I spent most of my life thinking that I was very, very normal, to the point of being boring as a whole and, therefore, worth skipping over and not noticing. I felt that – and this was without disdain of any sort – people just didn’t much notice me. Whenever someone, out of context and years later, would recognize me, I would be surprised. I always recognized everyone else, but I somehow never expected people to recognize me… I hadn’t expected them to notice me in the first place, let alone remember me. And I hadn’t even consciously done that. It wasn’t even until recent years that I began to take note of that’s happening and explored it further.
Thinking tonight, however, about how wearing a halter top tuxedo to my senior prom, with matching bow ties for my boyfriend and me, was surprising to someone, I realized that it really was not very normal. upon further consideration, l discovered that a whole darn lot of what I did growing up – and still do now – was not and is not normal. I am truly far from normal, but not only recently in life. I have decades of evidence of my not being normal.
But I always thought I was. Normal, boring… that’s how I saw myself in the eyes of others. But I think it was because I wasn’t the first one picked for things; I wasn’t a choir officer, no matter how much I wanted it; I wasn’t the one performing three times in the talent show for the school every year… in short, I wasn’t the most noticed and most praised, and so, by comparison, I felt nearly invisible, not worth being seen. And I never pitied myself for it. I just accepted that that was how it was, though I forever yearned to be more like those others, those rose girls…
By senior year of high school, I was on the tv announcements roughly once a week; I was a leading senior in band and symphony orchestra; I helped with the school musical; I was in loads of clubs and groups; and I danced, mostly unprepared, with one friend in front of all 800 students (plus faculty and staff) for a talent appreciation day. And yet, it still surprised me when people who weren’t my immediate friends would remember me at any point after high school. I had still seen myself as unseen, and being below the level of worthiness involved in being noticed and known.
I have been working actively on that these past couple or few years, now. I am worth being seen – by an absurd amount. I am a gloriously beautiful child of God and expression of creativity of the Creator. See me. Love me. Join me.
I still have moments of surprise at someone’s remembering me, having noticed me. And I use those moments to check in on where I stand now, how I show up in the world now. I take the opportunity to reaffirm my chosen place in the world now, and release the old one that much more. I hide no more. I am here, and I am proud to be exactly who and how I am. And gratitude fills me for it all.