Now you see me, but you don’t.
You see me when I post a picture. It looks like me, doesn’t it? All smiles, charm, and grace (so I’ve been shockingly told). It makes you pause for 1/2 a second and click a meaningless, un-clickable button.
I tripped on a gum-ball while walking on the sidewalk the other day. I nearly fell. I stumbled for a good two seconds then regained my balance only to walk into the door four seconds later. I laughed really hard as I checked around to make sure no one saw. I didn’t tell you because you weren’t there. Why mention such a mundane moment when you didn’t see? It was funny. It was truly me.
You see me when the sun is shining because it has been perfectly balanced and sharpened on photoshop for five minutes longer than necessary. You see me when my social media feed is perfected and all is well and good enough to share.
I went to the store this morning, and someone called while in pain. They were crying and begging for help, so I sat in the car and stayed with them. They opened their heart and poured out their struggles. I did all I knew to do, I listened. I offered reassurance. I felt their pain. I deeply felt their agonizing pain, for them. When I hung up, I was exhausted, but I still had to walk into the store, buy my items, and cart them home. You saw me in the world when I couldn’t muster the energy to speak. My heart was too heavy to shake their pain. It was too heavy to smile your way, too heavy to see. But in that moment, I unwittingly hurt you. You felt ignored. You didn’t see me only moments ago crying with them in the car. You didn’t see. But that was truly me.
You see me when I post a joke because it is time for a laugh. It’s meant to break up the back and forth of the us versus them in your feed. I post it to bring a smile to your ever-unseeable face. I post it so we can share a happy moment together, alone. I share it because I need the laugh and to know all is not dark and dire.
I paused last night when I saw someone reach and offer help to a stranger. They leaned out of their comfort zone and into the needs of a fellow human. It stopped me and I found myself in love. In that moment I found love in humanity and I silently prayed it would never stop. I prayed to stay stuck in that love for the rest of my life. We didn’t last forever in that time, but that moment will stay in my soul. You weren’t there to pray with me. You didn’t see. And yet, that was still me.
You see me when I have shared deep thought in the midst of great pain and loss. You glanced through the words at times and may have even whispered, “it’s too long.” Still, you half-liked my half-read post then returned to scrolling through political hate and dirty memes. I know they’re shorter and more to your exhausted attention span’s taste than the paragraphs I’ve forced you to lose your way trudging through.
I cried all day today until I had no more tears to shed. Then I clumsily reached and grabbed my computer to etch a piece of my soul across the never-ending feed of ravenous teeth. I didn’t pause to consider their incessant gnashing or how they only hope to infect the internet with their innocuous importance. I wasn’t looking for anything in return when I wrote. I wasn’t hoping for likes or gratification. Perhaps, just perhaps, I shared it so you could really see me. The me you never see.
Yes, this broken, hopeful, clumsy girl who walks awkwardly through the world most of the time. The me, who seems to be seen as confident and passionate but really is just curious at heart. And that curiosity will never die as long as I survive. The me, who is slow to truly open up out of fear of not being seen where, when, and how it actually matters. Because so many have lied and continue to lie when the truth is all we really need. The me, who will never share everything on the internet because there is no substitute for real. There are sacred spaces in my world too precious to post in this inhuman place. I am a shadow of Susie in this place and you deserve the right to decide that I’m truly more than your tastes can handle.
I am weird, sarcastic, and unapologetically dark in a world where shining bright is sought after at the expense of everything and everyone in order to gain nothing. But, I am here because we are all here, hoping to connect. I am here because it is what we do, when we need to do nothing.
Remember, this isn’t me. This white box allows for only a glimpse. So here is a piece, of a piece, of a piece of me for all who wish to see.
The rest is for you to decide, IF you would like to really know me.
If not, unfriend, unfollow, unlink, unhuman me now.
Because there will be more of me coming soon. You have been warned.
Photo Credit: Jeff Fuller-Freeman