~~You see me every day. You have seen me every day since you were old enough to remember. Yet, you do not know me. You may feel bad when you realise who I am, but until then, you are completely oblivious to how selfish you have been. I wait for you, every moment of every day just in case there is an instant where you need me, and what do I get in return? Blank stares, lacking any gratitude or appreciation. The strangest part of this entire tale is how, I can feel such deep, agonising guilt for thinking badly of you, guilt you should be feeling, not me. I have done no wrong, I am entitled to my opinions of you, and yet each time hatred or anger towards you raises its ugly head in my mind, I have the urge to scorn myself. It may seem unfair of me not to tell you who I am, to leave you on your own in unravelling my deliberately confusing web, but if you are as smart as you think you are, you will have no trouble working it out on your own. My unfortunate tale is not intended to evoke pity for myself. Pity is something only sought out by the weak. Years of being entirely ignored causes a change in a person, I wasn’t always bitter towards you; I knew some day you would come to realise your mistake, but my patience grew thin and my strength grew more prominent.
Blending into the background is a skill found within many people, others find more comfort in immediate appreciation and adoration for the things that they do, but not us; we take pride in being there, always waiting and ready. Noticing the people who intend to avoid attention is a skill found within us all; whether or not we choose to use that skill is entirely up to us. I pride myself on the fact that I notice everything, and everyone. This is why it causes me such deep anguish to sit back and watch while thousands of us go unnoticed each day. You have it within you, as does your family, your friends and anyone you know, but so few of you will ever use your gifts because your own life has wrapped itself so tightly around you that it is nearly impossible for you to break free. Empathy- we have all felt it, whether it was in the form of pity, jealousy or something else entirely, you have felt it. All it takes, for you to see the world and all of the people in it, is for you to grasp that empathy and embrace it. The ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes is what gives us the strength to look beyond ourselves and our worries and our problems, and see what life is like for someone else. When you do that, then you will see me. For I am not someone who can make myself seen, nor do I want to make myself seen, but as it is so easy for you to see me, I cannot help but wonder why you have not.
You may wonder how I can say ‘you see me every day’ and then entirely contradict myself by saying that you have not yet seen me. The only simple way to explain it is that I use the term ‘you have seen me’ in two wholly different ways. To see someone is an act split into two parts; the visual recognising, when you physically look and ‘see’ the person; and then the actual, mental state when you truly ‘see’ them, not just as another body passing by you, but as another person with thoughts, struggles and opinions. As a world we are completely and utterly wrapped up in ourselves, I know of many people who have moved passed this wrapping, but there is still a majority of the world who cannot separate themselves as simply another person on this planet from themselves by which our planet revolves. My intentions in writing this story are to help you, even if it is only you, to attempt to remove yourself from your already formed opinions of others.
As I have told you already, I am different; I do not need to remove myself from my wrapping because I did not have one in the first place. That is why it is so easy for me to see people, and also see through them. Not in the sense whereas the person is invisible, but more so in a sense where I can see who they are. Most of you, strive to be better, more important than everyone or just someone else. You envy them, and yet you do not know them. I will only allow and accept one person’s envy of another if they are entirely sure of who the other person is. What is the point in envying someone when you do not know their whole story, you only see the happiness, the money, the lovers, you do not see the pain, the hurt or the struggles they have faced. I see it all, the girl smiling in the hallway as you envy her, with her boyfriend and friends at her side, is the same girls who cries herself to sleep because she hasn’t eaten in weeks. The boy you laugh at because he is ‘emo’, goes home and hurts himself to try and block out the pain you cause him. The brother and sister who are ignored because they’re different, they’re different because they’re ignored, if only you could see that. All it takes is one change in your attitude and you could see us, see us all; but I am not naive. This story does not have the power to change you. However, maybe it will, maybe once you close your laptop, turn off your phone or tablet and think about what you read here today. Maybe, you will see me.
For seeing me is not difficult, it is something you can do whenever you need to. I can see myself, through your eyes, every day when you look in the mirror, or walk past a shop window, or look in the rippling surface of a river. I see myself through the eyes of the girl standing on her final step, looking down on the waves crashing beneath her, I see myself through her eyes as she takes her final leap. I see myself through the eyes of that boy; he is reflected in the eyes of his tormentor, his own stepfather beating him to a pulp. I see myself when that girl looks in the mirror, tears streaming down her blotched face as she sees only what she doesn’t want to be. I see myself in that boy as he looks down on the jagged surface of the shiny blade, I see myself when he feels the new pain, pain he can control. I can see myself in you all. For I am not a person, I am not one of you, though I see you all, I know you all. I see myself through you. You see me so often and yet you do not know. You do not know who I am. For I am not me, I am not a person, I am you: your reflection.