Sitting in the one and only Professor David Gross's European Intellectual History Class this time last year, I was fascinated, enthralled, disgusted, and captivated by the concept of the Appollonian and Dionysian masks so prevalent through out time and space in human life. I am so anxious to throw off the social norms and expectations that have bound me but so helpless as to how one achieves such a massive goal. The masks are most often referenced in literature, the ultimate juxtaposition of good versus evil, bound versus freedom. The paradox I am referring to specifically is that of the free, hedonistic, god of wine and sex and sybaritic pleasures opposed to the stoic, angelic, fulfiller of duties and moral obligations. Why are these polarities so forcibly separated, when in life they are so inextricably intertwined?

Sometimes I wonder whether every individual possesses their own balance and this is only offset by the moralities imposed upon us by laws, religion, and societal expectations. I would love to take off my mask, throw it in the ocean to sink with other relics that no longer apply or possess a place in today's world, but I haven't figured out which mask I'm wearing or how to remove it. Nietzsche often spoke of this very dilemma, of the difficulties in shedding all that has been imposed upon us in order to reveal our true selves. This is one of many resolutions I have made for myself, but the true difficult is not in its achievement, but in its recognition.

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