I need a lot. I need great coffee shops, beautiful sunsets, and tedious road trips where I sing myself hoarse. I need a few hours a day to sit idle and contemplate every aspect of my day. I need long walks in the chilly night sky, I need a terrace where I can sit with my memory box and relive the days I miss. I need to sit by a stream and listen to the songs that touch my soul. I need books to live a few hundred times. I need to cycle through what looks like a tapestry and I need to eat food that makes me feel thankful for it. I need to get out of the real every now and then, and surround myself with the surreal. There is so much I need. But most of all, I now realize, I need people. I need other people, because I need to be surrounded by the living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe in something better, something more complex, and profound, than me.
We all say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and “How you look doesn’t define you.” I’m here to say that’s an extensive amount of horse shit. Wait, hold your horses and listen to what I have to say.
I was recently flying to Mumbai and I groaned the second I saw who I was sitting next to. It was a really big, fat, dark man with a huge beard and I all I could think of was “Shit, there goes my armrest”. I sat down wearily and completely defeated with the hopes of catching a glimpse of sleep. Then, the weirdest thing happened.
A woman walked up to us and since she had the window seat, we both had to get up to let her scoot. He then kindly suggested it might be easier if he sat at the aisle seat, so both of us would be comfortable. He then went on to talk to the both of us about what we do and why we were going to Mumbai.
He talked about his family and his daughter, the fact that he works in Kuwait, away from his family, and how he keeps them as close as he can. Throughout the conversation, all I could think was, “This is a nice man. Why did I judge him because he didn’t meet my standard of conventional beauty?”
And then it hit me. We all say that we do not judge people by the way they look but at the end of the day, Ugly Truth got it right. No one is going to fall in love with your personality at first sight, which is really off-putting. There are people out there with beautiful souls but we tend to dismiss them at the first glance because they aren’t what we call hot, beautiful or gorgeous.
I’m no angel for I have also committed the same crime, but I feel dirty and shallow now. I thought about it, and grilled myself for what I had done. A few words out of that mans mouth and I felt horrible for thinking he was a shady man with no life of his own. Of course he was married and had kids, but did I stop to think before questioning the sanctity of my armrest? No.
I’m trying to change that part of me, the part that passes even a slight amount of judgement based on how a person looks but I can’t do it alone. People can’t help the way they look, but they can help how they behave so I’m going to change how I behave. What about you? Are you still going to judge the book by its cover or are you going to flip a few pages first and then decide?
She has a bookshelf for a heart,
And ink runs through her veins,
She’ll write you into her story,
With the typewriter in her brain,
Her bookshelf’s getting crowded,
With all the stories that she’s penned,
Of people who flicked through her pages,
But closed the book before the end,
And there’s one pushed to the very back,
That sits collecting dust,
With its title in her finest writing,
“The One’s Who Lost My Trust”,
There’s books she’s scared to open,
And books she doesn’t close,
Stories of every person she met,
Stretched out in endless rows,
Some people have only a sentence,
While others once held a main part,
Thousands of inky footprints,
That they’ve left across her heart,
You might wonder why she does this,
Why write of people she once knew?
But she hopes one day she’ll mean enough,
For someone to write about her too.
This is not me; these words are not mine but they are beautiful and heart-breaking. And I loved that.