I tried to learn how to do it. I studied how people thought and what they did. I could do anything. I could do that. I knew I could. I watched. I listened. I tried. I adjusted. I tried again. Like a child in dress-up clothes, playing so seriously, I imagined people would see the image I wanted them to see.
What they saw was a picture that wasn’t right, that didn’t work. Like that child in dress-up clothes, I was doing the same things, but not knowing why. I was the wrong kind of living doll − an inexperienced, badly costumed actor − overstated, overdressed, with no understanding for the part I chose. I didn’t mean to fool or confuse them, or me. I probably tried too hard to please them at my own expense.
I thought if I fixed my differences, life would make sense and the pieces would finally fit. I would fit. I could see it so clearly. The world would make sense. I would have a rightful part in it.
The real dancing could begin, because . . . then everyone would see who I really am − if only I would change to be like just like them.
I was trying to be invisibly visible. I succeeded. I was an oxymoron. I looked so closely that I couldn’t see. I tried so hard to be like them, so that I wouldn’t have to try so hard to be who I am.
The irony in those musical words dances across my face and through my ears.
If only I’d been looking. at the context − the one that didn’t have me as the center of the universe − I might have noticed everyone trying as hard as I was. I might have seen that those folks, those folks I thought looked so much the same as each other, are individuals with wonderful distinct, dynamic differences worth getting to know.
The differences are what make us the same.
−me strauss Letting me be