I wear a mask. Daily, like many of you.
No, I am not referring to the mask we all wear to keep Covid away this past year.
I am referring not to the mask covering my face, but rather to the mask underneath my face. My mask underneath my skin. My mask that protects my most sacred pure form. My mask of INVISIBILITY.
'Okay, what? What is she talkin' about?' You're probably saying to yourself. Maybe even rolling your eyes or shaking your head. 'Oh that Tamar, always DIGGING and this time is no different.' You're right. It's not different. But it also IS different because I am digging underneath my skin today, to my heart, and let me reveal a hidden truth, often hidden from myself:
Often in my life I walk to rooms and situations believing my hidden mask of feeling invisible - is showing right on my face. Like so many other humans (maybe ALL?) I have a running belief that nobody sees me. And if nobody sees me - do I even exist? If a tree falls in the forest - does it actually happen if no one hears or see it?
I first felt 'invisible' when I was a child and I was incredibly shy and uncomfortable in the social structure of my elementary school. The belief that 'I am invisible' formed then and never left me.
In some ways and some moments it crippled me: made me feel inadequate, insecure, brought to light some social anxiety, and even some imposter syndrome.
But it also fueled me: My need to be seen rose out of this belief about myself, and lead me to realize that one who needs to be seen - is one who needs TO SEE.
What does an invisible SEE in the world? How do they view the world when they believe no one is watching? Or if they believe they don't exist at all? What is it like to be a fly in the wall of life?
Artists have the perspective of looking AT life so they could describe it, express it and reflect on it. An invisible mask can be a superpower for that artistic pursuit.
Today I wear my invisible mask with pride, like a badge of honor, a secret trait that instead of being a limiting belief, can be a superpower for me: a SEEING that only an invisible has.
My need to be seen lead me to SEE more clearly than I have before.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman