The Bastard of Your Maker

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No one considers acting a real occupation,

But we are all modern thespians.

From a young age, we’re taught emotions to use as masks for everything:

Happy in public,

Stoic in times of danger,

Grieving at times of sadness,

And pride for when others are proud of us,

Even if we fell short.

I wear these masks because it’s an expectation,

I wear a mask because phrases such as:

“How are you?” “Are you okay?” and even “I love you.”

Carry no meaning unless it benefits the asker.

I wear a mask because the honest answers if we have problems,

Are looked down upon for breaking the norm.

I wear a mask because our country causes the problems in young ones,

But they find it better to medicate the outcome than stop it at its source.

I’m not sure I’ll ever take off my mask.

Because there is a day dedicated to everyone becoming someone else,

But no holiday to focus on becoming yourself.

It’s some of the simplest advice we hear for everything:

A presentation, a relationship, job interviews.

“Just be yourself.”

Except it’s not the “yourself” that you think you are.

It’s the “yourself” that they want to be.

Yes, you can be yourself,

But they also don’t have to put up with you a minute past introductions.

The feigned happiness and pride come in here,

Because I can get a job in what I’m good at,

And also what I love.

But only one could possibly pay the bills.

Guided down the path to take the bigger pay off.

Take a deep breath and say it with me,

Though the heartbreak and letdown may slip through your eyes:

“I’m happy.

I love what I do.

I’m glad to have accomplished something like this.”

The problem is, you didn’t make this yourself,

You had help along the way.

When you have a son or daughter,

Or even a dog or a cat,

They become a part of who you are,

And you’re so proud of what you helped build and raise.

I could never take off my mask for good.

Because when you believe you’re someone else,

And create them to be what everyone thinks you should be,

You’re so damn proud.

Because you made them all by yourself.

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