When I told my mom I was creating a blog that will essentially only consist of video recordings of my in-depth discussions with people (most of whom I will be meeting for the first time at the interview) she was not surprised. She texted, “You were a funny little kid who liked to listen to my conversations when I was visiting with friends. Most kids disappeared to play, being bored I guess. Not you!” No, definitely not me. Definitely not bored. She also added, “Imagine, you can delve into people’s worlds, with their blessing. It’s the same as having an interest that you’re passionate about like photography or gardening. Yours just happens to be this interest.” My mom knows me so well.
My fascination, my hobby, has always been people. I long to peek beneath the masks we all wear to see who is really underneath. The most meaningful and inspirational moments of connection in my life occurred when brave people gave me the gift of their raw, unmasked face. As I venture on this blogging/podcast journey, I hope that I can learn to take my mask off too, for longer and longer periods of time until I have the stamina and confidence to live my life without it at all.
Why do we wear masks anyway, though? For me, it is usually fear that cements the mask to my face. Author and research professor, Brene Brown, articulates the ironic fear of being vulnerable perfectly:
“The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.“
I know I will admire the openness of the guests who join my blog. But me? I am terrified that in my discussions, I will reveal things about myself that people in my life may find unfavourable, disappointing, or even worse yet, hurtful. That the fine folks who liked their original impression of me won’t care about the evolving version of me. I hope that I can be honest despite my fear though; because, the powerful ripple effect of honesty and vulnerability is worth the risk.
So, Here We Are. I welcome you to remove your mask with me… first interview coming up in two weeks!