This insatiable need to dig deeper and shine a light into the deepest, darkest recesses of my void has yielded results.

I have often expressed my inability to understand other people properly. How in my younger years every interaction would end badly or at the very least very awkwardly. I would always react or respond inappropriately.

Over time the negative reaction from people would lessen. Purely because I would in time learn to adapt and mimic. My gift was always in seeing things that others don’t. MIcro-expressions. Little ticks and twitches. I would spend an insane amount of time dissecting. Understanding. Applying the mechanics to myself. My overthinking mind made this a cakewalk. I am extremely adept at masking. Becoming whatever the situation needs me to be. Given time I wouldn’t even have to think about it anymore. It became third nature. Seeing as second was already taken.

Devoid of a proper understanding of how to be, I leaned into embracing the nature of the nothing. And more importantly, to a massive degree, I had abandoned trying to make the world make sense to me. Instead opting to become something akin to an actor. Portraying whatever role people needed me to fill.

At least that was the theory. In practice — I was that thing, maybe in the beginning, but my poorly constructed façade would fall apart whenever I would. Maybe not immediately. And maybe I was able to stifle the brunt of it and keep it inside. But that would just end up decaying and eating me from the inside out. I am now certain that I did not hide it as well as I thought I did. The only person I was effectively hiding it from was myself.

I have heard or read the words “Be Yourself” countless times and used in countless ways and mediums. I never really paid any attention to it. Not the proper attention it needed. I just brushed it off like one of those bullshit things that people say but no one actually wants you to do.

It is strange what power my own words have to me. I see the phrase every day now. A note pinned onto the wall above my laptop. A reminder of sorts. Now it does something.

Now I remember that when heading out into the real world, to leave my mask at home.




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Costas K.

Costas K.

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