I have always thought life was about blending in. Not be seen, or heard, not known or recognised. I knew that I was Unique, I was an individual.
Through the years of blending in and never be seen or heard was the glorious times of my life. I would be more involved in group activities but always found a way of diverting the spotlight away from me. I was always the leader but never showed my leadership skills. I was always the one who came up with ideas, ways to implement things and see the final product, but when credit was given for the good work we have done I would hide myself and blend in with the non-contributors and always direct praises to those who are extroverts. I have always associated myself with extroverts; because that was one way I could always remain in the background, the “shy” one.
I adapted to the name shyness, and owned it, even my eyes screamed shy at first glance. I knew I loved you spotlight but I just could not bear the thought of people knowing my hidden talents. I knew I was an artist, I could sing, but I preferred not to be heard because that is when everyone pays attention to you. I knew I could dance, but preferred being a back-up to a point of forgetting my left from right. I’m not rhythmic challenged but the fear of being seen made me believe that I was. I would shout to the world and tell them not to expect much from me for I cannot do it. I would blend in, work with the choreographers come up with a killer piece, but because I was known to have two left feet my work would be recognised but not the true creator. I knew I was creative at heart that creativity oozed through my veins but having mastered the art of blending in I was never in the spotlight. I never showed my true self of a creative for I was in love with blending.
Spotlight you were never my friend, but I loved you dearly. I always saw myself in Broadway, show stopper. Grahamstown Arts Festival my name is on every billboard there, I’m the show stopper, everyone yearning to see my performance. But spotlight I’m not that brave. I sit in the background and create stars. Create show stoppers, create individuals who will show case my work to the world’ for they love the spotlight. My association with extroverts was never a mistake, for I knew they can carry out what is in me. The art that is supposed to be seen. The art that is supposed to be known. The art that is in me.
I tried to use my words, thinking that I was brave for you spotlight, that I was not ready. Truth be told, I don’t think I can do this. I’m good in the behind the scenes, and let my work be known and seen through my associates. Let my leadership skills shine through my extroverted friends. Allow me to be the back seat driver, the artist behind the scenes because spotlight I’m not yet ready for you.
Even though there are times I feel that my existence is being forgotten, that I’m very much part of the art as those you see, but I’m still afraid of you spotlight. I think I’ll go back to my corner and hide, and continue to do things behind the scenes for that’s my comfort zone. I might not be seen or heard, I might be at a verge of being forgotten, but spotlight I can’t come out now, I’m not ready.
I have so much to share with the world, but this time, I want to be the one who runs with the stick to the finish line. I want to carry the glory of our team, I want to be known and seen and heard. I want my existence to be recognised, I want everyone to know my involvement, and I want them to give me credit of my great work. I am afraid I being forgotten, that I will end up being a figment of their imagination. My name has been forgotten; oh they never knew my name. My face has been forgotten, oh yeah they never knew how I looked. My voice has just faded, not heard or known, I’m just a fairy-tale.
Oh dear spotlight I’m in love with you, but I think I’ll go back to my corner before someone hears my cries
“Dear Spotlight, I think I’m missing you.”
The cry of a shy child
By: T. Sibiya