Invisible. Unnoticed. In the shadows. Missed entirely.

wVlfnlTbRtK8eGvbnBZI_VolkanOlmez_005Do you know the feeling?

Is the label attached to you the by-product of something or someone else? The new assistant to Mr. CEO. The daughter of so-and-so. The wife of Mr. “VIP”.

But you…you, at the deepest level, are who exactly?

It took so much courage to sign up for stage crew that year. What I really wanted was to boldly audition for a role in the musical but I’d never stand a chance. I couldn’t sing and I wasn’t sure I could act. To audition meant to set myself up for rejection. Stage crew was a safe bet. Scary, sure, but better than hiding behind my insecurities and doing nothing; for now, hiding behind the stage would do.

Imagine the envy I felt when my nearest and dearest friend who I loved more than anyone…my sister, Terri…was in one of the leading roles. Yes, my younger, straight-A, popular sister who I loved and hated with one breath. The sister who seemed to soar through high school without a glitch. Then there was me…my insecurities eating me alive.

When the musical ended, we decided to host the wrap-up party for the cast and crew at my parent’s home. Because we lived 9 miles and several turn-offs south of town, a map was required. A friend of my sister took it upon herself to draw out a map that would be distributed to everyone. Imagine my excitement in having all these people come to “my” home!

Then I saw the map. There, directly above a drawing of our home, lunging at me like a sucker-punch right to the gut, were the words “Terri’s house”.

Ouch. From co-host to nobody in one hand-drawn map.

Wheat FieldI made the terrifying and incredibly painful decision to strike out on my own in the form of a boarding school 1000 miles away. The distance and fresh start were my only hopes of figuring out who I was and what my future might entail. While it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it taught me that in order to find and share my voice, I would have to step out of my comfort zone and face incredible challenges. Only then did I begin to emerge from the shadows.

Years later, I’m grateful for that painful yet pivotal moment. I knew finding myself was my only hope of finding any type of satisfaction or purpose.

If you’ve ever felt insignificant or invisible, I promise you you’re not alone. So many of us struggle to uncover what makes us feel valuable and significant. We need to feel we matter. Join our community of believers, those of us who strive to leave a mark and find our deepest calling. Stay in the loop for upcoming opportunities by signing up below:

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