friends as I disconnected from Facebook. Writing for me. I’m going to curtail my use of Twitter, checking it periodically, but limiting the noise from it. No one on Twitter even knows I exist. I follow and retweet and comment, but no engagement from the strangers there.
So, I’m here. And I need to unmask. Write from an authentic place.
Evolving opinions and beliefs tested and fleshed out here. In my space.
Authentic words. And I need them to be real. I’m done hiding. I’m done wearing a mask.
For years in a Baptist church, I hid. Not being authentic. “Oh, you run a ministry in our church…” Tired of that. So, if I want to say I enjoy a good drink, I’m going to say it. If I want to talk about the night I got buzzed with my friends, I will. I don’t make it a habit. But occasionally, I like to throw back a few shots. I like to drink a few glasses of wine with my girlfriends as we work through life’s problems. Sometimes coffee night just didn’t cut it.
If I use a colourful metaphor (that’s Trekkie talk for cursing – see Star Trek IV), deal with it. I’m not a foul-mouthed sailor, but sometimes a well placed Damn or Hell just gets my point across better in my head. And I might tell a joke or two about sex. Because you know what… After 14 years married to my husband, it’s better than ever.
Oh, and I’m going to admit I’m a nerd, a geek, whatever. I’m going to own it. I used to be a huge Trek geek, but not so much now. I love Doctor Who more than anything else Britain produces… Well, maybe not, I do love Black Mirror and Downton and Sherlock. Whatever… I’m a nerd. Deal with it.
My politics are changing. If you can’t be friends with a left of center Mandi, then goodbye. Sorry. It’s where I’m going. Sorry politics might be more important to you than people.
My faith in the essentials of Christianity is stronger than ever, but the other, more debatable stuff… Yeah, that’s evolving, too. Get used to it. I’m going to say things here that you might not like. You’ll get uncomfortable. Cognitive dissonance sucks… But I’m feeling more free, more in tune with the Spirit in my walk than I have in a really long time.
I’m breaking up with conservative evangelicalism, and you know what? It’s good. And I have to say… The beauty of Anglicanism… The service, the tradition… I’m falling in love there. I’m healing there. And I’m learning it’s okay to be who I am there.
The masks, that good Baptist, conservative Republican one especially, I’m taking them off. That isn’t me anymore, and I can’t keep pretending.
So, here I am… Removing them. Freeing myself to be this person I’m learning that I am.
When you wear a mask for so long, you might just forget what you actually look like. And I like what I see… And that’s all that matters.