The Third Face

Dear Reader,

There is a quote floating around the Internet that goes: “The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”

Perception is our reality. If the world sees you in one way, it is the way you are to the world. So if you are a total inconsiderate jerk to everyone in the world except your close family, friends, and, perhaps, yourself, you will still largely be considered a jerk by all. I think I have three faces too, but I would like to amend the third to “the face that you never show anyone… except the Uber driver….”

Although we try our best to show the face we choose to the world sometimes we slip. Sometimes we make a snarky comment to a coworker that should have been reserved for a close friend. Sometimes we have TMI moments that are better left for a private diary. And, sometimes we breakdown and cry in the back seat of our Uber ride home. 

If these three faces are true, I believe we can choose who we include into our three circles. We may invite friends into the second and kick ex-lovers back into the first. And, in the most intimate level reserved for our truest self, I believe that select others may witness these faces like flies on a wall.

That Thursday afternoon I did not make the decision to break down and cry in the back of the Uber. When the much too friendly driver asked me if I had any weekend plans, I said no, even though I had a backlog of work that meant I could conceivably be in the office until Monday morning. And, then, without warning, the floodgates opened. I was a mess. All of the stress, exhaustion, and pent up emotions that had been with me over the past week or so flowed unrelenting. I cried for the time that I snapped at my boyfriend for no apparent reason. I cried for ending a call with my mom early even though we hadn’t spoken for a while. And, I cried because there were not enough hours in the day to simply live.

I did not invite the Uber driver into my innermost circle. I do all within my power to conceal the third face. I do not remember the driver’s name, race, or even the make, model, or color of his car. All I remember is that he was friendly and let me have a private third-face moment alone when I needed it. Sometimes we get our faces confused. We wear the third when we should be wearing the first. It’s not our fault, we are after all only human.

I wish you well, dear reader. And I hope that you have enough people in your life to show your second face to, because if not, you may end up unleashing your third when you least expect it.



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