Some of us are afraid. No, I am not talking about snakes, spiders, or bees, I am talking about showing our true selves publicly. I do not mean public nudity! I don’t want to hear “Well Kyle told me to expose myself.” You were at a park, you knew better.
Some hide ourselves away fearing to be different, to show personality, to be ourselves. We do shed hints of who we are by how we dress, how we speak, or possibly by what we own.
The Quinta Da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal, is one place in particular where I knew the owner by the unique treasures that were hidden around his estate.
His home was exactly like a scavenger hunt without the list, around every bend there were hidden items that felt like treasure.
Between ruins of buildings and towers, caves and shrines, fountains and stone benches, there was an awesome tower that leads to an underground cave!
When a kid discovers a new bug on a leaf or a new type of animal they get excited, as adults, do we lose that excitement? Or do we suppress it?
Do we fear what others think when we dance, sing, create, or show any ounce of personality of our true selves?
Now we many not have the money to build a underground tower or exquisite fountains, but how do we announce our identity?
In grade school I wanted to be hidden. I didn’t share my interest of theater for the fear of being called names and being teased.
Now, nothing is wrong with being private!! Although I am a loud-mouth not everyone knows everything about me. not everything should be public knowledge.
My point is that are we being who the person we want to be? Or maybe, are we ALLOWED to be the person we want to be?
I have been hurt, teased, bullied. I hid, I stopped showing who I am for safety. Sticks and stones hurt, but names stay with you forever.
However, I learned something. Those negative people have either left or I don’t bring up certain topics up to certain people, yet I have opened myself back up to find others who hide themselves.
If the Quinta Da Regaleira was just a plain backyard and house I would not have fallen in love with this must-see in Sintra. Yes the items were hidden but they were for the public to be able to explore the greatness of the estate.
I was able to appreciate everything there was, and some secrets were not in plain sight. It was only when I took the time to get to know the estate that I learned how cool it really was.
I’m the kind of person to just tell people what I could be teased about so I don’t feel like I am keeping a secret that might be judged. Being honest, this has both been received positively and negatively by people. Although, I have made friends and realized who to stay away from by doing this.
“This reminds me of theater I did back in the day.” “You like nerd stuff? I am totally going to see the new superhero movie.” “You like video games? Have you ever tried tabletop games? I am a Dungeon Master!” All me, take me or leave me.
At the Quinta Da Regaleira the park had so many secrets and quirks I could not keep myself away from discovering them all. I can’t help but feel this way about people. Have you learned something about someone where you just want to know more and they are willing to share?
I love learning about new foods Gretel likes, it either means I get to try them or I get to cook it for her! My stomach aside, I feel like she has a secret nerd side that I am still trying to crack out of her, a geek can only hope.
Don’t just be who you are or who you are meant to be, you have heard that all before.
Be honest with yourself.
I lie to myself daily and it does not make me happy. It may be uncomfortable to even admit you like certain things or to express yourself (come on Gretel tell me you game, I need another DPS).
It is a challenge, one I am still working on, but if the Quinta Da Regaleira showed me anything it is the right people will fall in love with you and the wrong people will gladly keep their distance when learning more about you.
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