For a long time, I have not wanted to be seen.
There are people who like to throw stones, and I've already been hit enough. So, I hide in the shadows, deftly navigating around negative opinions. I run on silent, hoping that my less family-friendly character traits float unseen past my loved ones. My social networks are limited, heavily curated so as to post only that which will not receive push back.
I am afraid of pain, of the shame of perhaps being wrong. But that is not the whole of it. I am afraid, too, of the rage. The part of me that flinches is different from the part of me that keeps count. I flinch at the magpies who taunt the safe spaces, but that internal accountant knows that I need it for their protection as much as my own. And I don't want anyone to see that.
But I've written something - a whole book - that I'm proud of. The main character has so many of my same positives and deficits. She is complicated, flawed, imperfect. And if I want to put it out in the world, I must get OK with the idea that people will be able to see... me. Atheist. Injured. Sexual. Fat. Sensitive. Rage personified.
Who knows, maybe I've been in plain sight the whole time.