Shadows

What is it that dolls, shadows, and reflections have in common? They’re all phantasms of humans, but lacking different aspects of what it means to be human. Dolls are three dimensional, but are often small and cartoony, and have no life of their own. Shadows are almost as alive as you, but they can’t move on their own, don’t show you who a person is, and depend on the light. Reflections give the most accurate depiction of people, but are backwards and can’t do anything more than mimic what you already do.

I’m not sure how many people realize this about me, but I am definitely a people person. I’m fairly quiet in the classroom except with the teachers, I’m not the most outspoken or outgoing, I tend to keep to myself unless I am friendly with you. That isn’t to say that I’m cold and stubborn, but you probably would be surprised by how I really am. Around people I’m comfortable with, they would tell you most likely that I’m pretty loud and proud. I’m pretty rambunctious and I make lots of jokes and I make a lot of really weird, really loud sounds that have earned me the nickname “Yzma.” On the flip side, maybe people wouldn’t think that I’m a pretty deep person. Maybe not even my closest friends would say that. But I think I am. In fact I’ll touch on this whole deepness thing later, but my original point is that I’m a people person. I thrive in environments where people are present. I get anxious when I’m by myself, and that can be taken a few ways. If I’m physically alone but am communicating with a person through text, or maybe with God through prayer, I don’t consider myself alone. But I can be near people and be alone in a psychological way. The point of this all is to say that I tend to depend on people. I’m generally not a happy person unless I’m with at least one other person. I have to interact with people, even if it’s a stranger. Alone at night, like I am now, is when I’m most emotional and deep, and I suspect that comes from a desire to be around people but not being able to a lot. It’s all me, but I don’t like it. This leads to numerous effects on me. I hope you catch my drift, because I don’t feel as if I’ve captured what I’m trying to say, but maybe you can see it. I can’t get my words to do what I want. Anyway, these are some major effect people can have on me.

One is dependency on self-worth. I told a friend recently that it doesn’t matter what I think in my head, it doesn’t become real for me until someone else says or does something to confirm or reject my idea. In this way, words are a very powerful tool for me, both to use and to be used against me. Most of the time I will let words affect me. Some people seem to be able to ignore words spoken for or against them, but I feed on it. I’m not good at writing until I hear somebody else say I’m good at it. This post won’t be good or successful or meaningful until somebody tells me it was. I won’t probably understand your feelings about me or something unless you say it or obviously show it. For example, I generally start out assuming that nobody likes me until somebody says they will. And then I have to continuously hear it in order for it to be true. That’s the way I work. This puts me at other peoples’ mercy a lot, and it’s not their fault, but I end up hurting a lot because of it. Most people I assume aren’t like me. They don’t need to hear I love them, or feel the need to tell me they love me, or whatever it is. It exists within their own mind, and that seems to be enough for them. Then I struggle, because I do need to tell people all the time how I feel, or hear all the time how they feel, or else it loses “officialness.” It can be different with a book, because a book doesn’t change. If I go read Harry Potter again, I’m pretty sure it’ll still say that Dumbledore dies at the end of The Half Blood Prince. What comes after that though? So maybe Harry’s children turn out to be aurors like Harry, or maybe one of them becomes a dark wizard. A better example for me is in Buffy. I want so badly to believe that Buffy and Angel will come back together somehow. I know for damn sure it’s possible. Willow is a witch, there is magic, there are ways to make their relationship work. But as the final season winds down, it’s looking less and less like it’ll end up how I want it. Unless I see them get back together, even though they get back together in my imagination, some part of me will always reject that, and I’ll know that they won’t. But with real people, they do change. Their opinion about me can change in an instant, and I’m constantly in a state of limbo trying to make sure they do, or figure out why they don’t. It doesn’t have to even be about me directly, but about something I like. Until I have seen or heard or whatever it happen, it hasn’t. Or unless I hear you say you like me, you don’t like me. It’s dangerous to operate that way, but that’s how my brain works, and it betrays me a lot. Recently I’ve been experiencing it intensely with my college choice and being away. The other person doesn’t know how I feel until I tell them and continually tell them, and vice versa. Do I think my friends will miss me immensely, and maybe some of them will cry? Yeah, but it hasn’t happened yet so they have to keep telling me. So I’ve made myself clear about this I think. On to the next point.

It’s a beautiful paradox this: people are the most remarkably complex things out there, but still we’re very simple. Here’s what I mean. I hear about all these people looking for love. Yeah, we all are. A lot of people will complain about not having it, sometimes myself included. It can be other things as well. There are these things I see posted on Facebook that are really funny and true called Teenager Posts. They identify my situations and emotions and experiences exactly, and they do the same for others as well. Are anyone’s situations exactly the same? No. This is a silly example, but I think the principle applies. Teenager Post #070: That feeling of EPICNESS when you draw an epic straight line without a ruler. I can’t tell you how proud I get when that happens. It can be the same with a word. If I write it so pretty, but I make a mistake, I try my very hardest to fix my mistake without erasing the letters because they’re too pretty. Most people relate to those. So I think at a base level, all people are the same. We look for accomplishment, even in the most menial achievments, and feel pride when we succeed. We all want love and friends and food and all that stuff. I know it in my own head, but I don’t seem to fully believe it when it comes to me, but the phrase “You don’t understand my problems” is usually false. I’m stepping out on a limb, and if I’m wrong, tell me, but I don’t think I am. I think many people can understand your problems, but we can experience cognitive dissonance. There’s a disconnect somewhere regardless of what’s real or what isn’t. We elevate ourselves to the highest position. We are our own priority. When our parents die, the pain is unbearable, and we think we’re the only ones who’ve dealt with it. Our case is the special one where REALLY nobody understands. 9/10 times I think that’s incorrect, at least with the people immediately around you. I want to explain it more, but I also want to move on to the complexity portion of this. I’ll leave it at that, and if my views on how unoriginal we are need more explaining, let me know and I’ll come back. Now for the complex part. Love and pain really are at their hearts fairly complex, which flies in the face of what I’ve already said. But if this makes any sense, I think people are so complex that because we’re all complex, that adds a level of simplicity to it. So at some level we are individuals, and we will cope with experiences differently. We all experience different things in our lives, have different tastes, different lives that shape who we are and how we think. We are simple in what we need and how our natures react, but our complexity comes in somewhere after that. It influences the trivial things, like who really does surround us, out upbringing, and how we will respond and the exact thought processes and motives and all of that stuff that will swing the choices one way or another. We are defined by what makes us different, not what makes us the same. Cause we are basically the same, but what stands out is most often what defines us, and what makes the difference to other people. Again, it’s a weird paradox, but I think you can see what I mean. If not, let me know!

