I am generally a very calm person, very even keeled. People have mentioned it to me, stating that I have a calm spirit, a peaceful demeanor. My emotions are strong, but they exist below the surface; I’m not one to blow up in a fit of temper, or to go wild with excitement. I’m even. I’m a pond on its stillest day, tiny ripples and nothing more disrupting the quiet surface.
And I wonder why this is - why I am not dramatic or loud like others, why nothing seems to get to me enough? Why my excitement never seems to show itself, why my distress is so easily covered over. I’ve had panic attacks before when I was in a group and nobody noticed; I wonder if this is a testament to me being able to act like I’m fine when it happens, or to others just being oblivious to me. I’m leaning towards the first one, and I wonder if this is a good thing, my stillness, my calm, or if it is just another thing helping me, pushing me towards invisibility.
I’m surprised when people notice me. Honestly I am. I always expect that others make more of an impact on me than I make on them and I’m starting to realize it’s true, but hopefully just because I am more observant, always watching others, always making mental notes. Noticing people who don’t notice me. (This all sounds very pitiful, I realize, as if I am having a little pity party for myself. But no worries; I’m definitely not. I am slightly detached from myself when I analyze facets of my personality and I refraining from pitying myself is something I learned to do long ago.)
In any case, I often feel invisible. I’m like the girl who sits behind you in class but whose name you never remember when you run into her at Starbucks. I’m the girl who’s always there, but just slightly out of sight. It’s like I’m in the peripheral vision of everyone around me except a few.
And I’m not sure how to change that or if I even would want to. There’s a certain amount of freedom in invisibility. In child development we learned that during adolescence teenagers feel like everyone is interested in them, everyone is looking at them; I never thought that. Instead I thought nobody was interested in me, nobody was looking at me. And I just got used to it, accepting the role that I had either chosen or fell into. Sometimes it sucks, but more often than not I kind of like it.
In a strange way, and I know how little sense this makes, but being unnoticed, being invisible, it made me confident.