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On Feeling Invisible

May 27, 2010

The other day I was in line waiting patiently with a not so patient three year old to get a chai latte. A gentleman walked in front of us and stood there waiting. He was checking his watch and fidgeting. He was clearly getting upset at the fact that he’d been in line for all of five seconds, but not, yet, served. He didn’t even see me or my wriggly son.

I let him stay in front of me. I could have told him I was there and had been there. I could have told him my three year old was barely making it as it was. I could have been furious. Instead, I sighed inwardly and let him cut me off. I waited longer and held on tighter. I chalked it up to “one of those days” and I was grateful to be aware.

These things happen often. I wonder if they do not see me or hear me. I clearly am not one to stand out in a crowd or even a line at Starbucks. I think, though, that there is something to feeling invisible now and then. I think it’s having a sense of the world (others) around us. That it’s not just about us. That gentleman who didn’t see me standing there in line ahead of him was so busy thinking of his day, his lateness or his “whatever”, that he could not be present.

I used to believe being invisible was the world’s way of telling me I’m useless here. It took me a very long time to realize that it actually makes me present in the world. It makes me attuned to life and people around me. In a strange way, I’m grateful for lacking self confidence in my youth. Instead of being the one in the middle of the party, center of attention, I was on the sidelines observing. I learned a ton about people and body language. I am even more grateful I was able to start filling myself with inner confidence, so that I could have my own opinions and not feel worried about what I thought everyone else was thinking. It was a long process and it’s landed me here, sometimes the invisible one, but I take that as it is. I am present. I am happy. I am grateful.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2010 8:46 am


  2. Lisa permalink
    May 29, 2010 10:32 am

    What a beautiful perspective. I also feel invisible a lot of times. Receptionists look right past me & people cut in front of me in lines. I’ve always felt annoyed & bad about myself as a result, but I will try to take your perspective as the observer instead. Thank you.

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