Trojan Horse

The 20s are all about looking past appearances. There is something so deeply humbling about understanding that every single person you come into contact with knows something that you don't know. There is so much more to people that what we get to see. Outward appearances often fool us into made up stories we have for everyone we see. If we never learn more about people then we are forever stuck with the tales we woven about them in the looms of our minds. Things may look good on the outside but a mascot, a jelly-filled donut, or a piƱata - what's important is on the inside. Beauty IS skin deep, but it's what behind the beauty that holds the real power. Watch out for the Trojan Horse.

What do I mean by beauty not being skin deep? I mean that we judge everything and everyone based on what they look like. When you wrap a gift, the paper you wrap it with, the technique you use, and how it all comes out matter. We eat with our eyes, and also process everything else with them as well. Presentation matters when you're serving up a dish just as much as it does when you're walking outside the confines of your home. There's a specific wardrobe for when you apply for a job, another for when you go to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and another for when you deliver a baby. You have to look or dress a certain way to enter some places an we attribute so much meaning to those outward things. It's because we value and subscribe to those civil religious beliefs. Yes, beauty is skin deep but what's more powerful is on the inside. Who you are is more than clothes, orthodontics, and haircuts. Who you are is what you're made of. It's your morals, values, beliefs, hopes, dreams, biases, and integrity. It's your experiences, memories, and thoughts. It's what you've done and what you do. The myth of the Trojan Horse warns us against judging things by their physical appearances, but it does more than that. Yes, the horse structure is what allowed the Trojans to enter the city but it was the soldiers inside that conquered it. Our power comes from within. What we look like can change but who we are as people does not. Our inner warrior is what people really feel and experience. The fighter that drives us, governs us, and instructs our actions and words is the actuality of us. Our inner combatant is what walks through the world struggling to make itself known past the body it's house in. Know your Trojan Horse.

Sometimes I like the idea of people more than who people actually are. I think there are people I want to like so bad, to be friends with, and to have in my life that the made up stories about them in my head overshadow the truth about them. I want so very much for them to be what I want them. I want them to be who I want them to be. I want them to be who I need them to be. In reality, they can never be any of that if that's not who they are. We come up with these elaborate idealized versions of people and are constantly disappointed when they finally show us who they really are. We ask for people to be real with us and then are unsatisfied with the results. It doesn't make any sense. Telling me who you are shouldn't make me want to withdraw, it should do quite the opposite, pull me in closer. I received what I wanted and yet I'm disgruntled. I am getting your story from the direct source and yet somehow I don't want to believe it. 

The candor though of getting the honest history of another person is that instead of having to conjure make believe stories with our imaginiations, we get an autographed copy from the publisher themselves. It's something to be appreciated and to be cherished. Whether the story is one that resonates with us or absolutely terrifies us, at least we know who people's inner warriors are. We learn who they can feasibly be in our lives. They tell us whether they can fit into our life's stories or not. We have no other option than to accept people for who they tell us they are. It's one thing to search deeper, but another to deny the veracity of them. The latter is unbelievably cruel and demeaning. 

How many times did I refute the verisimilitude of those around me because I couldn't handle it or didn't want to comprehend their personal truths. This is about us, and how/why we diminish or invalidate other people to "protect" ourselves. From what? From who knows what. When you think about others doing that to us it's truly mortifying and belittling. Why then do we do it others? We ask them if they're kidding, if they're serious, or exclaim our disbelief. It's okay to be wrong. We're wrong a lot of the time. We get to be right when our facts are checked. Let your facts be checked. Let the Trojan Horses in, only when you know their contents. 
This week I've struggled with a few things other than letting those Trojan Horses in. I think I have too many friends. I understand that knowing so many people (whatever "knowing" means in this context) means that I don't get to know people as well I need to. I don't get to give (yes give) my time to people as much I should. I don't get to build strong enough connections. I also tried to think of whether I knew anyone who didn't like me and I couldn't think of anyone. I wondered if that's because I have an incessant need to be liked. I don't know if it would bother me if I found out someone wasn't fond of me. Why would it matter? I don't personally have people I don't like, just some of the things they do or say. I'm working on making time for those that matter to me and spending less time catering to others who are just going to fall by wayside.

Saturday morning I participated in Laura's March (insert link here) which was a walk to raise awareness about sexual assault, rape culture, and domestic violence. It was a cold brisk morning with the sky painted in all fifty shades of gray but I with my new friends in the men's outreach group 1in4 (name is based on the statistic that one in four women experiences sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in their college years). We walked, talked, and bonded. I went home to drizzling rain and a cool breeze to decompress by doing dishes and watching the season four finale of Teen Wolf. It was sweatpants kind of basic day until evening came around when I had my buddy, Henry (arguably my favorite orientee) over for dinner. So good once again to learn about someone new and provide solace from the cramped confines of residence hall life. It was time to get ready for my homegirl Isora's birthday party so I got dressed and caught the bus downtown. We all know I'm the epitome of socially awkward especially when it comes to parties. I spent most of my time sipping Sprite and making light conversation in a corner while others got together, danced their asses off, and made merry. I had a good time but still felt out of place. The night has not, nor will it ever be my scene. I walked back up the hill to campus with my friend Warrick discussing relationship struggles (typical Saturday night) before calling it a night. 

Sunday was a delectable breakfast of waffles, turkey bacon, and an over easy egg while I watched Girl Meets World. That show is so freaking powerful I can't even explain it. It just hits hard. Thank you Disney Channel for bringing meaning back to children's TV (says the 21-year old who still watches it). I cleaned my apartment and got ready for an afternoon of fraternity council and chapter meetings. I walked back home with my friends Connor, and David and it was just so funny to see how easy the conversation flowed. For people I should more time with, it's always like they're there, ya know? There's some people you just can't let go of. They have shown that they will fight for you. They show your their Trojan Horse.

My blog post question for the day is ... have you ever had someone not like you? I think I have before but I try not to let it bring me down. Maybe we're not meant to be in one another's lives.


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