I was discussing with some fabulous friends a few weeks ago magical attributes and other interesting things. One of the conversations veered toward the question of whether there are certain things that a witch is simply good at and others that the same witch might not be, no matter the amount of practice, study and number of attempts at said thing.
I believe that to be so - that is that some of us are inherently good at certain magical things just like some of us are gifted at music or math. Doesn't mean we don't have to practice those things we are good at - just means that our brains (and perhaps souls?) are more wired toward them as opposed to other things. I think it goes to practical things too. My brain is wired toward animals for instance. I understand them and feel comfortable with them. I am connected to them. Humans, not so much so.
The discussion did spark my thought process though - because yes, magically, there are things that I am good at and one of the things that I have been extremely good at, and have been even throughout childhood, is the art of blending.
Now, I'm not talking about outright disappearing, although sometimes it can seem that way to others and I've been told by others that they did not remember that I was present for certain things, events, etc. after said event, when, in fact, I was clearly there. This would not be so obvious a successful magical attribute to me (maybe I'm just forgettable?) except that I have practiced it since childhood and I have perfected it knowingly.
I remember as a kid making myself small and unnoticeable. I would do it in the classroom when I didn't want to be called upon. I would breath in a certain way and feel my body melting into the plastic chair below me, fading behind the kid in front of me… I would do it at home when I wanted to stay up past my bedtime. It was like adults would forget I was there. Sometimes it didn't work but most times it did. I'd just go inside myself somehow, think small, that I wasn't really there, and in some way…I wouldn’t be. I did it to combat boredom as well, to disappear from wherever I was being forced to be. I was a latchkey kid and I also went with my mom to various meetings she attended either professionally or on a personal level. Sooooo tedious. And, my mom’s rule was that children were to be seen and not heard in those circumstances and a not well behaved child was unacceptable. So, I was quiet and I would practice my blending. Everyone always complimented my mom on what a good kid I was and more than once they would say they actually “forgot I was even there” until I appeared beside her as we were leaving. I practiced blending when my dad was having one of his “spells” as well. I’d just sort of fade into myself for a day or more while the air was heavy and the house felt like egg shells under his moodiness.
Now, all of this could seem rather mundane I realize. There are tons of kids that hide from reality and retreat into their own little worlds. Childhood is a maze of emotions and learning and getting used to adults and their weird patterns and quirks. But, the thing is that I consciously practiced this and still do it to this day. It followed me through adolescence and into adulthood. I use it purposefully now and have verified it through outside sources many times. And although I wish I could perfect it to a point where I could actually snap my fingers and disappear, sometimes it is just as impactful to simply blend.
I had a prospective employer call my graduate program to verify references once. This person had been in the same program as me, only about five years earlier. He is not a blender. LOL meaning he always wants to be seen and was heavily involved in the department. He told me later he spoke to three professors and each one of them had to be prompted to remember me. Now, when they did, their references were glowing. Yes! They said – I remember her now – great student, very smart, made wonderful contributions to the discussion, how odd that I didn’t recollect having her in class until I really thought about it… I got the job, by the way, and when we spoke of it I said – oh, I blended a lot in college.
I just didn’t want to be bothered. By people, by the whole process of this class and that class and….well, mostly by people. I knew I had to make good grades to get through it – it was the same way I had approached school as a kid. I did what I needed to do to ensure that I made it through that portion of my life successfully and to save myself from the complete boredom of the educational process, I blended.
In my professional life I still blend. As much as I am able to that is. One of the annoying things that happened with what people consider “success” is that I’m not able to blend as much as I would like. I crave anonymity and am now unable to fully obtain it. I would venture to say that not being as obscure as I like to be has led to a greater magical life. Gillian is who I am. This other person is simply who I have to be sometimes. So, I blend whenever I can. I don’t schmooze. I professionally network more as a witch than as part of my “real” job. I just don’t care to mingle and rub elbows with “community leaders” and when I have to, I blend. Someone will say “oh, you WERE at that meeting” and I’ll think, yeah I was there. Blending. If I have something relevant to say, I’ll certainly say it, but…most times no one has anything relevant to say at these functions they are simply there to hear themselves talk. I’m sometimes amazed at how well I blend when others are quoted during discussions and I’m not, even though I was clearly a part of them. This isn’t a sexist thing and I’m not being ignored. I’m actively choosing what I say and at the same time practicing blending. I do it on purpose with the intent of not being a target. I’m creating the result, not a victim of it.
My ex used to call it the art of being completely forgettable, even though you are not. I guess that was a compliment? It doesn’t matter. It is one of the things I’m good at and I do work on it magically. We all have certain gifts and attributes. I guess my point is to look at what you do on a daily basis. What you think of as unimportant could very well be one of your best magical assets.