Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dwelling in the Shadows

I have always found that I like to be surrounded by extraordinary people. I mean who isn't drawn towards the best of the best? Who doesn't want to be friends with the coolest, smartest, most talented people? I like to think I am, and for the longest time have been.

Now this is not to say that in school I was one of the cool kids. I was far from it. I was more or less unpopular actually. Within the broad view of high school I loathed the popular kids, and I am fairly sure the feeling was mutual. In the smaller microcosm of theater however I  gravitated towards the most talented people in the department. There was some overlap there from the 'cool kids' which made things difficult, but otherwise it worked well.

When I hit college though is when I really noticed this. I was in the circle with the most popular and talented amongst the theater department (since I was a theater major), and theater student in general were the coolest of all the arts majors (the music department so wanted to be us). I was friends with the people everyone wanted to work with and work for. I was surrounded by charisma and talent.

And I was invisible.

I am not saying that I am not talented. I am not saying that I was somehow undeserving to be part of that group. I know that is not true. I am saying though that these people were really bright stars and almost impossible to outshine. It is hard to get noticed when you are playing second banana to someone who seems to be a genius.

It is also hard to be seen when you are an insecure shy brunette standing next to a bubbly confident take control blond. That was my best friend, and she was...well she was hard to miss, and hard to not focus on. Things were always about her first, and I spent a lot of time feeling forgotten.

I mostly didn't mind though. I am not very comfortable being in the front all the time. I like taking the back seat and letting someone else drive. I am still perfectly useful where I am, I am just not as easily seen. That isn't always a bad thing either. A lot less praise, but you learn to live with that.

I have followed this particular trend further into my life. My friends are the most talented and amazing people I know. Some of them make me look outright dumb and unimaginative. I mean seriously they are brilliant. When it comes to faire in particular I rank solidly at the top of the B team, because I am not really in the same league as these guys. For years I have watched them effortlessly run laps around me. My best days vaguely resemble their off days. I am fairly well in awe of them.

If I can be half as strong, confident, talented, determined, creative, graceful, eloquent, skilled, and charismatic as any of my friends, I will be doing well in this world.

It is not easy living in the shadows, but it is not as cold as some people would assume.
Its actually sort of nice back here.

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