Please oh please internet readers tell me that I am not the only one that this happens to on a regular basis? What you may ask? Well I am forgettable. And yes before you jump all over me for proclaiming, like the worst self esteem chant ever, that is not how I mean it. I mean literally people forget about me. The things I say, the things I do and I would be lying in saying that sometimes my self-esteem doesn’t take a ding for it.
It has gotten noticeably worse since I have been in graduate school. And maybe it is because graduate programs are competitive and you gotta do special things to get yourself noticed. But sometimes it feels as if my university that translates into being a PITA (pain in the ass or a braggart). The PITA’s are often the ones that garner the notice. I try and make those that I work with lives easier by not bothering them, not ruffling feathers, by staying under the radar and to truly let my work speak for itself instead of proclaiming my greatness. But that doesn’t really happen. I have been in my graduate program for almost two years now and it was only this semester that outside of one person, who I consider a friend, that my cohorts even realized I had children or a family. I consider this actually kind of sad because I know these people’s bowel movements and dating history and what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But they never bothered to ask and I never bothered to offer it up.
I was raised in a poor family. I don’t care or hide that fact that anymore and I won’t lie sometimes I felt like my job was to be seen not heard. I don’t mean that in the sense of battered child/wife syndrome. I mean I always had to prove myself worthy of attention by being a successful student and human being because usually when people knew me they knew my family was broken up and not always rich and they didn’t expect much. In fact, I quite enjoyed showing them I could do more than they ever expected.
Maybe that upbringing made me docile and come across as shy and sweet and the dreaded forgettable. But I will be honest, that is not always the case. I work my ass off for my program and I do it just like I always have…To prove something. I am more than my bank account now or in the past. I am more than the quiet one in the back that doesn’t bitch about every little thing and proclaim the world should idolize Mommy Rhetoric. I just don’t feel like I always have to advertise how wonderful I am or how loud I can be to get noticed. I hope people see that and know that about me and don’t take it as not caring. This post proves I obviously care so much.
But more and more as these moments pass me by where I hear; “Oh you are the one that did that? (whilst scratching their heads),” or “There was this really cool thing this lady did…” (and story goes on to reveal that it was me but teller of said story doesn’t remember it was me)” I begin wondering, “What is it about me?” And while I would love to act like it doesn’t hurt my feelings it does. It happens in more than graduate school. It happens with my family. It happens with my friends. It happens in life.
I know how the old saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And well I never really considered myself a squeaky wheel, I may as well face it I need to be if I want to be heard. I just refuse to believe you have to be a PITA or braggart to be heard. I am fairly secure in myself and what I have to offer the world has value, so I don’t feel the need to tell everyone how wonderful I am or be such a PITA that people dread hearing me coming and avoid me at all costs.
Please tell me I am not the only one feeling a little forgotten?