I was sitting at the P.F Changs bar with my main girl the other night. As we were waiting for a feast so anticipated, we talked, we giggled, we flirted with the cute bartender etc...but between every sentence there was a pattern. Our heads moved in all different directions between these conversations admiring the atmosphere around us. Not out of rudeness or boredom or distraction or bad social skills. We have an unspoken understanding in that we are observers and we tend to stare. A lot. So we accept this quirk and move on. I like to call it the habit of "Intense Observation Disorder" or "IOD." I literally just came up with that-we've never given it a title... I digress. As the lull in conversation lingered, the "closing time" of the restaurant atmosphere settled in, and our food arrived, our observing eyes got tired. This led into the conversation about eye contact. (I just happened to naturally bring it up...). We recognized that we share similarities on how we're always meeting eyes with people--friends, the bartender, the cashier, authorities, babies, cats, whoever! We also agreed though that we find ourselves catching a glimpse mostly with strangers. I want you to think about your day today. How many people do you think you've made eye contact with? Was it by choice? Did you do it only because you were forced to? Do you avoid eye contact if it's unnecessary or uncomfortable?
Personally, making eye contact is a very natural thing for me. I don't think twice about it. Maybe it's because of my theatrical background and we're trained to look deeply into someones soul. Maybe it's because I find someone attracted or I like their outfit and feel weird staring at their body, so I politely make eye contact too...Shoot--making eye contact is a very human thing to do gosh darnit! It just happens!
Eye contact, however, is a very intimate action. They don't call our eyes "the window to the soul" for no reason. Maybe that's why looking into someones eye is not always so easy. The soul is too much so we just keep our heads buried into the soullessness of our mobile devices. Easy. I'm guilty of this too. I know for a fact though, if I pass someone on the street or in the store, 90% of the time I catch a glance with them whether it's intended or not. Some times those passing by keep their heads down, yet I still look. Some meet my eyes and quickly turn away as if they are ashamed, yet I still look. There are times when I don't even realize I'm doing it! I often comment to myself how much of a creeper I am--just this random chick with a starring problem. Then I remind myself I'm simply observing my surroundings! I am not ashamed or afraid to be aware, to be open, to accept any sort of connection that may come my way. It can only make that present moment more precious.
That same evening, I happened to stumble upon the video below. After watching, it makes me think how everyone wants to be recognized. Appreciative. Acknowledged. Connected. It humbled me. We're all the same. I realized that may be the one reason I look into that strangers eyes, or try to anyways. I want to be recognized too. Sometimes I crave it. I will admit there are times where I really want to be noticed...(I am a LEO after all). And honestly, most of the time it's for no reason at all. Just the simple proof that someone else sees me existing.
It can only make me think how different I may look from a homeless man sitting on the side of the street. He may get more unwanted looks than I may get any wanted (or unwanted) looks. But when was the last time someone genuinely looked into his eyes and saw him? Not for the dirty guy sitting next to a deserted lot begging for money; but as a human?
It makes me happy to discover our generation being fearless and DOing. This day in age, I see too much of us observing, yes, like me--but in the sense that we observe and don't do anything about it. I observe because I want to be included into my surroundings. I want to connect. I want to talk to you. I want to know you. I want to experience the moment and share it with someone! So props to this guy-who's impressed me and inspired me to DO more than just look but to continue being the Observer of Life I intend to be (much more better than that "IOD" gibberish...) and experience YOU!
What about you? When was the last time you felt like someone was seeing you? I mean really saw you-a person; you who are present in the flesh, living and breathing directly in front of them staring right back. Better yet, when was the last time you really looked at someone? For reason, or not at all.
I want to share a glance. A smile. A hello. With you. Just because. And if you're really lucky I give great hugs! (Hugs are my favorite). So I extend an invite because I want to observe and experience you.
I challenge us all to live fearlessly. To DO the cliche of 'stopping and smelling the roses.' Ok, well...seeing someone and smelling someone are two totally different things, and one may cause you to get in more trouble than the other...you get the point. What if that human turns out to be that rose? The rose you wanted to see so badly? What if you, your smile, your eyes are exactly what that person needs to see today? Stop and look. Smell if you dare. The point is do not be afraid. Make a new friend. Share a conversation and experience each other...even for a moment...because WHY NOT!!
Won't you share with me? Better yet, won't you look at me? You might see something more beautiful than you ever imagined. Watch and learn.