Beyond the Mask and into the Fire (?)
I’ve spent a lot of time on this so far, with nothing to show for it. The issue is, I’ve been writing a first sentence here, deleting it, then rewriting another sentence over and over again.
1) I’m not too sure how to approach this and
2) I don’t know how much of my life I want to open up.
But here it goes.
I‘ve been seeing a life coach. And the conversation that sparked this entire blog post concept was this: does masking my dyslexia mean I’m hiding my true self?
And to this point, I was stumped.
I had to evaluate why I masked in order to establish whether it was getting in the way of reaching a point where I felt comfortable in myself.
Life Coach (LC): why do you mask?
Me: I don’t want to be seen as atypical
LC: and why do you need to be part of that neurotypical group?
Me: If I'm not a part of it, then I won't be taken seriously
LC: why do you assume that you won't be taken seriously?
Me: It's not an assumption.
LC: how can you be sure on what others think?
Me: I suppose I can never be sure.
LC: so I'll ask again, why do you mask?
Me: because I'm afraid of what others will think if I don't
LC: now whether you believe your workplace to be inclusive or not, the way you talk to yourself is what matters. Are you being inclusive to yourself by being authentically you?
Me: I guess I'm not.
This was my expression when I closed the lid of my laptop, sitting there in pure perplexion:
Now it's been vocalised, it seems simple.
Masking is a sign of my own insecurities rather than others' opinions. Even in spite of any aversion I've had, I've always masked to avoid being 'unprofessional'.
You could say that I've now adopted the positive self-talk that ends in 'fuck it, if they're acting like that then I won't change for them, I'll simply find my people'.
Inclusivity is much of how you talk to yourself as it is having a structurally inclusive environment. Because if I were really inclusive to myself, I wouldn't put up with anything that didn't serve me.