Sometimes I catch myself wanting to feel more important. Craving acknowledgment, gold stars and approval. Not appreciating my own attention — the smiles I give myself, the salty sweet taste of my tears as I grow, the jokes that are only funny to me. These precious gifts are occasionally overlooked and replaced with a longing to be seen by everyone else.
Growing up, I never liked being the center of attention. I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I didn’t want to be too smart, too talented, toopretty, too together because those things came with expectations. There was pressure in being seen and I didn’t want it. And yet…
I did want it. Secretly.
I carried this blind wanting into adulthood. I let men cheat on me because they told me I was the special one and the rest didn’t matter.
I pretended I could afford things that I really couldn’t so I could look successful and be admired.
I let people in my life that were toxic because they made me feel like their only source of light. I didn’t have to blaze to be with them, I only needed to flicker to stand out in their company.
I know now that I just wanted to be seen. I looked outside for validation. I didn’t know how to pay attention to myself, meet my own needs, feel beautiful from the inside. I needed proof that I was real. I didn’t know how to express myself authentically, so I found other ways to feel relevant.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m not that girl anymore. Because now, I see me, I know how to love myself and share who I am with the world on my own terms. And that is all the importance I need.
Take this with you: When you feel small, maybe even invisible, it’s not a sign that you don’t matter. It is a reminder to pay attention to yourself and be yourself, no matter who you happen to be that day. It has nothing to do with what you think you need from other people.