The Japanese say we have three faces.
The first face we show to the world.
The second face we show to our friends and close friends.
The third face we never show to anyone.
It is the truest reflection of who we are.
Robin Williams made many of us laugh. It was only after his suicide that we realized what demons he was battling inside. So in a way he just projected back to us the joy we have inside, even though he was literally the clown who cried and died inside.
I wear a mask at work, or rather, it is a somewhat different face just as the Japanese Proverb suggests. Of course I am myself, but like in the Robin Williams example, I am just projecting back my spin on the energy I am exposed to. My work is a place where people fight for their professional, economic and intellectual survival. I refuse to succumb to that sentiment so I mirror only the positive energy and let the negative energy to those who choose to focus on it. Call it desperate, call it delusional, call it naive; I perceive it as a choice I make.
My family and close friends have to help me to to recycle the resulting sadness, so without them I could not do what I do. But then, the sometimes cutthroat work-environment helps me to discover WHO I AM. The mission impossible brings out the fighter, the faith and the love in all the misery. If you asked me what my personal face is, I would say that probably all of them are me.