I was sitting with my therapist yesterday…
*aside – Raise your hand if you’ve ever written something that began with ‘I was sitting with my therapist…’ Be honest.*
Seriously, yesterday was one of those sessions that stands out for one reason or another. First of all, I realized when I left that I had been there for two hours! Ummm, oops. Sorry, A! My bad. A, you should have packed your bag, stood up, opened the door…hahahahaha
For real, to my point.
At some point during our conversation, I mentioned that I often feel invisible. She pointed out the irony that, at the same time I feel invisible, I aim to not be seen.
How is that even a thing?
I should explain that I have this avoidant thing going on. Think social anxiety on steroids.
Example 1: I won’t wear my scrubs anywhere other than work because I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. Logically, I know that no one is paying any attention to me based upon what I’m wearing, nor do they care. However, I feel like I’m walking around with a flashing neon sign over my head that says, “LOOK AT ME! I’M DIFFERENT BECAUSE I’M NOT WEARING REGULAR CLOTHES!”
Example 2: I would basically have to be bleeding out my eyeballs to get up and walk across a room full of people. In a classroom, in church, in a conference, etc., I will be on the brink of needing ‘clean up on aisle 2’ before I will get out of my seat and walk to the exit – in front of everyone – to go to the restroom. No way, José.
I don’t want public attention. Please don’t make a fuss if I show up with a cake, or a plate of brownies. And, for the love, do not take me to a restaurant on my birthday and have them sing to me!!!
*Having flashbacks of wearing a sombrero and ringing a cowbell while the servers sang*
Happy chimichanga to you, and a cheese enchilada, too. Guacamole, chilé con queso, hot tamales to you. That’s our way to say, ‘Happy Birthday from Casa Olé’ Happy Birthday, dear Melissa, Happy Birthday to you!
A sombrero and a cowbell???? Are you kidding? This is probably why I don’t want all eyes on me. Humiliating.
While I don’t want to be the center attention – ever – I do want to be seen on a more personal level. I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me. I don’t want to be seen for things I do, I want to be seen for the person I am.
If I give you a gift, I don’t want thanks or praise, and I certainly don’t expect you to reciprocate. I simply want you to know that you are loved, that you are important. I want you to feel love.
So, I guess I want to be seen as someone who builds others up, who supports others, who loves others. This is what is important to me.
I was in my car this morning when a thought occurred to me. Maybe I feel invisible because I work so hard to do things in a way that won’t bring a lot of attention to myself. Maybe I don’t allow others to see me at all. Maybe I fly so far below the radar, that I make myself undetectable.
Here’s the paradox – the thing I want to be known for the most – my love for others – is manifest in the exact things I don’t want to be recognized for.
And here’s the truth – I’m not actually invisible. I am visible – to God, to my husband, to my children, to my mom, and I’m guessing to a few more.
I just have to believe it.