One of the most frustrating things about being human is how confusing we can all be. How one person is totally different than the other in what they like, feel, how they act...all of it. And because of these differences we are so apt to judge someone so very fast.
It's true, we don't take the time to get to know others before we make decisions on their character. We write people off long before we really get to know who they are, and it is really sad. Our inherent decision to judge someone by the way they look or what they say the first time we meet them makes our race, our being, so superficial.
I'm not saying that I don't do this. It's something that is inbred into all of us. Some do it more than others, but I know that in the past few years, I have done it less and less. Why? Because people are so interesting. It's those differences in others that are so much fun to learn about and meet. Enriching your life with the lives of others is a gift that many have yet to receive, but when you realize its potential and how awesome it is, well, you'll never be the same again.
I think one of the reasons we judge so easy is because we want to protect ourselves. I know how that is. I have be judged by others all my life. I have been written off as "the fat girl," "oh, she doesn't have money so she can't wear cool clothes so she's not worth our time," "She's just weird," "she's just a geek." All of them. And I'm not going to sit here and say that I am not any of these people. Yes, I am overweight. Yes, I grew up in a household where my mother was barely hanging on at times. Yes, I have some quirks. And yes, I am a geek, but you know what, I am proud of that.
But I hated it when people thought things about me. I hated it when people judged me. Heck, to this day I still try to please everyone as much as possible. But why? All this extra energy I put into making everything wonderful can get exhausting. There are few people, who I consider myself closest to, that I don't try to please, because they love me for being me and I can be me when I am with them. These are the people who no longer judge me.
It is hard to stop judging and to sit and learn. Over the past few years, I have found that meeting someone for the first time, I like to get to know a little about them before I decide anything. I like to learn what they like, what they hate, what makes them tick. People are fascinating. I can't say that enough.
Behind my smile is a complicated being. For those who really know me, well they totally understand what I mean by that. Yes, I have a relatively optimistic attitude. I am a big smiler. I like to make someone else's day by just sharing a smile, a laugh, a moment; I feed off of it. But I wasn't always the "happy" person that I portray with my smile. Heck, I still have days now where I put the smile on because I don't want to bring people down to the levels that my brain puts me through all the time. I always say this, but I have not had an easy life. True facts. And in each part of my life so far, I have been dealing with problems that are far more complicated than most of those my age.
And this made me misunderstood. I had no control over my life at home, the things that were happening and I couldn't do anything about it. So I put a smile on, put it aside for the time being when I was away, and just kept going. I learned early not to dwell on it all. If I dwelt on it, I would destroy myself, and I didn't like feeling the negative emotions that thought left me.
But in the end, I learned that some thought was needed. I remember the day after my mother's funeral, I returned to school with a relative okay disposition. Not because the day before was one of the worst and more traumatic (what 14 year old wants to say goodbye to their mother forever?) but because I knew what I had to do. I had to do well in school, graduate, move on in life. My mother was gone, there was nothing I could do about it. I was put in a house I felt unwelcome in. There was nothing I could do about it at the time. My life felt like it was falling apart with no end around me, but I could change things, as long as I didn't cave.
So I was misunderstood. People didn't know what was going on at home. They didn't know the pain, the emotions, the hardships I was dealing with basically by myself. So many of them saw me as the mask I portrayed. So they wrote me off, made verbal abuses that did hurt at times, spread rumors, made my life at school, which was something I could control, harder. But, like everything else I've ever done in my life, I finished.
And now, years later, there are some who have come forward with apologies. They realized how wrong they were about me. They heard the truths, the hardships that as a teenager I shouldn't have had to deal with, and they apologized. I could have been bitter. I could have not accepted the apologies. But, I also realize that as teenagers, we don't get to know people like we should. As we grow, many of us will mature into wonderful people of our society, and we find the error in our ways. I forgive because I also know they aren't the same person they were 4 years ago.
And some of these people are now some very good friends.
And for the rest. They will probably never see the error of their ways. I don't expect to ever hear an apology from the lips of many of them. But, I am okay with that. "How small are we mortals who walk the Earth throwing stones at one another." There will always be people throwing stones. It's those who no longer let the stones do more than hurt for a second that are the strongest. Those who will throw the stones will always be bullies and not people you want to associate with.
So I have a challenge for you. Meet someone new today, introduce yourself to someone you never thought you would. Have a seat, ask them about themselves. Us humans love talking about ourselves. Learn something from them. Learn who they are, what made them who they are. People are interesting you just have to take the time to learn about them. You may learn something about yourself, and meet someone that will become a better friend than you'll ever imagine.
I've never regretted it.
1. The Girl- City and Colour
2. Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon
3. Syndicate- The Fray
4. The Lightning Strike- Snow Patrol
5. Blindsided- Bon Iver
6. Bird Stealing Bread- Iron & Wine
7. Detlef Schrempf- Band of Horses
8. Waiting...- City and Colour
9. No Sunlight- Death Cab for Cutie
10. We Build Then We Break- The Fray
P.S. The Fray's new album came out today. I am so getting it after class. *le geekout*