I have always had this instinct that I was born to be seen. That may just seem odd, because of course, nobody should go through life unnoticed. I realize in broader terms, I have always felt I am here for a bigger purpose.
It seems ironic, though, because I wasn't at all near those expectations.
Growing up, I was hardly seen, but when you live inside your head I guess it sure does feel that way. I could sit in a room full of people and not make a sound, or meet eyes with anyone. Still, my head would throb, and my face would feel warm as I instinctively felt eyes upon me. It was never the "seen" I had hoped for.
My bedroom was my center stage. I would stand in front of the mirror and confidently sing, or create this imaginary world where I was the leader, and it felt so much more like, me. My imagination would often battle with the 'real world.' At age 10 I approached my mother and asked what it would take for her to find me an agent. I wanted to be an actress. I was obsessed with the movies, and acting to me- would be living my imagination, and that was all I could hope for. My mom didn't laugh, or shut down my crazy idea, but she did tell me that I couldn't just jump in front of a camera. I needed experience. She suggested I try out for plays at a theater near my home. This terrified me. Hello, real world. I'm not sure what I was thinking about how the process would work aha, but the idea of being on a stage scared me much more than the thought of being on television.
Let's just say, I let that fear be a sign. I decided to search for a new dream.
Tonight, I am thinking back to that time, as I am all cozy in my college dorm room bed. I just left an event at my campus where the actor, Matt Damon (!!!), was speaking in a panel after sharing a documentary he had narrated. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I felt empowered to be there, and to listen in. After a couple hours, though, I felt dizzy in my chair. I got that feeling again, that eyes were on me, even though the spotlight was not at all on me. I had to force myself to blink more, and remind myself to take deep breaths as I walked out of the auditorium merged in the crowd. I'm sure that people who don't feel this way in a public setting, can not imagine that others do. I'm sure not everyone observes as intently as I do. It takes a lot for me to be in a room full of people, whether the room is big or small. I go, because I crave it as much as it can drain me. I want to be around people, to learn from people, to get to know people, even if my body fights against it.
I was back in my room, standing with my head buried in my bed. Just breathe, you're ok, just breathe. I tried to look at myself through a different viewpoint. I changed that voice in my head, and I praised myself for even the tiny steps it took to get there; to stay there. Instead of getting annoyed with myself, analyzing why I am this way, or searching for a meaning that will tell me what is "wrong" here- I put the spotlight back on my story. My story has different battles. My story has different things to praise, even if they seem 'smaller' compared to others.
As a writer, I have recognized that even in my younger years where I wrote fiction stories, my main character was always a version of myself. Maybe it was a part I didn't like, but most often it was who I wanted to be.
My main character was always:
- highly admired
- courageous; a fighter, a risk taker.
- assertive, and outspoken
- different. She stood out from the rest, but she didn't mind.
- always fighting a physical battle
Who I have wanted to be, is the reason I feel I should be seen, and the reason these things don't quite add up.
I can feel fire inside me, that leaps in my heart, and the fact that I explain this- does probably make me different. I don't see many of my peers going around sharing in depth about the feelings within their body, or even just what makes them different. I guess that if someone were to be that person, it can be me.
I am not very assertive, but I would like to work on that. I want to smash that idea that the quiet ones go unnoticed, or unseen. I can still fulfill my purpose. I can still strive to be seen. I can lead, even if it is in a quieter way.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.