It’s easy for me to become complacent in the winter. Often times I feel like I go entire weeks not thinking one new thought.
In moments like this, tucked quietly away in the middle of loud. I am surrounded by faces, all kinds of them, and I’m really looking at them. I’m really seeing people and I think that they are seeing me too. It is the easiest thing in the world to convince yourself that you know who people are, that way you don’t have to ever bother getting to know them, you can just go through life in the shallow end wearing your water wings. I don't want that, I want to be good at swimming.
So here I am, February 18th and I am thinking about all the times I have seen people. You know, really seen them. It’s warming me up. And now I can’t stop thinking about what I want people to see when they look at me.
When I was little I decided one day that when people get to heaven, Jesus welcomes them at this big pretty white door with music blasting. You and him do a quick little jig then he leads you to this room covered in big open windows, sunshine pouring in and you sit down in comfy chairs. He picks up a remote and presses play. A movie begins, and you realize it’s your entire life. You and Jesus sit there, side by side, drinking ginger ale and watch your days unfold. He belly laughs as he watches it click all the times he was carrying you, all the times you were in waiting, all the times you gave up, only to find a way out. He rolls his eyes every time you were being a dumb ass and he smirks because even then, you were still making him proud. I wonder often what I would see if I could really watch myself.
Today I was looking at people and I was thinking about how easy it is to only look at them. You know, see the outfit they’re wearing, the kind of coffee they’re ordering, the color of their shoes- but how gut wrenchingly hard it is to really look at them. To see them when they’re in the middle of laughing and suddenly be able to picture them driving in the summertime with their windows down and their feet on the dashboard. To look at their eyes when they smile and see them at the top of a mountain, at peace with a messy life. To look at their laugh lines lighting up their face and be able to see the Christmas lights they hang every year with their dad. To really see people.
When people look at me I want them to think arms flailing, squeaky laughing and god awful car ride sing alongs. I want them to think freshly brewed coffee and sunshine days- the kinds that patch things up. I want to be spontaneous tattoos and mismatching wardrobes, I want to wear glasses that are too big for my face and paint all of my fingernails different colors. When people think of me I want them to think of concerts and jumping over sidewalk cracks and meet cutes with strangers. I want them to think of a glass of red wine at the end of the day and really embarrassingly bad senses of humor and breakfast for dinner. I want them to think safe place to rest, their go to spot for hide and seek. I want them to think gentle and brave and messy, tangled hair and excitement over a pop can.
But mostly, I want people to be able to look at me and without a shadow of a doubt, see me seeing them. Really seeing them.