Prompt: “One thing you need to say”
Your eyes are your worst enemies in the game of meeting people.
Growing up, I was very judgemental of women based on how they dressed and acted. Somehow my eyes learned and saw anything short or revealing in any way as an invitation for male attention.. which made her a ‘bad’ girl and definitely not someone I wanted to befriend. In my young mind, there was no such thing as an introvert or an extrovert, there were just normal quiet girls and girls that were desperate for male attention. Wanting male attention was the worst sin of all to my young mind. Tattoos and piercings were like a giant hazard signal communicating to me that there was no good within the person. People that smoked or drank were a preview of hells’ candidates. To crown it all, my eyes were privileged and believed that people who dressed in better clothes deserves better treatment.
I can’t say where I got these ideals from but they stayed with me for a long time. Till one day, when I was seventeen, one of such girls befriended me. It was like she had decided we would be friends whether I like it or not. she made 99% of the effort (my 1% effort was replying her questions). As our friendship grew and I learned more about her, my mind moved from “she is bad” to “what’s wrong in being bad?” to “was she bad?”
She loved herself, she loved her body, She wasn’t watching how she acted or wondering what people thought of her every step like I did all the time. She was generous and kind, she knew and understood the Bible way more than I did, She was unapologetically herself and I loved it.
My eyes didn’t. My eyes remained stuck in their school archaic of thought. Drastic measures were to meted out so, I made myself wear these clothes. I started to wear shorts going out… It was so uncomfortable at first but I kept my eyes straight and upward and ignored the voices in my head shouting. As I got more used to these shorts and started to like them, I realised, as expected, that I hadn’t suddenly become desirous of male attention. It was just me in a pair of shorts. I stopped dressing my best when I had errands to run. Some strangers treated me like shit, assuming I was a house-help. But I learned the more important thing of not treat people like shit just because of what they wore… Till today it is near impossible to see me act pumpous to the lower people of society. I got an extra piercing. I loved it… But I often forgot to put in the piercing and eventually it closed up.
I experimented smoking and I experimented drinking. Smoking wasn’t my thing and my interest in it disappeared in a puff of snoke.. Drinking was though. Whilst drinking, I learned I could actually dance publicly. My birthday while I was at camp was the first of many. It was great! But I learned my limits too: only social drinking and three cups of anything slightly spiked.
I morphed into who my eyes despised the most… A person that dresses her body whichever way she wanted in spite of the ideas of a morally bankrupt society that loved the “appearance” of these morals. A society that would rather push you into a labelled box than expose themselves to learning more of you.
I still unconsciously judge people based on how they choose to life, but I’m quick to cut it to ask and demand “are you any better?”
The answer is No.
No I’m not.