The eyes speak so much louder than the mouth sometimes: LOOK!
1 an act of directing one’s gaze in order to see someone or something : let me get a closer look.
• an expression of a feeling or thought by such an act : Brenton gave me a funny look.
• a scrutiny or examination : the government should be taking a look at the amount of grant the council receives.
A person can say so much with the way that they look at you; the way that they glance from top to bottom; the way that they examine you. Since the first winter break of my college career (back in 2008), my style, outlook on life, and overall presence have completely transformed. While I’m proud of the young man that I’ve become, sometimes I look at the way that my family looks at me and it bothers me. Coming from a very traditional Caribbean household, there’s an expectation to become a [normal] guy: the average, successful, working professional that dates a normal girl and lives a normal life (in all other respects).
In high school, I had a great time being that all-American black boy, but college moved me in a different direction; one that I’ve come to love. Sadly, other people can’t understand, much less appreciate it. From a young age, my sister pushed me to get thick skin and I’ve had no other choice but to do that each time I come home, yet while I’ve started to get over it, I can’t say that I’m completely immune to the question of what people think when they do that lean and look (leaning forward and “inconspicuously” looking me up and down).
I get that not everyone agrees with the liberal lifestyle where everyone can be themselves and just live their lives. That’s their right I suppose. To be honest, it’s really just the feeling that [you’re less loved or less accepted because you choose to live your life your own way and not conform] that bothers me. I’ve realized recently that sometimes you have to make a choice between appeasing the people that have been a part of your life forever and really being true to the person that you’re trying to become.
Tonight at my cousin’s graduation, after catching a few of those “inconspicuous” looks, I realized that the latter choice is the right choice for me. I’m still learning to make that choice when it comes to my immediate family, but as for some of the family friends and extended family, I’m starting to care less and less. I guess it’s a step-by-step process. It gets easier in time. Well, I hope so.
[Life as a black sheep… brings some uncomfortable looks every now and then.]