Monday, March 16, 2009

Things I've Seen

I saw a small Asian boy smiling like Buddah would smile if he were a baby with no cares in the world, as he was pushed through the mall in his stroller. He only stopped smiling when he saw me watching him, even though I was smiling at him. I wonder why. Then he went back to his own little world and the look of pure contentment came back.

I want to look that content while I go my way through the world.

Today I was met by my boss without a smile, not even in her voice. I think now that she must have had a stressed morning but this morning I took it personally and the first hour or two of my day were terrible. I wanted to quit. I wanted to throw books at stupid people. I wanted to gouge the eyes out of wailing children. And then I realized that my boss has always greeted me with a smile and a friendly word and that there was nothing I could have done in the first thirty seconds of my day to make her upset, so it must be from a cause outside myself. I am very egocentric. I must be two years old. That must be why I look so young. ;) Although if I keep taking everything personally it will age me before my time.

I was told by an older man that I was wise beyond my years. He doesn't know me, so he doesn't know all my faults - that I have the ego of a toddler. We talked about the school system and the lack of balance therein. He teaches shop, and the troubled kids 'get better' in his class because instead of trying to build with letters and numbers and failing, they build with their hands and succeed. The school wants him to take his counselling degree but he doesn't want to because he cannot counsel out of the context of his class. Or he doesn't think so. He was so easy to talk to. He said not many people believed in the need for balance. That's why he thinks I'm so wise. Because I know that balance is a need, even if I can't acheive it myself. He asked how I got so wise and I said I'd just always been a thinker. He said him too. He'd always stood on the edge and watched others, and half-wanted to get involved but holding back because most of the stuff others were doing looked so damn stupid. I added the damn. It's the first time I've met someone who put in words what I've lived my whole life. It was exhilerating and sad. I don't know why it was sad. Perhaps because I know that there is a cost to being the watcher and I'm not sure I want to pay it, even if I don't know any other way to be.

He seemed happy. He said if I ever had time and saw him around the mall, we should go for coffee.

It made me wonder why the only guys who ask me out for coffee are either older than me by decades, or younger than me and socially awkward. Even though he didn't ask me out on a date. It didn't feel like that, anyway. More like he enjoyed our conversation as much as I did and would like to chat with me again sometime. That I wouldn't mind.

Now I'm down because I'm an observer. Like Britney says, there are two types of people in this world. The ones that entertain, and the ones who observe.

Who would have thought wisdom could come from pop stars. But if it can come from the mouths of babes, perhaps it can come from anywhere.

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