Thursday, February 11, 2010

What if you were invisible? « in over your head

What if you were invisible?

What if, no matter the effort, you were never appreciated– for anything.

Imagine you’d never get famous, never get known, for anything you’d ever do. What if no one saw your work– your friends, maybe, but no one else. You’d never get noticed, never achieve any acclaim, ever. Terrible, maybe? Expected, perhaps?

But what if you knew in advance?

If nothing you did would get you known, you wouldn’t chase fame or attention, because you’d know you’d never get it. The work itself would get a lot more important to you. You’d focus on the intrinsic value a lot more– whether you enjoyed it, whether it made your friends and family happy, and so on.

What else would happen?

Is it possible that the work itself would actually get better? Would the enjoyment you got from your work start giving you more incentive to work harder, longer hours, with more attention to what matters? Would your invisible work become incredible?

Or would you stop working altogether? What kind of person are you?

Try out this thought experiment. Write a post for me on your blog saying what would happen if you were invisible, if there were no media whatsoever, nor word of mouth, to get you any attention, forever.

Remember, no attention means no judgement, either.


A little thought experiment here:

In some ways, I am already invisible. I work inside my home, as a caregiver personal assistant, chef, butler, cleaner, all unpaid. For the love of my family. I left a career after 17 years, with some transition time through school. While working outside the home (and at school), I received constant positive feedback, had a great group of colleagues wherever I landed, was in an exciting industry, and had the chance to meet interesting people.

It occurred to me a couple of years ago, after being at home for 4 or 5 years, that I had once dreamed of being able to NOT work outside the house, to having a lot of time to myself, to feed my introvert soul, and manage my own time. And that's where I have ended up. While I hesitate to push the introvert/extrovert paradigm too far, those of us on the former end of the spectrum don't crave attention. It tires us out. It's draining. Being invisible is actually a nice place to be. We're able to recharge, think, energize ourselves with silence and a lot of clean mental space.

My partner of 26 years loves me unconditionally. We enjoy each other's cooking, we like going out together, we enjoy many of the same books and movies. We share not only a bed but a brain, in some weird way. And I'm not looking for acknowledgement or notice or mention from anyone else. (Okay, maybe my teenagers.) I yam who I yam. There is nothing I'd do differently if I was assured of no notice. Other than maybe not vacuuming as frequently.

1 comment:

sebastian said...

Well... you aren't completely invisible hehe.I think that when people does something that makes them feel proud of, they can be extrovert with no effort. Or at least that's the moment when they should be exorcising to be expansive and communicative. The hard part is about what is done. Because to do things that makes you to be proud is usually non obvious or trivial (I mean to actually do it and not only knowing or recognize it).