‘I don’t compare my opinions to other people because it’s futile to try and change the way I think to appease others.’
Unknowingly, I break down expectations.
Expectations of what people expect from me. Within social, professional and lifestyle environments.
Even people who have spoken to me, worked alongside me still remain shocked at the perspective I impart.
It’s not that I intend to relay a differing perspective.
It’s just the way I see things.
Today, I met Harold after a few months and I helped him with his dissertation.
It’s on Colombia’s nation branding and he’s pursuing his Masters.
There were some interesting questions that tested my own views.
I knew what I think about Colombia, having never visited, but I didn’t know what to expect from his questions.
I haven’t watched the Netflix series Narcos so my opinion had only been influenced by education, FIFA and meeting Harold, a Colombian national.
Harold appeared ecstatic when we concluded.
I had, subconsciously, significantly helped him with his vision for his dissertation.
He explained to me that he chose me for the first interview because he knew he would get a no BS, honest answer to all his questions.
I wouldn’t avoid the questions and wouldn’t try and preserve our friendship by crapping on Colombia if that’s how I saw fit.
Relatedly, in the last year, I’ve been told that people didn’t quite expect or understand my capabilities from my appearance.
Whether that’s detriment to my appearance or validation of some relevant and employable skills is up to anyone to judge.
But it left me thinking about personal presentation.
I don’t turn up to work the smartest.
I don’t talk unless I have something meaningful to contribute.
Especially in this new role, I’ve been watching a lot more than speaking.
My job has been less technical so I’ve tried to get my ear-in to more the day-to-day prospects rather than project work.
I spoke to one of the only women in the team today about her experience.
She says that she’s not put off by the male-dominated environment because everyone is so helpful (which I can concur with).
I asked more questions during that meeting than I usually would.
I was intrigued.
I like to observe action and how people carry themselves in different environments.
The sales team is more talkative between themselves and more jubilant in their successes.
My team tends to have small chatters but also asks for help from other people. It’s a technical team so problems and challenges often arise.
I’m not sure what team is to the right of me in the room, but they are quieter.
Behind me is louder although still part of my team.
People act differently depending on their environment.
That’s why when I speak about society, people or behaviour I base my opinion on what I’ve observed over time.
I don’t think this is some sort of breaking news story that deserves a ton of attention but I’ve noticed, more and more, that people are not quite sure what to expect from me.
Whether it has to do with appearance or not, it seems to be becoming a trend.
I don’t really tend to think like this:
‘Oh what’s the alternative? what hasn’t he or she heard before? how can I be different? How can I stand out?’
I just speak from experience and observation.
I don’t expect for my answers to be right, scientifically-proven or accepted.
I just speak with the knowledge of continual behaviour and pick out trends.
Harold is a great friend of mine and he announced his immanent departure back to Colombia before the end of the year.
I’ll miss him deeply and hope to stay in touch as best as we can.
I’m influenced by people I meet, how they react to meeting me and seeing how I can adapt to a situation.
If I’m honest, I don’t think my team liked me much when I joined (still not sure if they do), I’ve found a few people I can speak to. But I think it’s the newbie thing and the fact I’m not there for very long.
I sit there and do my work. Ask when I need help and try to listen as much as possible.
It’s just a learning experience.
I know the long road to success is paved with many potholes (just like British roads), but it doesn’t stop me trying to engage with all walks of life.
I interject with opinions that are different to the norm because I either come from a different background or have had different experiences.
Also update: after writing about not sleeping much, I slept like a baby last night and had my most productive day since the start of doing this project.
Observe then speak.