I did a Gap Analysis and found out what the world was missing: me.
I’ve been hiding the treasure of myself from the world. It is exhausting, though, building and maintaining this vault to contain a powerful being.
The vault is made of performative gestures, well-timed nods and comments on the weather. Lots of jell to paste my hair together— hiding in plain sight. I could write a How-to book: how to disappear and never be seen again.
But that’s not the book I will write. I will write about how to appear and be seen forever, once I find out how to.
The world is missing me. And somewhere, deep in the vault, I am always trying to get out. One piece of hair just won’t stay in place. Or I bring sardines to lunch and eat them out of the can and feel threatened by the critical looks in the office at lunchtime. These looks, that second glance, it is so quick yet it sets off the alerts of the vault: security breach! Alert! Tomorrow it’s back to lunchmeat sandwiches like the rest. Disappear completely.
I get home to my studio apartment. I close the door, put down my bag, and slide down to lay one the floor. Exhausted. Now, I can be myself, but I am too tired. I get a whole carrot and eat it while laying on the floor, playing cloud-shape games with the shapes of water stains on the ceiling–is it a dog? No, it’s a skull.
It requires constant vigilance, this movable vault. I’ve torn my identity into pieces to hold it all together:
- One part of me must always be the authoritarian, scolding me if I make a mistake.
- Another part is the face of the operation: the quiet girl that smiles and always says the appropriate thing at the appropriate time– the performer.
- Another part is the judge– gifted at finding dislikes, quietly judging others at how well they contain their vault (hint: they’re not as good at it).
I have torn myself up to create is a troupe of protectors that pop up when I need them.
But what about me? Deep in the vault there is a curious, funny, goofball who likes to eat popcorn in soup and troll the internet for raccoon memes.
That is what the world is missing! The world is missing random push ups on the office floor to stave off afternoon haze. The world is missing big hair and high-pitched cackling laughs. The world is missing going on a walk around the office building and picking a ripe mango off the tree and eating it, making a mess and staining my work shirt. The world is missing mango stained work shirts in board meetings! The world is missing screaming empty threats at frogs that won’t leave me alone in the shower in the rainy season. The world is missing unflattering photos and my sneaky double-chin!
The world is missing climbing trees on my lunch break with no shoes on to get to that guava at the top. The world is missing stories about chasing an armadillo through the jungle muttering about hepatitis in a sing-song voice.
I did a Gap Analysis and found out what the world was missing. It’s missing YOU, too. It’s ok to be afraid. Still, tell the vault authoritarian to stand down this once: What treasures are you hiding from the world?
Who knows the real magic? Who knows how to appear and be seen forever?