Journal: Being Seen

I’ve never liked being in the spot light. I learned quickly that being seen meant being hurt in some way in school. I was never the popular or pretty one and got reminded of that fact over and over again as I was passed over no matter what I volunteered for or tried to do.

I was too brainy and smart and didn’t know how to tone it down so that I didn’t overwhelm people with facts and information they didn’t care about. Over the years I learned to sit down, shut up, and blend in with the herd. Doing otherwise was never a good thing.

But the fact is I’ve never been one of the herd. I hated it, despised the generic flat conversation and how dull everything was around me. When the internet arrived I finally found my people. People who wanted answers to the questions crowding their heads, who were willing to try new things, and talk to strangers to understand their perspectives and lives.

I’m still trying to find myself even in my thirties. I’ve rarely felt comfortable in my own skin, being too clumsy, too quiet, too talkative, for most people. My need for conversations of depth disturbs people who aren’t willing to be that open to others.

I’ve learned to be more comfortable showing my intelligence as I found people willing to listen and I learned when to turn it off when it’s obvious that the person I’m talking to doesn’t really care. I’ve tried to distance myself from those people since I value being honest in my interactions.

Part of my problem is when things I love will be used to single me out in society or a social context. I love going a bit crazy with my hair, I’m willing to pay for an amazing stylist if it means I can come in with any photo or color scheme and she can make my hair look amazing.

Take the car I’m looking at possible getting. It’s a muscle car, black sleek and hugging the ground. I love it since I truly love to drive and it handles amazingly, making me grin with every turn or acceleration. However it is a very eye catching car. Having the rental version parked in my driveway looks odd since everyone around me has the sensible four door cars you expect in a middle income neighborhood.

If I get this car people are going to see it and make assumptions. They are going to look at it and say "Look, she’s compensating for something." or "Look whose going through a midlife crisis." when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m going to have to deal with people actually seeing me, noticing me when I’m so used to hiding in the corner, watching everyone around me without being forced to interact.

The car is simply an outward sign of who I am on the inside. The fact that I know no one noticed this side of me just makes it worse. Yes, friends and family are going to talk but I just can’t make myself care. They probably already talk about my red hair and when I get my tattoo they will talk about that. Everything just adds up to me being more comfortable in my skin which they are just going to have to get used to because this is just who I have always been, just on the outside a bit more then they are used to seeing.

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One thought on “Journal: Being Seen

  1. There is no clear answer for it. But hiding yourself and who you are is awful. I know that feeling. I used to hide my intelligence and hide who I was. It lasted all of a year. I cannot hide it. I can’t bury it. I can’t pretend to be what I’m not. I used to use it to belittle others, to show off and to be the smartest person in the room, in order to forestall any insults. I no longer need to do that. I can be myself. There are still people who would try to bring me down because of it, for some reason. I also had to teach myself to ignore those people who didn’t appreciate it. Who cares how they feel? Why should their judgment bother me?

    I don’t know what would work for you, but it looks like you’re already starting to see how little the opinions of others matter. You make your own path.

    I still feel awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. But I ignore it and just focus on being happy and satisfied with myself. It has made a world of difference to me.

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