Do you ever feel ugly and unseen? Like despite all your best efforts and your showing up to the dance without fail, all prepped and prissy, you still somehow blend into the cinderblock gym wall?
I’ve been battling with that lately. I put in the work, I give it my all, I practice and polish and pirouette in what I think is on par with the rest of the partygoers, and still nobody calls my name.
Despite my best efforts, nobody gets me.
I’m awkward maybe? A little off the current beat. Half a step ahead? Behind?
Am I not authentic enough? Is that what it is? Am I unapproachable? Do I appear fake? or overdone? shallow?
Are my curls too tight? Do they get lost in the whirling nonsense of it all? Never-ending loops of purple prose that make folks feel queasy and upended?
Or am I too straightforward? Too stark? Do I cut to the chase too quickly. Nobody’s ready for that revelation. It’s too sharp. The razor-like edges cutting at the truth they hold cushioned in their souls with such reverence.
That’s never popular, I know — to challenge somebody’s security. To show them an abyss where fear and pain are always lurking a scant foot away and maybe prompt them to leave their religion or stay with the beast in the ballgown.
It’s never too popular to pull alarms when all anybody really wants to do is just dance.
Or maybe it’s because I speak with too much color? Swear too much? Too often? Take things in vain that they feel I shouldn’t?
Or is it more that I’m one of those people impossible to follow? Who stutters and stalls or rambles my way into slippery little sidesteps of fluid nothingness? So I’m absolutely zero fun to follow.
Do I question too much? Too many things? Am I too challenging? Am I ruffling too many feathers? Stirring up too much shibboleth? It’s kind of something I tend to do.
Yeah, I tend to pour it on too thick. I fail to blend my blush.
Oh, honestly, I really don’t know what it is about me. But I do know I don’t like the feeling. Of no-one making eye contact. Of no one acknowledging I exist. Of feeling like the girl shoved over there in the corner — the one everybody knows really wants to be a part of it all. They all know she really has something to say, but everybody also thinks what she’s got to say isn’t what anybody really wants to hear because it’s going to be one of two things — an uncomfortable truth or some sort of sentimental bullshit.
That’s where I’m at, and that’s what I’m feeling lately. And I somehow have to get through it. I have to find some strength and some faith in myself and who I am and what I’m doing. I have to believe that I am good enough to be here. I am not somebody to ignore.
Don’t skate your eyes around so you don’t have to see me.
Look at me. I am here and I am a force to be reckoned with.
This dance is my destiny. I am here by choice.
And I am dancing a brilliant and beautiful number that nobody even knew existed.
So I will just keep on dancing like no ones watching. Because right now, no one is.
But I’ll keep my pockets full of proses, dancing in the dark where you think you don’t have to see. Where you watch me with sidelong glances while I prove you wrong and pull my weighted words out into the light you try so hard to deny me.
I am here. And one day you will hear me. See me. Dance with me.