People don't often let you see the real 'them'. There are so many layers to who we are; seldom are we the person we appear to be to others. People I worked with every single day had no idea we'd lost our home. People I laughed with every day had no idea I'd cried at night when my heart was broken.
Life is like a movie screen and what people see is merely the picture we project. Anyone can pretend to be anything, remember Ted Bundy? People are constantly putting on an act that is shown specifically for the audience that surrounds them. Life can be exhausting pretending every day to be someone you're not, to feel things you don't, and sometimes wondering if even you know who you really are.
I still have trouble figuring out who I am. I'll be honest and say that, sometimes, I feel trapped being who everyone around me thinks I am. Am I that person? And if I'm not, would they like the person who hides behind this persona? I've always been shy but that's not what people see. I project a stronger personality on the screen of life than what honestly resides within. I hide insecurity with humor and attitude, but just because I hide my insecurities in no way diminish their reality.
Maybe because I know I'm so different than the person I project, I rarely believe in first impressions. Sadly, I've found that the only impression to be true is, too often, one's last impression.