Monday, 3 August 2015

People I Sort of Know

It's taken a period of growing up to come to the realisation that other people are complicated.  Everyone is so beautifully complex, with an outer reputation and physical exterior, and their own thoughts on that image buried deep inside.  They're just like me.  They lie to themselves.  They must care.


She's always got a seemingly intellectual book with her.  Last I checked it was the original Peter Pan.  Today it's Jane Eyre.  Her hollow looking face is resting in her hands, her pale skin contrasting against her dark hair and the black frames of her glasses.  Her eyes are looking up at the teacher, but I can't tell whether she's listening to his droning voice, or is simply day dreaming.

To everyone else she's invisible.  It's easy for them to forget she exists.  I've never heard her yell.  On the rare occasion that she speaks, her voice is so quiet.  Sometimes she'll give off a small laugh with someone she knows well.  She's so innocently kind, but maybe that's what happens when you rarely say anything at all.

I wonder if she minds what they think of her, if she's content with being unknown or being seen as shy.  Does she ever wish she could join in when she fades into the background while her friends are talking, or is she deliberately not contributing because she doesn't see the point?  Does she care about any of those stereo-typical teen things, like formals and parties and friends, or does she genuinely love being separate from it all?  If she does, I admire her for that.


She's laughing.  It's a dorky laugh, but I can tell she's genuinely happy.  She yells something with her slight lisp, rocking back and forth, resuming her laughter.  What should be contagious happiness is contained within her table, because no one around the room cares to hear the obvious bout of hilarity coming from them.

The last time I talked to her she loved cats, Pokemon and tic-tacs.  She used to be unhesitant to say hello to me, but now she'll sit in silence and watch.  I remember the time I showed her a quote stating that of sleep, a social life and good grades, one must always be sacrificed; and she confidently said that she had all three, only to take back the social life a moment later.

I don't know whether she likes being who she is.  What's going through her head?  Is she more focused on her reputation, or her relationship with her friends?  Does she ever crave to be the centre of the group, because sometimes those people who seem content with playing an insignificant role really just want to be recognised.  Sometimes I think she's unhappy, but in that moment right there, she seemed like the happiest person in the room.


She just rocked up on the day.  Her hair was braided, her heels were low and she had a thick black parka over her comfortable slightly bohemian looking dress.  Her entire character screamed that she would work in the hyped up overly well-dressed crowd, no matter what.  It had been two weeks of school and hearing nothing from her, and she was back.

She was sitting alone on the steps, watching the swelling crowd of people krumping.  She didn't have her phone out, she didn't pretend she was with anyone.  She was just there.  She made all the foreshadowing angst people felt seem meaningless.  She seemed so utterly content and unafraid.

I wonder whether in her mind she's trained herself to do this; if every time a doubtful peer-pressuring thought of conformity enters her brain she pushes it out; if it's all an act of repulsion.  I wonder if she cares, or if she's a hell of a good actress.  Or maybe her thoughts are simply centred somewhere else.  I wonder where she learned to have the courage to dance alone in a crowded room, or where she learned to act like she does.

...

I wonder if anyone's ever observed me in a beautifully complex moment.  What would one of those moments look like?

Love,
M

18 comments:

  1. This is very beautiful, M.

    Everyone is complicated, it's in our nature. There are different levels of complexity though.
    When you see a person alone, or shy doesn't always mean that he is lonely. Growing up you've come to a point where you seek solitude and you long those rare moments of being complete and utterly alone. We need to be alone as much as we need to be with someone else. If we constantly seek the company of others, it's a sign that something is wrong. Same when we want to be always alone.

    But there is another thing that comes to mind when I read this post. It's just that she may not fit there.
    We don't fit everywhere. Sure there are places and circumstances that you feel uncomfortable, not connecting with others. So at those moments in the eyes of someone who happened to watch you, you may seem alone.

    What I am trying to say is that people are truly themselves when they feel connected with those around them, when they know that they won't be judged no matter what.
    At least, this is my pov. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Athina @ Between my Lines
    http://between-my-lines.blogspot.gr/

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    1. I love your perception of this. Honestly, I don't think people generally care enough to notice a lot of things, but when they do, they're usually misjudging. You're right; just because someone's alone doesn't mean they're lonely. We never really know what's going on inside their head and should therefore never judge. It's true that people are most themselves when truly connecting with those around them, and when they're with those they don't have that with you may believe they're something they're not, just because you caught them around the wrong people. But sometimes you catch them at the right time, and that's when you see them at the most genuine and happy they can be.

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  2. I love this so much, so well written ^_^ x

    ratherstrangeblog.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I observe people like this all the time, I have never managed to write it as eloquently as you have here.

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    1. People watching is something I've decided to do more often. Thank you Skye <3

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  4. This is incredible. :) You were not only able to be observant, but empathetic too, in my opinion. I analyse (for a lack of a better word) so many people at our school. There's this one guy that I wonder about constantly. What kind of things fadcinate him, what goes on in his brain. It's not that I like him romantically; he seems like such a darn interesting person!

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    1. You gave me sort of an inspiration for a post. About people I noticed recently. Would you mind if I credited you as the source of my ideas in a post I might potentially make?

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    2. Go ahead! I'd love to read that post, because aren't people just so interesting! Haha there are always specific people your mind goes back to, just because something about them makes you curious to know more. For me I've noticed that a lot of guys at this course I'm doing try to act super cool, like they'll be conscious of every movement and try to out speak each other or seem overly relaxed. Or maybe I'm reading the entire thing wrong. Who knows?

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  5. To be content, sometimes I think it's the only purpose and goal in life. I envy her.

    / Avy
    http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com




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    1. I envy her too. Well, it's more like I envy my idea of her. Who knows what she's really like inside? Who knows if this sense of satisfaction is reachable?

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  6. This is seriously one of the most gorgeous posts. <3

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  7. I love this post! I often look at people on public transport or in class as they sit thinking and wonder what goes through their mind. "Beautifully complex" is a great way of describing it, because those moments are when humans are at their most beautiful, and most raw. I always ache with the desire to draw people in these moments; in fact, the theme I've chosen for my school art portfolio next year is "lost in thought". A thinking person is so much more interesting than one who has constructed their smile, knowing they're being watched.

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    1. That is actually so cool! I really want to see this portfolio now. I can't draw, but I always thought it would be cool to photograph people without them knowing if it weren't creepy.

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    2. Right?? I always feel like I'm seeing people through a camera lens. I'm always desperate to photograph them but I know it is a bit creepy. I love looking at "candid" street photography, though.

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  8. Wow I love your last two paragraphs. I often wonder whether people train themselves to be the way they are. I wonder whether I do that...
    I more often than not find myself being this girl who doesn't pretend to be with someone, but I wouldn't quite call myself eccentric. Those two passages are really moving!

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    1. Thanks Emma! Some people's actions can be inspiring without them knowing it. I feel like we can train ourselves to be exactly as we want to be, and that's convenient.

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