Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My second life

Most of us have a double life and I’m not talking about serial killers like Dexter, who hide their dark side under the façade of being a good father or policeman. I mean something like a second face that we all probably have.

I remember from my school days, the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. For those of you who don’t remember, I have to remind you that he believed that everyone has multiple faces, which he called masks, and which one we wear depends on the situation. For example, the happy fish seller, who appears very patient speaking with customers, when he is back home, wears the mask of a tyrant and terrorises his family, screaming at his children to do their homework; or a different situation, a woman working in a prison, she speaks with prisoners in one specific way, yet back at home is gently whispering to her husband and goes to sleep with a blanket from her childhood. 

So, just like that, we create this world that looks like a huge scene or a film script, full of actors – I mean people. Because of practical or more personal reasons, every day we play a few different roles. At work we are in one form and we are another way at home. We play roles that are big and small, simple and complicated, every day. I will share with you my two roles, which I have been playing for a long time and have never yet met. Let’s see Marta at work. She’s a polite girl, with a huge smile every day, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’, always in full uniform with the name tag on her breast. It’s nothing, but many times this Marta worker is really angry, but still, with a smile on her face, she tries to show the customer where they bottle they are after is located and after that day, Marta comes home, takes off her uniform and she changes. She changes into her old shoes, takes her camera and goes into town and then a completely different film gets underway, complete with the same actress, but with a completely different person.

She walks along the streets of Roscommon, Marta the Photographer, she tries to capture some people, some places. She thinks, she observes, she waits and she is never smiling. She’s hiding behind the lens of the camera to catch something interesting. She is planning everything and she is her own boss and never listens to anyone. Maybe this is her way to unwind after a hard day’s work, or maybe this is the real her.

If you have already analysed the roles you play in your life, for sure, just like me, you can say which mask is the more real and which one is not that real. One thing is sure, amid all the roles, some truth is always there, the truth about ourselves. The conclusion is that we are one person who is in reality like a few different personalities. The good news in this crazy life is that it’s not easy to get fired from this role and the more roles we play, the more we explore our existence on this planet. 

PS. You’re invited to visit my new website at