Somehow I ended up at this strange place.
I am at the stage, with many grownups around me. They set up the decorations for their performance. Building up the environment.
They know each other well. They support each other. They help each other out.
They build awesome things together.
They play. They relax. They trust each other.
They are happy being the actors in the play they created.
I wandered there by mistake.
Maybe it was fate – I had nowhere to go. It is dark and cold outside. I followed this alluring light to save myself from certain death.
But now I am among them and I don’t feel at ease.
“I don’t belong here” – the only thought in my mind. “I am a burden”, “They will kick me out when they finally notice”.
I tried to find a hiding spot but couldn’t find any. So here I am, crouching in the middle of a stage, awaiting retaliation.
And strangely enough, it doesn’t come.
It seems like they don’t even notice me, running their usual errands. Walking around me, they just continue their usual performance.
The play is in, and it doesn’t stop for me.
I sit in the center for the long time, contemplating my situation.
“I have to try to belong” – I think – “or I will definitely get in the way and kicked out”
“If they notice me, they will hate that I am among them. It’s gonna be the end of me!” – another thought follows.
“I cannot keep sitting there doing nothing, I will starve” – decision was finally made.
I start moving around, mimicking them and not getting in the way. Play continues. Months pass by.
Before I realise I become engulfed in it. I am starting to like this play. I know some routines, I know how they communicate. I learn the script.
It just that I cannot overcome my fear of being noticed. It still feels like I don’t belong here.
“I am an impostor”
To my surprise, it slowly starts to change. I feel I get occasional glance here and there, sometimes even a bit of a praise or some advice. I discard it as a dangerous thought.
“I cannot think”, “I must perform”
I never stop moving, I follow every bit of advice to the very letter, for the fear of being kicked out in the cold.
“Surely, I won’t ever be equal to them, but if I’ll do the best I can, I may stay around and watch them at least”
It keeps me going. “I cannot fail, it will be the end of me”
But somewhere in the corner of my mind, the fleeting little thought is born – “Maybe?”
Maybe I can be among them at some point in the future?
Maybe I can be noticed if I try hard enough?
Maybe I will be enough someday?
I takes me a long time, but at some moment realisation hits me hard – “Maybe it was I who was running from them all this time?”
It is a scary thought, but I have to know the truth now.
I am ready to put everything on the line.
For the first time in my life. I decide to take this huge risk.
I decide to show up. I go to the center of the scene and loudly declare:
“I AM HERE”
The man appears beside me. He looks right at me, with the spark in his eyes.
“We were waiting for you” – he says kindly
“For me? Do I even have the right to be here?” – with all my remaining resolve I mutter to him
“Of course. You were one of us all along”
He takes me by the hand and walks me to the others.
They look at me happily.