It's amazing how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us as totally different people...
Today I see myself as HUGE and ungainly, not sure why but I do, I even worn the new size 8's out today with my daughter and although she is a much rounder person than me (in fact she inherited some larger size tops that fall off me now) I still saw myself as huge next to her, I weighed the same as yesterday, but today I saw myself through fat coloured glasses.
When I clean cars people see me as the Hubby's apprentice or even worse as the "wifey/missus" as in "Oh you got the missus along to help today - she would be good with the vacuum" and although we both own this business I am clearly seen as the lackey...
When I sit behind the reception desk at the part time job, I am seen as the receptionist (gee that's not rocket science is it) I am treated as lower and less informed than the manager even though this is a sole charge position and when I am here I am the manager. In the scheme of things I am older and have far more office experience than the manager.. Some customers even treat me with contempt - I have even had one warn me not to steal his cash payment as he would be checking in the morning with the other "girly" to make sure it went through the till!
When I ride my Harley I am treated completely differently, just that fact that I am female and ride a Harley changes peoples perception of who or what I am, add to that tattoo's and studs in weird places and I have had people step away from me in fear... If only they knew I didn't learn to ride till I was 45ish and got the tattoo's when I was nearly 40! I love how a complete stranger (invariably male) will come up to me and talk Harley's and bike rides to me when I am alone at the servo. If I was in a Honda I wouldn't get that!
Today I was a Nana, and Lily saw me as her Nana, and didn't care what I did or what I wore as long as I played on the floor with her and gave her lunch and changed her wet bum and held her hands so she could almost walk! Her big brother Jofus Nofus sees me as Nana Dudu (Hubby is Dudu - another story) I'm the Nana who loves the cartoons and fairy stories as much as he does and thinks holding hands and skipping through the RSL is cool and reads him the same bed time stories from the same books I read to his mum.
I enjoy seeing how I am perceived, some times I laugh at how I am treated because of peoples perception... Like the time I wore a T shirt that has long sleeves that are see through and it then appears as if your arms are fully tattooed. Hubby (who is very tattooed) and I got off our bikes and sat at a cafe next to a table of ladies that I would put at around 60. The ladies were horrified, even moved their table and chairs back a little from us and I could even hear them discussing me "mutilating" myself in that way and how I would regret it when I got to their age... you can imagine my smile when I then rolled up my sleeves.... hehehehehe
So does it matter how I saw myself today, does it matter how others saw me, why do we place so much emphasis on how we appear, when really who we are and how we treat ourselves and others is what really counts
When I start to pass judgement on someone I try and remind myself of one of my regular customers at a bar I managed in NZ a while back......
This skinny, very conservatively dressed, non-descript man, would come in every night for a couple of weeks then disappear for a month or so and then come back and always ask for "one diet coke with straw please" in very pigeon English with a European accent.
He would sit at the end of the bar and watch the other lady and myself behind the bar, drink his diet coke and leave about an hour later... We tried to speak to him but he only gave us yes and no answers and then would finish his coke and leave. We called him "diet coke creepy".
Then one night another of our regulars plonked down next to him and asked him why he came to the bar for just one diet coke...
and the answer was....
"I am a technician who works on cell phone and computer towers around the world in places most technicians won't go, my last trip was into Iraq and I had to climb the tower with armed guards around the base in the middle of the fighting zone, I come to NZ and to this bar and drink my coke so I can remember that there is a real world with real people doing ordinary things while I am in these countries seeing war and destruction"
We stopped calling him "diet coke creepy" and he became "super cell man" especially after I got him to dance on the bar a few nights later with me.
But it certainly made me realise that you never know what someones story is unless you ask and you should never judge people by what you see.
You must take the time to listen to others but more importantly to stop and listen to who you really are.