Did you ever care?

I have almost always cared. There has always been that voice in my head, or that stray fibre of worry coursing through my being, or that lacklustre thought fiddling with my mind– what do people think of me? It’s been so prominent a feature at certain points in my life, that I once conducted a sort of survey amongst acquaintances and friends alike, and boy, what I found out left me in awe! There were mention of things I well knew, and more, things I didn’t know people noticed or read meaning to. Some of the feedback made me laugh, others hurt me to the bone… but that sheer act changed my life for better.

Several people will tell you, it doesn’t matter what people think… there’s even the saying that goes “If you stand firm and do not let the opinions of others influence your perception of yourself, people will start to be influenced by your beliefs (Senora Roy)“– I agree; yet we do not see ourselves fully, except through the reflections we make in people’s eyes. Bill Gates once said “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Hugh Prather went on to say “Negative feedback is better that none. I would rather have a man hate me than overlook me. As long as he hates me, I make a difference.

My thought? Employ Feedback,  with consciousness and caution.

Feedback is modification or control of a process or system by its results or effects… used as a basis for improvement. There, Kaizen, improvement! Often, people will say what they will about you anyway, whether you ask for it or not; but taking that conscious step to knowing their thoughts, makes all the difference. There’ll be honest feedback, and the not-so-honest ones, but when three out of five people give about the same feedback, then it’s worth considering. It does have its fall-side; bearing the possibility of tampering with one’s own principles and standards, just so one can fit in and get favourable comments– but that’s where YOU come in. That’s where YOUR TRUTH comes in.

We are who we are. An embodiment of social learning, family values, culture and heritage, God-given talents, acquired and/or innate standards and principles. We must remember those things we stand for and stand against, when employing feedback as a tool for improvement. Improvement is not a personality overhaul, it is progress in process. Assess yourself, in light of the feedback– open your mind, be honest with yourself– can ‘it’ be better? Should ‘it’ be better? Ultimately, you are your own truth; you decide what changes, not them. Yet, more often than not, the said change would be more beneficial to you, than it would be to anyone else. People can leave you if and when they feel like they’ve had enough; but where do you go when you can’t take it anymore?

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© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

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Finding Me.

In moments of wait,
When I, turned up
Against the ticking clock,
Tick- tock, tick- tock,
Grow scared and weary,
Alone, and forgotten,
Waiting for hope,
Waiting for joy,
Waiting for love,
And promises and dreams;
I suck on breath,
Yet I wait to die–

I am always waiting;
For inchoation, for the end.
Through cacophonic melodies
Chaos and peace
Dawn turns to dusk
Hide, seek; moments become memories.
So I get lost sometimes
In the endless wait;
Who was I, who am I,
And even tomorrow,
Will I matter?

More questions, and I wait
Again. Waiting is lonely,
And Change empties me,
Yet I wait, again and again–
For the excitement of anticipation
The numbness of uncertainty,
The chance of a new beginning,
Alone, by myself.
Because people
Take away the magic–
Of the frantic heartbeat
And the wrecking nerves,
The praying lips
And the eyes, awake and keen.

I wait,
For every time I get lost
In the sudden swiftness of change
I find myself a little bit more.

_____

This poem was first featured as a guest post on the wonderful Madam Zika’s page. It was a rare pleasure and I want to use this opportunity to thank her for it, once more. Thank you, and God bless you immensely Zika ma’am. <3!

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© The Short Black Girl, 2015.