Underneath the masks

covering our faces in public

so many masks have dropped away

this last year.


For me

an armoured identity of consultant

which had a certain face

a certain voice

wore certain clothes

gave everything i had to my clients

giving them the very best of me

my skills, my caring, my time, my energy

split off from the rest of me

often leaving only dregs

for anything and anyone else, including me.


The chinks had been forming for years

and in this year when everything changed

the consummate professional

merged with the multi facets

under the chunks of armour

as i’ve allowed them to drop off

and bring all of me to everything i do.


And I realise that the exhaustion i had felt

at the end of so many 12 hour days

was largely from carrying that heavy suit of armour

and now, with the freedom to be fully myself

in everything i do…


You may notice the streaks of my previously covered grey hair

now shown to you proudly as a mark of my experience

like the lines on my face

a map of the journey i’ve travelled for 23,211 days

40 years since my first line of code

was punched into a card.


You may sense the pain i have felt lately

from seeing the truth under the masks of some

in it only for their gain

no longer able to hold their pretence

of fair exchange.


You may hear a softness in my voice

that has cracked through its professional crust

freeing my heart to be part of every conversation.


You may sense a lightness

as i’ve let go of the fierce grip

trying to control everything around me.


You may feel my greater openness

as we explore all the options together

to deliver exactly what you need

more practiced in being comfortable with the unknown

always the ‘’Queen of Plan B’’

now the queen of ???

You may feel me listening to you deeper

not absorbed in what my response will be

but absorbing your words first

loving the diversity

as together we weave to the most effective solution

combining all my skills and knowledge and experience

as i guide you to where you want to go

the fastest and best route

avoiding the traps i've fallen into on my journey.


And all the work i’ve done these years beneath the armour

getting to know the me under all my identities and masks

Making peace with the hardships

Building strength and structure

Finding certainty and clarity within myself

that now holds me more firmly

Allowing me to hold polarities

of requirements and views and beliefs with greater ease

Like a safe container

for all the creativity, agility, flexibility, not knowing

to flow with freedom and ease

As i deliver the very best to you.

January 2021