I’m thinking today about being invisible. Ever felt invisible? No one’s watching or looking, so you just live your life as if no one will ever find out? Some politicians and other famous people have done that; turns out their cloak had a leak! (haha)  But have you ever just not acknowledged something about your life? Maybe because it’s a difficulty or just a part of yourself that you can’t face. I think I do that too much. In my professional opinion, it’s called Scarlett O’Hara Syndrome (“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow. “)

In a lit class I had a few years ago, we were discussing death (OMG–this was the greatest class ever!! Death in American Literature!!)…and the professor said something to the effect of what happens when we don’t acknowledge what we know? The short story we had read was some modern day Gothic about a man’s wife who’d died, and her “memory video” was at the funeral home; he went to watch it and got caught up in seeing her again. While my professor’s question made sense then, and I told about my mom’s refusal to talk about my brother (who died several years ago), it made me incredibly sad. My mom’s Scarlett O’Hara Syndrome has created a gap in  my memory regarding my brother. Childhood memories are just gone. It’s like he didn’t even exist.

So, I’m feeling sort of like that now. If someone doesn’t acknowledge you, do you exist? The Charlotte Observer newspaper had a great feature article titled, “If my kids ignore me, do I exist?” by a local author. I can’t find it to link it here, but she wrote about how she told her children to pick up toys or do their homework, and they totally ignored her–which made her wonder about her very existence, in a humorous I’m-just-kidding sort of way. But she had a point. You can ignore something and because it’s out of your conscious, you don’t have to deal with it. Or you can not talk about stuff and your brain will store the memory in some far off drawer that makes retrieval next to impossible. Or, if you’re really determined to “forget” something, you can just never make mention of the “thing” or “person” and low and behold, it’s like the leprechaun’s Lucky Charms!

My SOLS seems strange today, I know, but I’m feeling pretty invisible. After my parents divorced, my dad pretty much ignored me until I was an adult, then I ignored him. I remember being pretty much invisible during high school–taking “smart” classes, but not a stand-out. At work, I try to stay under the radar so that people in the administration have no cause to criticize or embarrass me in any way. I do my job to the best of my ability and stay out of people’s way. I don’t have to be the “best” or compete with anyone else for accolades, even though it’d be nice to have some without seeming conceited. We “ignore” FaceBook friend requests of those we don’t want to have access to our online-lives.  I pretend that my mother is not as dependent on me as she actually is, because then I can stay mad at her for squatting at my house for close to eight years and contributing next to nothing. Lily can hear the words “Your daddy used to….” a million times every few months, and it’s like her mommy isn’t important in some people’s eyes.

I can’t decide if my invisibleness is a good thing or not. On one hand, I don’t have to listen to back-biting or gossip; nor do I “get in trouble” with others. I’m just there. On the other hand, why shouldn’t I get noticed for the good things I’ve done? Or the kinds of training I’ve had for work? Or that I’ve raised a good son who just finished a successful year of college? Or even that my marriage is still together after 13 years? Why do I hide my light under a bushel?? haha…I can’t believe I just made that connection!

No solution to this post…Just some existential issues I’m dealing with. Maybe I’ve just gotten into a bad habit of selling myself short or something, or always expecting people to see me as “less than” rather than as the talented wonderful person I really am (haha…brag much??).  And, because there’s an Elvis song for EVERYTHING, here’s my man’s take on what I should do with my invisibility cloak…..(OMG…if I don’t write that book about Elvis’s songs being advice soon, I’m going to seriously lose out on my life’s purpose!)

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