It’s a funny saying isn’t it. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’
The cover of a book is often the reason we take a second glance in the first place. The images, colours, font of the title, the many intricate little clues that somebody painstakingly procrastinated over, for the very purpose of getting someone to look at it.
Out of an entire shelf of shiny, new, ready to read books, we become attracted to one or two for a reason.
Why? Well it’s all about personal perception! What attracts me to a book cover, isn’t what may attract another to a book cover. Yet we both may be interested in the contents. Take a book on spiritualism for example.
Now me personally, I love a bright colour to a book cover. But nothing too noisy. Bold, blocks of colour, straight forward font and easy to grasp concepts all there inviting me to pick it up and find out more. Someone else may look at that cover and glance on by, because it’s not eye catching, not busy or intriguing. What looks interesting to me, is boring to someone else.
So where am I going with this? A few weeks ago I had my own ‘book cover’ judged at face value and it left me quite uncomfortable.
I am tall and reasonably slim. I love my clothes and I love wearing things that make me feel good. I don’t wear a lot of colour but I make good use of the colours I do choose to wear and I consciously pick my outfits daily. I have really short hair that has been every colour of the rainbow at one time or another! but recently I have decided to opt for something more natural. I am desperately self conscious of what people think of me and the first impressions I give. When I go out anywhere, I apply my make up according to what I’m doing, who I will be seeing and the surroundings. If my make up is relaxed around you, I am comfortable around you.
I’m not overly well educated. I went to school and I came out with reasonable GCSEs 16 years ago. I have not been to college or university. However I am well educated in life. I also have a passion for the human condition and of the English language.
I describe myself for a reason. It is the first part of me that people see. The book cover if you will. The second part of me, is my voice. I love to talk. I enjoy the way that certain words roll off the tongue or the way my mouth forms them as they project out of me. My voice is an extention of my book cover because generally, you don’t get to just look at the cover for long before I start a conversation.
I have always worried about how other’s perceive me at face value and have been working hard recently on being authentic and true to myself.
I can change the shade of my hair, the style of my clothes, the colours I choose to wear. But what I cannot change is whats inside the cover. The pages between the packaging.
I am well spoken. I have a wide vocabulary and I enjoy naturally using it within my daily conversations with others. It’s never really been of concern to me until a few weeks ago. It never particularly entered into my head that others may judge me based on having a good grasp of the English language. But I recently found out that actually, you are judged on everything and anything you can be judged on.
Now, the way I handled that situation was what disappointed me. I found myself thinking before I spoke. Being careful to not use ‘big words’ adjusting myself to squeeze into a too small box and I failed.
The reason I failed is because I wasn’t being true to myself. I was trying to make myself less authentically me, and more pleasing to another.
Remember the book covers? 2 books featuring the same information yet displayed differently. What appeals to me may not appeal to someone else. What’s hilarious is that beneath that cover is the exact same thing. Pages and pages of words. Words that tell a story, words that can form an opinion, that share insight into life, even better is that taking the time to lift the cover, gives you the opportunity to learn something new. Something you didn’t expect. A twist in the plot that surprises and delights!
People may look at my cover and like what they see, or they may choose to walk on by. That is completely okay with me. But if you are going to make judgements or choose how to percieve me, take the time to lift the cover, find out more, see past the first page and you may find we actually have a lot more in common than you presumed.
It’s taken me a few weeks to work through this one and was quite a big confidence knock, as I’ve always been proud of being able to hold a conversation and use the English Language to express what is inside of me. But what Ive realised is that no one can make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin, unless I allow them.
The feelings projected upon me in that situation were that persons feelings not mine. Maybe it was Jealousy, or bitterness or feelings of inadequacy, I wouldn’t like to presume. But what I can say is that none of those feelings were mine and I will not allow myself to feel that way again.
I am proud of who I am, where I come from, the struggles I’ve been through and the things I have achieved. I love to talk and express myself with words and lots of them, in all their stunning glory!
If you have an issue with that, that is your issue and something for you to find meaning and lessons from. So Thank you for teaching me. Yet another lesson in learning to be nothing but myself, because after all- it’s the only me, I can be!
Don’t judge a book by its cover- it’s a funny thing that, isn’t it.