My family jokes with me about my “Cloak of Invisibility.” I’m often the type of person that isn’t seen or remembered. By that, I mean that I am not memorable. When my husband and I went places, people would always remember him, but forget I was even there. I was introduced, shook their hand, and made small talk, but I wouldn’t be remembered. When shopping, I’d rarely be approached by a sales clerk, but my husband would often be approached. He carries himself with authority and good humor, and people respond to it. I lacked true confidence and didn’t want to talk to anyone; sensing that, people didn’t approach me. At work, a place where I was accustomed to my role, I wasn’t a wall-flower. There, I might be seen and remembered. In my personal life, not so much.
In the movie, Avatar, to be “seen” meant that the divine spark within an individual was recognized. A person who was seen was honored for who they truly were. To be seen was an act of intimacy and acceptance of a person for all that they were.
I guess this is something I’ve been avoiding. I didn’t want people to see who I truly was. Struggling to figure out who I am, and seeing various parts of me as incompatible with the majority of the world, I have avoided being “seen.” My wardrobe is dedicated to the nondescript. Conservative and dull, it’s part of my disguise. Being gifted with a forgettable face and body helped complete my camouflage.
The past few years have been a bit of a challenge to the full-body mask. As I begin to understand myself more, and overcome the pain of my earlier years, I have begun to stand out from the crowd, not always pleasantly. Although I don’t always want to discuss my opinions, I would incomprehensibly say or do something that would highlight how truly different my ideas and experiences are. I needed a thick skin to those who “saw” me and didn’t agree with my unusual ideas. Apologetically, I would return, frightened and intimidated, to my invisibility. To be unseen is to be forgotten. To be unseen is to give my personal power to everyone else, in return for feeling safe.
I’ve called it quits. It’s time to stop. It is time for me to allow myself to be seen, to be okay with having unusual ideas. I’ve dropped my cloak of invisibility. Look out, world, and SEE me.