With some of my friends, I have been able to see them in other scenarios besides school and I know that the person I know is the real deal. And with some, I see the way they are when they are with me and desperately wish I could get to know them better. And with others, it is a combination of both loving who I know and also wanting to know more.
If you want to know who someone really is, go to their home and watch them interact with their family. You will see their goofy, their annoyed, their happy, and their sad. You will learn what makes them tick. You will see the way they treat their parents, you will see them in their "comfort zone," you will see them joke and laugh, and you might even see them cry. There are some things that you can't know about a person until you see them in their home, with their family. It's a unique and intimate setting that can't be imitated anywhere else.
I tend to slip into the role of the observer when I'm with my friends and peers... People have told me I am quiet and reserved (believe me, it's only until I know you!) but really, I'm watching people. I'm watching them and comparing what I see with what I know, and wondering what I don't know. This wonder is what pushes me to get to know them better, to see who they really are... Even on the bad days.
Some of us seem so content to hide underneath our masks... Yet it drives. me. crazy. When someone I know acts like two different people. Sometimes, it's even three or four. Talk about Multiple Personality Disorder! Sometimes though, I don't think that we even realize that we do this. We put on a different mask for each situation that we're in, so we can blend in easily.
Especially within the Christian family, God gave us each other to support one another. Hiding underneath this mask that we have grown so comfortable in will only end up hindering us. God has given us the encouragement that we need, if only we will reach out and accept it rather than living in a lie. Partial or not.
I dare you (and myself) - Take off your mask this week. Let someone see who you really are. Not who you think they want you to be. Not who you want to be. Don't hide behind the laughs. The jokes. The sarcasm. The studying. The toughness... If you're happy, smile and laugh. If you're sad, go ahead and cry. If you're hurting, show it. If you're lonely, reach out. If you're content, share that with someone. If you're stressed, take a break.
Just. Be. You.