52 Weeks 500 Words
This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.
'Over the last few days I watched a friend suffer mood swings, from elation to depression. After asking what was wrong, she told me something she was doing caused both major highs and lows for her. And wouldn't be drawn further, although I noticed an open document on her computer. Work related, therefore.
The first thought that comes to mind as I write this is that I am not alone. If even the most positive person I know is able to go through a range of emotions in a short time, then I am not alone … or crazy. Clearly others go through it too, I just don’t hear about it, see it. People walking in the streets, walk with heads down when passing each other. Who knows what goes on behind that hidden face or that one over there, over there … no, I am not alone and neither is anyone else.
We surely put masks on, don’t we? When we do interact, none of the issues show on our faces. How very sad for all of us. We therefore believe we are weak, less, maybe crazy, and the issues then become greater in seeking to hide them from another’s sight. What a blessing it is to know someone who feels she doesn't need to wear a mask when she is with me. Proof of sanity, in a way.
The second thought that comes to mind is that we take it far too seriously. Work, I mean. Yes, it pays the stuff it needs to pay, but it isn't life, it isn't all that life is, to put it another way. Agreed, one should at least enjoy work to some degree or it becomes destructive to peace of mind, and one should also be proud of a job well done, the inner satisfaction that makes it all right to spend all those hours on something that isn't really life.
And yet we are emotional creatures, despite our masks. When a task becomes a chore, we do suffer highs and lows. Sometimes this rips masks off. This is where personality comes into play. A go-getter will throw a tantrum, letting everyone know how he or she feels about the difficulty of the set task, while a reserved person may simply sport a massive frown. I am willing to bet my friend wore a frown when with others, just to let them know she was dealing with something harder than usual! Only with me did she allow her true feelings out. Still, reserved as she is, she wouldn't be drawn into specifics. She would deal with it and then move on, without burdening another, especially a friend.
What is wrong with us? Surely a friend sharing the burden is better? Perhaps it’s trust. We don’t trust each other enough, world over, with the truth. Therefore it’s judgement also, the fear of it. We fear that the truth will cause us to be judged as weak, less, maybe crazy. We put our masks on. How very sad for all of us.'