Oscar Wilde admired beauty. So much so that he proudly proclaimed that he chose his friends for their good looks, his acquaintances for their characters, and his enemies for their intellect. But at least he’s honest about it, vocalizing what most people do when judging one another based on what the eyes, not the minds, see for the instant recognition of optical illusion morphed into reality.
Our society favors gregarious extroverts, not reticent introverts nestled in the shade of anonymity, not because they are myogenic but simply because that’s how they are. Not everyone is uniformly outgoing. Nobody is impossibly happy go lucky. I always find it scary that having a happy face all the time is a specialty of a psychopath in disguise. But people do not usually warm to those who are lonely, quiet, or not so attractive, instead pinning them down as anti-social, incompetent, or negative to stay away from them. It amazes me to see people gossip about or ostracize unpopular, reticent people the way people falsely accused innocent women of practicing witchcraft in the past because they were in their selves. Or are they still? Come to think of it; if I had been born during the days of heightened witch-hunting, I would have been burned at the stake.
I feel that people do not like to talk to me because I don’t have the face of Helen of Troy to launch a thousand ships or do not open up a conversation first, or because of my race being Asian, a race stereotyped as being docile, if not submissive, to voice out what’s kept inside. Notwithstanding the account above, I do not want to force myself to become someone I am not, cannot, and will not because, as Wilde pinpointed, I am myself since others are already taken. I am not a negative person who always accounts for a litany of woes. Instead, I can see people’s ills in the swing of things around me and how they affect me. If discussing the malaise of what’s happening in my life when I need a company to share grief in halves, I call it cruelly erroneous and unjust.
I wish I could do more writing every day than I do now. Things are not the same any longer: until last year, I always found myself to write just about anything after work at night or even during my lunchtime at work. But gone are the days.
Maybe it’s because the routine of my work at my job changed. But then, I guess it’s just my lame excuse for not exerting myself to express myself in writing, which I love doing. I often wonder if this is my becoming disaffected with the quality of my writing, which used to be better than now. Some say it’s due to stress from work and attending to my infirm elderly mother at home, or both. Maybe so.
Elsie Robinson, who wrote the popular column “Listen, World” in the early and mid-20th century, encouraged her readers to write anything daily, like writing an article for a newspaper or magazine of their own. I think it’s a great idea. So maybe I should do the same every day.
I am an analytical, sophisticated thinker capable of applying a concept, idea, or philosophy to things I read and experience. That compliment was a comment made on my term paper by my Colonial and Post-Colonial literature seminar class professor at Rutgers University. It was about George Orwell’s Burmese Days.
Other compliments I have heard are thus: that I am well-read, a good writer with poet’s rhythm, and a good egg. They all pertain to my writing, which I regard as intellectual, which means I have something to think about. Then in terms of my appearance, I have been told that I have the aura of someone famous and that I am sultry when I converse about the subject of interest, which piques my mind’s flair for sharing knowledge with like-minded people.
But some compliments are inwardly unappreciative, such as “You are so nice,” not in the least because it sounds like a superficial cliche that ignores the person’s virtue. Once you are seen as nice, you must remain nice, always smiling and being a yes girl. I’d rather be myself than a mindless servile, yes, girl.
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