I once had a dream that a distant friend committed suicide. After waking up with my heart racing, I quickly reached out to them to see how everything was going. They re-assured me that life was good and that I had no reason to worry. But why did I have that dream? Why did I spend the whole dream wondering how could I have let this happen?
I know we’ve all been through many things, but what baffles me is the fact that someone can be walking through fire but the person sitting next to themwould never know. Speaking for myself, I find strength in knowing that I can conceal the disastrous events of life behind a well contoured face. It’s the power of knowing that in a whirlwind of chaos, I still have a firm grip on something. But I don’t put myself together to conceal the struggles that I face, I genuinely do it because it’s a form of creative expression. But sadly there are people who do it for other reasons.
Like the girl who wears layers of makeup to hide the black eye that her boyfriend gave her. Or the girl that has a collection of lipsticks because it brings attention to the only part of her she feels is attractive. Or what about the guy who works out everyday and develops muscles in order to hide the fact that he feels inadequate as a man. Or did we forget that men have feelings too? Did we forget that just like women, men can put on for the gram as well. Or did you think that perfectly groomed edge up and beard was just apart of his nature? For some yes but not for all.
I’m now learning the need to be transparent. Having people assume that you never face struggles because you don’t look like you do is extremely irritating. The term “don’t judge a book by its cover” is often used to describe the people whose lifestyle often might be better than it physically appears to be but what about those who appear to be all that and a bag of chips but in reality, aren’t?
In light of all the recent tragedies that’s been occurring, I’ll definitely be reaching out to EVERYONE and not just those who carry themselves in an unattractive manner. I’m going to stop assuming that all is well because of the things I see on snapchat or the slayage I see on instagram. I’ve learned now more than ever, that it’s just as important to check up on those who you see all the time as it is for those you don’t. People can be suffering alone right under your very nose but who would know?
But don’t get me wrong, being able to put yourself together and smile even though everything hurts is a gift from God. It’s actually a beautiful skill. The use of makeup or fashion should never be looked down upon as an irrelevantand miscellaneous waste of time. The peace that comes from a walk in the park or a good read can also be found in these overlooked crafts. As a community, we need to open our minds to the different thought processes that make all of us unique and not see them as inferior.
We should seek out those whose paths we cross often as much as we do the ones who we’re never around. In 2017 i’m learning not to assume that everything is alright. I’m learning to ask more than “how’s life”. I’m in love with the idea of getting to know people’s story in hopes of better understanding their character. Never get fooled by what might be a facade and definitely don’t seek out people with the intentions of “exposing” them. At the end of the day, God knows your heart. Just as he watches over you, he watches over them too and will not let them fall into any snare that was set with selfish ambition.
In all, take time today and everyday to check in, don’t just rely on what you see.