Two years ago, I realized I had managed to make myself invisible. I’d often glance at who I was and would find myself staring back at an elusive ghostlike figure that would be there one minute, gone another. I was so focused on making my relationship work then, that I had forgotten what was important to me, what I desired, what made me passionate, what was inspiring, what was magical, what made me laugh, what made me healthy. Often times I felt like an impostor, a pretender, a performer, a stranger; all those things but never myself. I remember thinking, it was probably better when I was angry. At least then I felt something. Stood for something. When you’re angry you’re still fighting for a part of yourself, even if you are foaming in the mouth. At least, there’s a part of you that’s still palpable. But one fine day, two years ago, it hit me. I was unrecognizable because I was invisible. Into thin air, I had disappeared.
So, I decided to change, do and be many things to fix that.
One thing I did was create this memory wall of simple achievements and love reminders. I needed to somehow tell myself everyday that I was so much more than this ghost. That there were very cool things that made me, me. That I still believed in my voice, was still passionate about life, love and was bigger than my despair. And it had to be something in my face, and not just a red string around my finger or a post it on my mirror. By Dec 25, 2010, this is what the wall looked like:
It was a pretty rudimentary move to help transcend a life of invisibility but slowly, and surely, I started to recognize myself again. I re-discovered, learned, unlearned and discovered new things. It was peaks and valleys for awhile. I cried, laughed, laughed harder, felt pain, and mourned. And boy did I mourn. But through it, I recorded all the moments that reminded me that I was not blank or gone. From words to images to stuff my students made, my blank wall was eventually filled with love and life and yes, hope. I stuck photos, letters, postcards, race bibs, e-tickets, boarding passes, match books, merchandise stickers, art work, newspaper articles, itunes cards and more race bibs. I also put G at the center of this vision drawing Tara and I did some week night in 09. It was to signify my finally letting G back into my life. And that decision was so much more than my great wall of stuff. I didn’t want to get in the way of His way anymore, so I put him right smack in the middle of everything and just let him lead me to the X that marked the spot. By the end of 2010, since I had run out of space, I had to extend my wall to another …
Soon, I became flesh, rosy-cheeked and visible again. Larger than life. Happy. At peace. And here we are…at the beginning of 2011.
Last week, as the end of another year was slowly rolling in, I decided to take down everything that was up there. I realized that I have been restored. That I am a new creation. That what I cherish, what I hold most dear is already embedded in my heart. That just as long as I fix my gaze on what and who matter, I will never, ever disappear again. Wall or no wall. So I have dismantled the old, to make way for the new. Here’s what my wall looks like now. It’s up for a different purpose, it’s signifying something else. A fresh start, the next step, the huge pond outside this small one…a reminder in my face. Where to, G?
grateful slice: Being visible, the new year, big plans and moving on