…how someone can look like a Black-American, but they were actually born and raised in Japan and don’t know a lick of English. It’s so fascinating that someone can be born and raised in the U.S. and only knows English although they carry a Japanese surname and first name.
I don’t really mean “fascinating.”
That isn’t the word I’m actually looking for. I can’t figure out what word would capture the feeling that I feel perfectly, but in a long winded explanation: It’s fascinating to me that other people find that fascinating. Sincerely. It’s like all this *waves hand frantically in front of face and gestures to skin tone* isn’t real. That sounds so strange, I know. Even when I had the thought (like a minute ago), it sounded strange to me, yet it’s so true to me. Our appearances, what we see of each other just…it’s just that. It’s just a surface. It’s just this…this thing that is here, and we’ve pilled on these unnecessary terms that it has come to mean something that it cannot possibly signify, because it is just. an. appearance.
I’ve always felt this way. This is one of the ways in which I’ve always felt different. Not sure if it’s because I grew up with books as my best friends or just something mysteriously hardwired in my brain (not genetic at all ._.), but I have this awareness. I’m very concerned, typically with each coming year, to make sure that I understand myself as best as I can. In my head, it seems there are two bins: one that’s labeled “stereotypes” or things that I have been taught to interpret a certain way and one that’s labeled…well it doesn’t have a label, actually. There was this quote I found a long awhile ago, sometime in college I believe and it read: “Do you remember who were before the world to you who to be?” It has stuck with me ever since. It’s as if whatever I have been feeling growing inside of my heart with each year had been finally conceptualized. I truly have days when I wonder “Wait, why do I find this pretty? Or why is his face attractive to me?” because I want to understand if these thoughts I’m having are based on my deep rooted preference or if these are thoughts I’m having are based on what I’ve been consciously and subconsciously taught.
Is it a waste of time?
To spend time thinking these thoughts, trying differentiate between the “me” I want to be and the “me” that society tries to construct me to be, is it just a waste of time? It can be. It could be. But for me, it is not. For me, it keeps me sane in a world that feels like it’s constantly trying to shove me and keep me inside a mold. For me, it keeps me grounded. For me, it helps me build the confidence to continue to work to accept when I feel different in situations that do not follow majority opinion, to accept the short trips of loneliness when I feel that I have been misunderstood or wrongfully judged, and to accept when other people do not understand me.
Some days are longer than other days. Some days are more difficult than other days. I have never been able to deny that. And yet…
I’m so glad
I’m glad that I’m still going forth. I’m glad that I’m not…ignoring how I feel or giving up on myself by constantly wishing I felt less or thought less. I’m glad that I keep moving forward and that I’m learning to trust myself. I truly am so glad. But more than “gladness,” I’m impressed. I’m impressed with myself and I want to continue to impress myself. So, if you ever feel that everyone only judges people based on their appearance, well, I can confidently tell you that you’re wrong. I can be your starting evidence. And if you ever have similar feelings to the word vomit I unleashed up there and feel like you’re the only one, I can confidently tell you that you’re wrong here too. You’re not alone, I promise.
*I was so unsure if I used “よかった (yokatta) correctly or not, that I paused this post halfway to go google and after 2-3 articles, I’m still not sure if I’m using this phrase correctly or not, but it was the first word that popped into my head after I typed “And yet” that I couldn’t do without it. Hoping I used it correctly, haha
Source (<-I actually have to cite, haha!): http://thejapanesepage.com/w/index.php?title=Yokatta
**This is officially my longest post, wow.