I have worn Vogmasks for around four years now, and it has been life changing! I have more energy and can spend all day in public without tissue stuffed into my pockets and nose. Gone are the days of sneezing so frequently that I literally am gasping for air! Now I can breathe. Even though my masks have opened a new world for me, people often ask what it’s like dealing with the stares, the questions, and the rude comments. Suffice to say for now, that while those are hard, the air I can inhale is worth it. And the air I can help others inhale is worth it too.
It is common on a day out with me for at least one person to stop me to ask where I got my mask. Sometimes in a short grocery trip I will tell a few people about Vogmasks and what makes them special. Vogmask has given me business cards that I can handout instead of scurrying to find a slip of paper and pen. With the last shipment of cards they sent me tons of masks to wear and give to my community!
There is something special about giving people the gift of breath. The hope that fills their eyes as they ask for the brand name and ask if it is comfortable. I explain how Vogmasks soften nicely and the vents on the masks keep glasses from fogging up and keep it much cooler. They are worth the price not only for the design, but the effectiveness and comfort.
Beyond the practical questions, people tell me their stories. About their loved one who needs to avoid germs. About themselves and their airborne allergies. About their chemo. Their transplants. Their children. Their parents. Their concerns. Their plans. Their dreams.
While at times I frankly dislike the neon arrow above my head that says “THIS WOMAN IS DIFFERENT,” at other times, it’s nice. It connects me to people who need a connection. It spreads awareness. It develops friendships. It cultivates trust and storytelling. Sometimes the mask doesn’t say that I’m different. Sometimes it says that I will understand. And I do.
I hope that all I meet who inquire about the masks are able to breathe a bit easier, and I’m incredibly thankful for my new life sans-tissue-filled-pockets. As Vogmask says, “Masks are the new sunglasses.” And as Westly from The Princess Bride says, “… they are incredibly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”