8

Feb

2021

kate campbell

Taking Off the Mask (and not the one you’re thinking about)

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by kate-campbell

For as long as I can remember I have journaled. I can even recall, as a very young girl of 5 or 6, receiving my very first diary as a gift. I was SO excited. It was white and pink (as most young girls things were at the time and still are – much to my chagrin – more on my thoughts about that in a later post) and I can still remember its ornate golden lock and clasp. It was all mine and I was so excited to have a place where I could write.

I remember journaling half sentences – misspelled words and all – about everything and anything in my life. Many things I wrote about I didn’t understand, some I did, but I wrote anyway. I wrote about my grandpa passing away (I didn’t really understand but could still feel the heavy sadness surrounding me) and I wrote about my Aladdin Soundtrack on tape (yes, tape – as in music, on tape) and my bright yellow walkman that I had and loved because it gave me the freedom to listen to music any time I wanted…and I wrote about anything that popped into my mind, caught my attention or piqued my curiosity.

English was my favourite subject in school (other than gym – I’m a tomboy and super sporty so gym wins every time) and I loved writing so much that initially I thought that I wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic and (little known fact) I even went to school for it at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), which at the time, had one of the only Photojournalism programs in Canada. (In another blog I’ll also address why I didn’t end up in Photojournalism…life has some interesting turns and this was one of them)

All of this to say that I’m starting a blog…about, well, everything.

I’ve been privately journaling for years but when it came to thinking about writing and putting it out there for the world to see, I either never felt the need, didn’t make the time or to be honest, mostly felt like I didn’t have something valuable to say.

The funny thing is, I actually think everyone has something valuable to say but much like myself, feel they aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, aren’t interesting enough, to share themselves with the world. I believe most of us walk around with masks on (and I’m not talking about the medical masks we all now wear because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic). The mask I’m referring to is something we have all been wearing way before the pandemic began – maybe even since we could start thinking for ourselves – for our own self-protection and self-preservation in a society that asks us to fit in, sit down, don’t be too loud, don’t stand out. So we wake up daily and put our mask on because to take it off and be truly ourselves seems incredibly scary and utterly impossible. Sometimes I think we wear our masks so long that we really do believe that’s who we are.

I’ve been doing A LOT of reflecting since my dad passed away two years ago and I’ve found that whenever I share the realness of my life, my happiness, my grief, my weirdness aka my uniqueness, my mistakes and in reality, whenever I take the mask off and share “me”, the real ME, I feel so much more connected , big picture, to humanity and life in general. I believe we all yearn for connection, to be seen and to be understood. I know I do.

So here’s to taking my mask off and to a new chapter of sharing…the good, the bad, the goofy and everything in between.

Love and Light,
Kate


Ps: Here’s one of my favourite poems that I read periodically to remind myself to let my own light shine <3

Text on paper

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