Have you ever had one of those days where no matter what you put on you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t feel radiant, you don’t feel beautiful? Nothing seems to fit right and the longer you go on trying to organise the ‘right’ outfit the more piles of clothes accumulate on the floor and the more increasingly frustrated and insignificant you start feeling. The fear starts creeping in that everyone else is going to be looking perfect, happy and vibrant and you will be the invisible woman that no one takes notice of.
I recently had a moment of being that invisible woman. I had spent an hour trying to build up the confidence to go out to a friend’s special event, trying on my best and favourite clothes to reflect a poise that would hide my self-doubt and disbelief. After giving up on my clothes choice, knowing that my indecisiveness was just a reflection of my internal state that couldn’t be changed by what I was wearing, I settled on something that made me feel comfortable and casual.
Within 5 minutes of arriving I realised that all of the things that I had been predicting were accurate. Everyone was dressed up in beautiful dresses, heels and lipstick looking radiant and beautiful. Instantaneous shame. I walked straight back out the front door and directly to the closest park, collapsing down onto the grass as soon as I got there.
Why was I feeling so weak and helpless? Why was I feeling like such a party pooper? Why was I even comparing myself to others in the first place? Thoughts were rushing through my head at a million times an hour but there were no answers to be found in the chaos of my insecurities. I took a few deep breathes and started to feel into my body instead, giving myself space to witness what needed to be seen.
The shame that I was feeling for not being social was nothing to do with the actual situation, I had just lost touch with myself and my own uniqueness. Running away was the easiest way of avoiding my own greatness because there was something comforting and safe about the sadness and staying small and insignificant. I knew that I had the option of going home right there and then but that was an action based out of fear and not love. Out of shame and not connection. A decision based on being invisible and not allowing my own unique and beautiful self to be seen. For it’s not how you show up it’s just that you show up. That you take the actions that count and reprogram the need to look and feel ‘perfect’ all the time.
As these realisations started to hit me all I could do was laugh at myself. What an elaborate and dramatic little adventure that the scared and insignificant part of me had created. To cause me to run away from the people I loved and cared about and instead isolate myself to a small patch of grass in the middle of the city. That was shame that was The Invisible Woman.
I continued giggling to myself as I walked back up the stairs to the event and as soon as I reached the top I was greeted with a huge, warm and comforting hug from a dear friend who I could feel was genuinely happy to see me. I was visible, I was wanted, I was seen.