when i moved in with my mother at the age of 7, the lessons life was teaching me shifted from the academically focused environment my father had created for me to lessons about people and human interactions. i spent a good deal of my elementary, middle and high school career being ‘made fun of’. and the time i spent at home was best used figuring out my mother and her never-ending list of things that set her off and trying my best to avoid them.
i came to learn that most people view others through a filter built of their own life experiences, they run each person through the mental equation consisting only of the variables they find valuable, shedding light on areas they find important and dimming the light on aspects of people they either don’t know or don’t care to know. this also predetermines the other person’s actions, it prejudges them for their mistakes and makes really learning about who they are that much more difficult. even now, people will see my actions and work backwards to define what they think that means about me. and in this way, they think they have me figured out, like people who read a book, stop half way, read the last page, and move on. people are always skipping over who i really am.
nevertheless, i wasn’t a depressed child, nor was i sad or ‘shy’, per say. i think it just made me an observer. the best way for me to evaluate a situation and help myself figure out the most effective way to proceed was by watching the ebbs and flows of the human dynamics going on around me. as time passed, this mentality stayed with me, and i still see the world this way. and the most valuable benefit of being an observer is, that when you begin to see people, like really see them, in almost every case, they are beautiful.
i can watch people for days, watch their movements, their facial expressions, their body language, and i fall in love with every single one of them. what i find most fascinating is when i see people engulfed in their passions, when they are truly interested and their eyes light up and something deep inside them begins to reach out. i love catching people off guard, watching the way their faces move when they are really deep in thought. i thrive on moments where people are so natural they are flawless in the game of being themselves, they just do it so well and with such grace. and they make it look easy.
however, as the observer, its hard to allow the process to happen to me, to allow myself to genuinely be seen and admired. it pains me to be natural, for being natural for me means i have to forget about the people i am so intently observing. i guess this ultimately makes it hard on people to get a good look at me because i’ve always spotted them first. and as i ponder on their lives and what makes them who they are i find myself lost somewhere in the background. and that’s when I wish i could turn it off, just for a moment, to be natural and effortless, to forget about the world, forget about all the different people I could be watching and extracting their stories and their beauty. sometimes, I wish I could see the beauty in myself, yet… I can’t help but want someone else to see it first.