Unfortunately, the blog no longer exists. I didn’t get to know Natalie well, but she was one of my favorite reads. I realize that nothing stays the same and for whatever reason, she doesn’t write anymore. It just makes me sad when blogs sometimes just fade away. I hope Natalie sees this post and knows her words touched me. This piece reminded me so much of my thoughts and feelings during the terrible teens and tumultuous 20s. They sure did leave some scars. This was originally published on August 4, 2018.
It all started as a game.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a people-watcher.
As a child, I would watch people for hours before even attempting to talk to them.
I’d scrutinize how you spoke. What you wore. When you laughed. What you liked. Whom you talked to.
I would watch and watch, try to figure out who you were. What you wanted.
And once I put together the pieces of your identity, I would form my own, making sure they clicked.
It was like a puzzle that only I could finish and it amused me to have that sort of power over you: to control exactly what you see.
But under all of that, I’d ensured that I was that girl:
The girl you want to speak to.
The girl you share all your secrets with.
The girl you like.
I flit from one person to the next, as graceful as a butterfly.
Always smiling. Always pleasing.
You come to me when you don’t have anyone else, and it’s my shoulder you cry on, it’s into my ears you whisper your darkest secrets.
I soothe. I comfort. I encourage. I motivate. I charm.
And when I’m finally alone, I laugh.
I laugh at the world, at how gullible you are, to think you know me, to trust me the way you do.
I laugh till I cry and then I cry till I can’t breathe.
The tears never end, it seems, they flow and flow relentlessly, leeching me of everything.
The real joke was on me, all along.
And I’d never realized.
I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the shadow that looks back into my eyes.
I don’t ‘like’ her.
I despise her.
I see myself wrapping my hands around her throat and squeezing until the light slowly fades from her eyes.
And then, I realize the girl is me.
The irony: I’d gained the affection of everyone else, only to realize that I couldn’t win me over too.
Alone, I’m a coward. I’m despicable. Spineless. A doormat. A hypocrite.
I morph myself to suit the people around me. My very identity is built on everyone else’s desires.
I’m no one without someone to please. Nothing without a task to complete.
And there is nothing left of ‘me’ now, of the person I could have been.
Before. Before all the masks.
When I look back, all I see is crushed dreams, and when I look forward, I see an eternity of nothingness.
But it’s what I see when I look within that truly scares me.
Underneath all my masks, I am faceless.