'Self III' by Jina Wallwork
My old friend, she tells me that I have changed. Does she believe that my personality has been captured by death and is now lost forever. As I look at myself in the mirror, I can see myself through her eyes. I do not recognize my reflection. I am not changing; I am returning to who I really am. Can I separate my perception from hers? I would have liked to have remained friends but as I look through her eyes, I know that I have no desire to become the person she believes me to be. I am confronting the false self that exists only within her vision. I am not angry or disappointed. I wanted to find space for who I really am. I know now, that I was looking in the wrong places. It feels good to breathe. I have been trapped behind a label and squashed within a box and now all I want to do is stretch.
I didn’t realize I would reach a point in life when freedom of expression would be so important to me. I did not realize how much, I had denied myself the opportunity. I thought there could be times of laughter but also moments of seriousness. I didn’t realize the confusion it creates when you move between the two. They could not see that I was anything more, than the joker I had become. I had become as two dimensional as the joker card within the deck, and they could see nothing beyond it. I had enjoyed seeing them laugh and smile, but the price has been very high. She tells me that I should stop pretending and be myself. It is exactly what I am doing. She cannot understand that I am refusing to conform to her perception. I discard the person she believes me to be. I do not recognize myself within her eyes.