Look and See

In a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize

And I know
That I am… the luckiest
-Ben Folds

Last week I dropped my daughter off for her first day of Jr. high. She had gone through some agony to choose her outfit.

I remember in 7th grade I was not satisfied with the choices that I had. In my mind, I could have looked so cool. But the clothes I had couldn’t keep up. I landed on a signature choice: I wore different colored socks. I might even wear double slouch socks with four different colors. That was what I did with what I had. The Costco multipack of socks was squeezed of into an expression of uniqueness.

It’s been an elusive goal my whole life. How can I be special?

Life puts out cookie cutter molds and is not polite about making me fit.

Pull back your irrational curls. Lower your voice. Wait your turn. Keep waiting.

You have your place. Stay in your lane.

Yes, it’s nice to belong. It’s scary to stand out.

And yet I want to be seen.

It’s a human need. Kids will cry “Look at me!” And grownups want to find that one person in a sea of humanity. Like the Ben Folds lyric I have at the beginning, to see and be recognized.

You can see a sea. Look at me. See me.

Being subsumed in a group can feel like drowning, but I’m still alive. I’m still here. I don’t belong in anonymity.

No one does.

As much as I want to be seen, I want to see other individuals too. I want to hear your voices. You. Your voice.

That’s the moments I want to live in, listening and sharing. And the world I want to live in. What amazing things can we create together?

Maybe it’s easy for me to lend you a hand when you are too weak.

Maybe you can give me a hug when I need it. Hugs are highly individual.

We can remind each other of our humanity. And I will thank you for it.

Comments are closed.