A friend of mine on Facebook recently sent a request to another person in my friend list. Seeing me as the only mutual contact and not knowing the other person too well, the receiver of the request asked me ‘What kind of a person is she? Should I accept?’ I answered without missing a beat,’She’s nice, but nosy. Accept if you don’t mind a little bit of interference on wallposts she knows nothing about.’ And just like that, I helped in forming an opinion about this person this other woman hadn’t even met.
Cut down to today. I was randomly chatting with this old friend of mine who I accidentally met online after several years. He said,’You seem interesting. You’ve changed quite a lot. It’s like you’re this new person I don’t even know. In a good way though :). So let’s begin again as strangers. Describe yourself.’ I started with the usual, ‘Oh well I’m in university now and I love to read and sometimes..’ He interrupted me and said,’No, not your interview introduction. Tell me about YOU. Not your place in life, your hobbies, your achievements. Just you. Let’s make it simple. Describe yourself in one or two words.’ Well, I thought, the guy definitely knows how to give an interesting turn to the conversation. As I sat there with my fingers poised over the keyboard, I started thinking. This should be easy, I thought. Five minutes later, I drew a blank. Ten minutes later, I was completely confused. How am I to define myself in one word/phrase? (Not including the cliched ‘crazy’, ‘adventurous’ etc. of course). Fifteen minutes later I was horrified. The Facebook incident mentioned above had happened just a week ago and it immediately popped into my mind. I described this woman I wasn’t even close friends with in trice : Nice but nosy
But myself? I couldn’t think of a single word.
What I can take away from this incident is that if we could only see ourselves as impartially and as clearly as we see others, our lives would be fulfilled. What I also choose to take away from this is that I am not white, I am not black. I am grey.
And so are you.