The shadows always felt more comfortable.
It was there, that I had no fear.
Shielding myself from the limelight, darkness hiding imperfection.
I don’t know why, but I did not want to be seen.
Invisibility lacked judgment.
The darkness prevented criticism.
It saved me from assessment.
It was in the shadows that I escaped appraisal.
It was there, I was able to do all things unnoticed.
Beyond the gaze of any onlookers.
No fear of inspection.
The shadows just felt more comfortable.
It was as if the Universe constantly conspired to place me in spaces where I could not avoid being seen. Growing up I was the soft spoken one. Always quietly inserting my sarcastic one liners into conversations where only the people closest to me could hear. So many ingenious things said under my breathe that probably would have left my peers in stitches. I didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself though. It was safer mixing into the crowd.
Easier to navigate life as one of the many, so much easier than being that standout exception. My plan worked for awhile, unnoticed until a teacher called me out for knowing the answer to a question everyone else had gotten wrong. Invisible until my mama sent me to school literally glowing from head to toe in a pink jumper from Lord & Taylor’s when everyone else was dressed in brown. Passed by with my flat chest and nonexistent curves until someone felt the need to pull one of my pigtails loose from their ribbons or ask me why I had that space in between my front teeth…
I tried my best to be invisible, even thought of the great idea of wearing a mask to hide myself, my actual self, from being seen. I started to be who I thought everyone else was. Turning away from what I was, embracing their steps, their style, their way of survival. In my mind being them was better than being me. I played that role so well. The role of an imposter of myself was my greatest acting job to date. I could be whomever I wanted without risking anyone seeing the real me and I was okay with that. I tried to join their organizations, so many times, only to be turned away because I didn’t fit their mold. I tried to emulate their actions, lay with their men, adorn my body in all the falsities that made them who they were, only to keep falling short of what I thought I needed to be. I always stuck out like a sore thumb. Even when I wanted to blend, it was always something there nagging at my core. I fought it and continued to proclaim my desire to be unseen.
It did not work.
My true self fought hard to break free of every barrier I created to visibility. My soul cried out loudly during moments where the whole room was silent. Words always managed to escape my body at the times I tried to contain them the most. I couldn’t stop myself from being drawn to the things that were inherently me. My spirit would no longer allow me to play invisible. I was forced to realize that I was not created to live in the shadows. Even if I did not have that desire, I was still going to be seen. I either had to embrace it and share my authentic self with the world or continue to keep my head held down and my voice quiet enough so only a few people could hear me. That was not my reality, nor was it my destiny to be unseen. People see me and they always have. I am seen.
I accept it now. It was not my birthright to blend into the crowd. I tried so hard, but always to my detriment. Always falling short of greatness by trying to claim what everyone else had instead of allowing my own energy field to attract what I needed. I won’t do that anymore. They’ve always seen me, just different from how I was seeing myself. What I thought was tucked away in the shadows, could still be seen by the world. Illuminated by a light which I had no choice but to embrace. I have to own it. And even when I try to dim that light, it still shines brightly… I have no more patience in me to seek invisibility.
I have already been seen. You all will continue to see me.