Stop hiding behind a long coat
The post office was going to close in thirty minutes, I had just enough time to make a birthday card and tape the package shut. I didn’t have enough time to change out of my painting clothes, and get to the post office before they closed. The birthday present would arrive late, but I did want the gift to be postmarked the actual day of my cousin’s birthday.
As I was running out the door with my keys, purse and package, I grabbed my long plaid coat. If I put the coat on, you wouldn’t be able to see my painting pants.
Standing at the post office, the post master didn’t know what I was hiding. He couldn’t see the paint stains or the patches on my jeans.
My coat became something I could hide behind. I could hide my true self.
My coat reminded me of how I hide behind a polite smile. I wear a mask on my face as easily as I wear a coat to cover my stained jeans and sweatshirt.
I live in a neighborhood where all of the houses are the same; four or five models to choose from, a choice of four colors for the siding. My whole life is hidden behind the front door. Trying to fit in, be respectable. Who am I really. The neat lady in a long polite coat, or the artist with paint on her jeans?
After the post office I went to the grocery store. The coat hid my painted jeans from the other shoppers. Am I concerned with what others think? Does it matter?
Why do I care?
Do I have to become my neighborhood? Do artists only live and paint in abandoned warehouses? I do not want to be defined by my house. I do not want to be the artist hiding behind a long coat. I do not want to become a variation of four different models, with a life that is a choice of several shades of brown.
I don’t have to be like everyone else.
Next time I run to the post office, I will not wear the long coat to hide my painting pants.
Are you hiding who you are? Are you afraid to take off your long coat? Who are you, really?
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.