Taking Off The Mask

I started this blog in February 2011. I was seeking an answer to this great big question of WHO AM I?

I was going through an identity crisis of sorts – I started going by my middle name Maureen in as many social circles as I could, even though it never really caught on with anyone I worked with, or anyone I grew up with, or my Mom. Pretty much, 3 people still call me Maureen. To the rest of the world, I’m back to being Erin. I don’t know what else to say about it, except, I was kinda sorta having a crisis, ok! So stop judging me!

The back story of my crisis is long and painful, I’m not going to get into any of the details here because I’m writing a book about it and there are far too many spolier alerts on the internet anyway. Essentially, because of my crisis:

1) I cut my hair short.

2) I hid behind a mask.

It is time for me to take the mask off.

Part of me hates to do it, and not just in the metaphorical sense.

I think I look sexy in a mask. My friend Matt took these pictures of me one night when I was hanging out with him and his wife Lindsay in their downtown New Haven art studio.

Matt is a professional photographer – so I wouldn’t try this at home, especially with someone like me as a model. See, I’m not very photogenic and I am very awkward. Matt took several hundred pictures before we were able to find 3 in which I did not look like a total clown, which is really a testament to his skill. I still can’t believe we got 3 really great pictures of me!

See, I really struggle with looking “sexy and smoldering.” Luckily, you can’t hear all the, “ummms” “ders” and “gaffaws” in the still pictures. I’m willing to bet I’m the worst model Matt ever had and he was just too nice to do anything but click away on his fancy photographer camera.

After we picked three winning pictures, Lindsay designed my blog, choosing vibrant, sexy, confident colors to help me with inventing/discovering myself. She set everything up for me so all I had to do was write. Thank goodness. This blog would have never happened without her.

I started writing.

Then, I started tweeting.

and one time I got a little carried away with Photoshop.

It didn’t take long for my blog to diverge from my chaste path of self-discovery to a smutty dating blog.

*Editor’s Note: People actually found this blog by searching for things like “armpit porn,” “post yourself nakie” and “the girl next door naked.” Smut.

While I was still turning to the nameless cruelty of the internet to help me heal my latest broken heart (dumb idea), I was hired on at the Branford Patch as a dating columnist. Here, the mask served a dual purpose. It made me appear mysterious, intriguing, a model of femme mystique (or so I thought) and it “protected” my online identity so that I couldn’t be linked to my day job: an officer in the United States Coast Guard (or so I thought).

Lady officers are not really supposed to date (or so I gathered with all the disapproving looks I’d garner when I put on make-up or got caught in a story about a fun night on the town). I felt if I kept my face clean at work and hid behind the mask online, I could safely live some dual Superman-Clark Kent lifestyle.

Of course, every Superman has their kryptonite…my dating identity did not stay secret for very long. But that was my own fault.

It did not take me long to start obsessing over my new hobby very serious job. I started thinking about all of life in terms of relationships; from my relationships with my coworkers to my relationship with my hot water heater. I could link any issue in my life as some sort of metaphor for a relationship.

I was a little out of control.

I was am was am chronically single.

I decided if I kept on that path, I’d end up founding a new religion…or something. It was time to change course. Plus, love is exhausting!

My break-up with my little dating column and dedicated following of a few dozen readers was quick and natural, as I was leaving Connecticut for a summer of international adventure before returning to school in Denver.

I’m so different from the girl I was in February 2011. I’ve made peace with my previously despised nose. I don’t need to hide behind a mask any longer.

And, frankly, I am sick of dating.

I do still need to write, so I decided to start a new blog. I feel like I am running full speed into my new life, and I’m going to write about it.

Even though I am not much of a runner, this running blog is a place where I can write about picking at my own blisters and where I don’t need to worry about wearing makeup in all of my pictures.

As for the fate of this blog, I’m still undecided. Since my book compiles all of my blog posts, dating columns, the juicy details and gory back stories that made up my life between 2007 and 2012, I’ll have to consult with the professionals my friends about leaving the raw, unedited footage of my life online. Like I said before, the internet already has too many spoiler alerts.

Thanks for reading. This has been so real.

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About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
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6 Responses to Taking Off The Mask

  1. andrea says:

    Glad you took off the mask because you are beautiful. This has been such an awesome blog and I have enjoyed reading it!! So raw, real, sincere, and heartfelt. Thanks for putting it all out there for us. Love you forever 🙂

  2. Brenda says:

    Yes, you’re quite lovely. Keep writing ( as you are) you’ll land where you need to be and once there, will thrive.

  3. Pamela says:

    Thanks for sharing this post, Erin. Funny you started a new blog and are debating what to do with this one. I’ve had something churning in my mind for the last 5 months or so and finally did something about it–started a new blog called Up. It’s time to try something new and challenge myself by coming up with my own photos. I’m in a new place in my life, too, and while I’m undecided as of yet whether I’ll still be posting on Pamanner it remains intact. It’s a kind of narrative of my life for so many years. I wish you well, love the look and feel of the new blog and here’s to inspiration carrying us to new heights. Cheers 🙂

  4. Hi Maureen (errr, Erin) MIGHT be a challenge calling you that. LoL.
    I resonate with this:
    Thank goodness. This blog would have never happened without her.

    My own blog came about because of a friend of mine as well. Mary L. and I were in a Law of Attraction weekly group I started and during one of the meetings, Mary said she thought I should share what I have to say with a wider audience. She felt that I helped her through some rough times just by being positive and explaining that we could all live a healthier and happier life if we only looked for the positive.

    So like your friend, Lindsay who helped you get started in the blogging world, I have my friend, Mary to thank for guiding me.

    OMG! Just reached the end of this post. Is this it for Not Me Tonight? If so, I’ll be sad to see it go. I DID subscribe to your WordPress blog though, so maybe I’ll follow you over there.

    Chris

  5. Hi, Erin Maureen! ~

    Glad I caught this or I would’ve wondered where you went later — hah!

    Looking forward to seeing what’s next for you! Good Luck!!!

  6. Oh, wow, Erin, a book, a new look, and a running blog! Take off that mask, sweet girl, and be the beautiful, creative, humorous person you are meant to be. 🙂
    Blessings for the next part of your journey!

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