Another thing that I sometimes struggle with is wanting to know people. I most often try to see the best in people, I won’t let myself believe bad things about people. Not always, but a majority of the time I’d say. That’s kind of two separate points. But in essence, they both boil down to this: everyone has a story. I try to realize that as much as I can. It can explain why people are the way they are. Someone was a jerk on the road? Well a number of things could be wrong, and I try to understand and sympathize with them. The other part is seeing people I never interact with, and I want to interact with them. I remember this most often walking through the airport. I one time wrote a poem about passing by people and not knowing about them or their story, and how I wish it was in me and the world to build friendships with EVERYONE. That random man with the suitcase walking hurriedly to his plane. I’ve said it before, but I’m a people-watcher. I like to watch people. Some people intrigue me for various reasons, and it makes me want to go talk to them and be best buddies with them. You know what I’m saying? I think I would do it if other people were the same way, or at least said they were (3rd paragraph). I wish people would do that with me, so I could do that with other people. Maybe I need to be the first step, but something tells me that’d be stepping over a boundary and it could lead to trouble.

I’ve said most of what I think I needed to say. One last thing that I’ve said before, but that fits here is respecting people as humans. I believe that no matter how bad a person is that they should be granted mercy. That doesn’t mean let bad things go excused, but it means being fair and letting judgment fall rightfully. Example: a guy murders someone. I think he should be punished. But I think that we should also show mercy so that we don’t kill him back. It’s not an “eye for an eye” approach as the world is. Jesus endured countless wrongs to him, but he restrained himself. If he gave everyone what they deserved, we’d all be in hell no questions asked. But he showed us mercy. Jesus never killed anyone, despite the people all wishing him dead. He has every right, and the only right to condemn us, but he doesn’t. And that’s what we should do… WITHIN REASON! I’m not saying let the rapists and murderers and terrorists run wild. There are limits. If I try to make those up, I’ll make a fool of myself and let those wiser than me do the specifics. But in a more daily way, if someone is cursing at you and calling you names, mercy would be not swearing back, but letting it go and forgiving them, even responding with nice words. If someone let’s say breaks your phone. The normal response would be to probably punch them or yell at them. Show them compassion instead. Forgive them. It’s something that is incredibly hard to do. But I think if we all get in the practice of doing it, starting with myself, it can be done. If I mess up, mercifully respond to me please, and tell me that I wasn’t merciful. That’s how I’ll learn. And let’s not be mean to other people at all! I can handle sarcasm and playful insults, but the line is drawn when it gets sincerely serious and hurtful. Like I said in “One Man’s Garbage” about Taylor Swift or other religions, just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean that you are enemies. I’m conservative and Christian, but I have plenty of friends who are liberal atheists or agnostics. “Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends?” I think my point is clear. Kindness =/= fondness. And disagreement =/= hatred. Mercy towards others is important.

That’s all I have to say about people right now. I do want to say though that I did a number of things to this blog, so this is response time for you all. First thing on the menu is the face lift. I added some pictures and color to the page, so I think it’s more attractive now. I like it more, so that’s what counts; hopefully you like it as well. Another thing is the change of the name of my blog. Previously it was “The World Through My Eyes: Life through the lens of a young Christian.” Now it’s “Unabashed Me: Confessions of being who I am and who God calls me to be.” I like the new one better personally, but it’s important to me to know how the readers feel. Which one is better? Is there a secret door number three I haven’t found yet? Let me know, please oh please let me know so I can get a little more exposure. Give me suggestions and vote on the thread or however you saw this. That being said, I’m trying to rack in some more viewers. I’m not sure if I did it right, but along the right hand side there should be a couple different options for subscribing. Essentially subscribing will allow you to get notifications when I post new stuff, without having to manually enter my address or risk missing the links I post. So subscribing could benefit you if you want to read more of my stuff, and it could benefit me by getting me more views and more exposure. Also about more exposure, pass these along to your friends and tell them to pass it along if they like it. It helps me, and it helps other people hopefully. You can do that by telling them in person, posting links, sharing, any number of ways. I can only spread it so far myself, so I need the help of my readers. Lastly is just reader interaction. This will be my 42nd post, and on this blog I’ve received all of like 10 comments, out of 900+ total views. I want to hear what you all have to say. Am I off my rocker? Am I right on the money? Want to see a specific thing and lend ideas? I write for myself, but I also want to write to help other people and entertain them. So talk to me a little more. I hope you enjoyed this post, and sorry for the little business presentation or sales pitch at the end, but I want to see myself and my readers happy. Thanks for your time and effort, and once again, thanks for reading!

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