By ◆ Juppie on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 @ 5:09 PM

Just the other day, I was flipping through the 2010 yearbook of my high school, and I saw a photo of one of my classmates. It was not just the usual mug shot that everyone gets taken right before school starts; it was a big photo, because she was one of those people who were featured and had some text telling something interesting about her. It turns out that she lived in India for a year.

Of course, it's not like someone would go around saying, "Hi, my name is ___, and by the way, I lived in India for a year", but still, I hadn't known. There's got to be plenty of things that I don't know about the people around me. Sometimes it's just because it's not a common conversation topic.

In my case, some of my fellow students were surprised to learn that I love playing video games and watching anime. It's definitely not something that I was trying to hide. One girl said that she thought I was the quiet sort of person who studies all the time. (Yeah, sure, I do that at school, but the reason why I do is so that I have free time at home to do whatever I like. And it's somewhat amusing to me how easily people believe whatever they see. But sometimes it really annoys me how people form all these perceptions about each other that are far from the truth. ...I'm guilty of doing that, too.) But it would sure put me out of my comfort zone if I were to act rowdy and outgoing. I might've been able to do that when I was a lot younger, but certainly not anymore.

And sometimes people do choose to hide things just to maintain an air of mystery about themselves. I've seen folks on the Internet who like to hide their gender (perhaps to see what people's guesses about their gender are?), something that I might like to try sometime just to see what would happen. One of my friends just reblogged a Tumblr post which goes along with this idea.

I think most of the things that people don't mention, though, are probably things that they don't want anyone to know. Things that are too private and too terrible to admit to doing. But then I think there are things that people might really wish they could talk about, burdens that they have to carry by themselves. I think maybe it's because society expects you to act like you're okay. When it comes to the question "How are you?", in general people kind of expect you to say you're doing fine. There are those who even expect you to be doing good (which I almost never say, I guess either because I'm a pessimist or because nothing great usually happens to me), which I suppose is nice that they're concerned about you. But mostly I still think sometimes people don't really want to know if you're actually doing horrible, so then you just end up acting like there is nothing going on.

In elementary school, after a certain age, I remember considering other kids to be crybabies if they cried frequently. Maybe it wasn't good that they cried at every little thing, since life is full of enough stupid stuff that they'd be bawling until they were in their graves (and probably even then, if there's an afterlife). But still, at least they weren't trying to hide their feelings. When they were in pain, they showed it. I find it kind of admirable if a person is honest about his/her feelings and expresses them clearly to the world. Keeping it bottled up is so painful. And I think it can even be a little cowardly, because acting like things are okay does not make it true. Somehow it was more acceptable to show your emotions when we were young children, perhaps because it used to be necessary for survival - babies, after all, have to cry so people know that they're hungry, or need their diapers changed, and things like that.

But just because we're older, does that mean we don't need to show our darkest feelings in front of other people? Suffering alone...Isn't it painful?


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