I’ve thought a lot about invisibility today.
I went to the bank, frustrated by a ridiculously large deposit required when I tried to sign up for a cell phone plan. They told me that because I’ve never had a loan or a credit card solely attached to my name, I have no credit. Years of paying rent, paying bills, never buying anything I couldn’t afford, means nothing – it only counts against you, not for you. I went through three layers of identity theft protection, with the last woman finally apologizing to me. “We can’t sign you up for anything, because even though you’ve verified your name, birthday, address, and full social security number, we can’t find you.” I don’t exist, according to my bank. I’m invisible.
A few hours later, I spotted a boy across the street who I’d had a bad run in with a few years back. I very recently cut my hair into a pixie cut and have had friends not recognize me. Wearing sunglasses, I walked past the boy. He looked straight at me and straight through me. I was invisible.
I continued on my way to meet with my therapist. I started seeing her months ago as I wrestled with depression, lost in my own head, apathetic to the world around me. In the world, but not a part of it. Surviving, not thriving. People passing me by, accepting platitudes of “I’m fine.” In a highly visible position, but floating on by. Invisible.Invisibility.I could run away.I can hide.I can be lost.In a world so technologically connected, it would be easy to pull the plug. Vanish from social media. With people so wrapped up in their own lives, tell your physical friends you’re moving one place and disappear elsewhere. Invisible. Fresh, new, clean. The scary part, though, is trying to be seen again.Because that is far, far harder than being invisible.