Life

Through The Eyes Of The City

You would assume a normal night routine for a high school student consists of homework, showering, shutting your light, closing your blinds, and going to sleep. Not me.

When I lived at home, every night, around 11 p.m., my mother walked into my room to say goodnight and attempted to close my window shades. I protested every time but have never asked myself why. Welcome to my self-reflection.

In my room, I have two huge windows next to my bed. My windows overlook endless skyscrapers, one huge bank, and two restaurants. My window is my niche. My window represents the dark night, the pages in my journal, and my dark, brown eyes. When trapped in a three-dimensional box we call a room, that space can feel minuscule and lonely. But, when it’s late at night and I can see the city from my window, I am not alone in my room. I am surrounded by the lights of other people’s apartments. Each window carries a different story and teaches another lesson. One night there is a couple having an argument, a young mother putting her baby to sleep, or a group of friends watching a football game together. By gazing through my windows every night, I feel as if I am a part of their world.

To some people’s eyes, like my mom, falling asleep beside the noisy and bright city may have seemed disturbing and unusual. Every detail of life is different when peering through another’s eyes. There’s a reason people say “The eyes are the window to the soul.” It’s true. Try it. Next time you’re speaking to someone, try to experience the depths of their lives through their eyes. I call this “stealing people’s eyes.”

Before, I mentioned I had dark brown eyes. Those are my favorite. They go unnoticed, like most people in this world. The glazed magic of blue eyes and the brave, rare green eyes take all the credit. Oh, but brown eyes, they conceal all of our secrets! You can see everything. The glare in someone’s eyes has the power of revealing their life story, trauma, pain, and happiness. But the best part of brown eyes is when you find yourself so utterly lost in them.

You see, society consists of eyes peering at you. Society’s eyes can be perceived as judgemental when it is anything but. Every person is hiding something behind their eyes, whether it is discomfort or happiness. Hidden discomfort can be revealed by glassy eyes, trying to conceal the emotion that wants to pour out. When we are lying we tend to look to the left, and when we’re in love our pupils dilate. Isn’t it amazing how I can tell you exactly what I need to say without uttering a single word? I find that the most interesting people are the ones who hold secrets and hardships in their eyes. They are the ones who participate in society, immersing themselves in every experience, which can sometimes cause hurt and trauma. No, I don’t want you to struggle. I don’t want tears to fall on your pillow. This pain is necessary; if people didn’t get hurt, there would be no eyes to “steal.”

So yes, here I am, at 4 a.m. on my windowsill, telling you to experience the world, get hurt, and analyze the backstory behind a simple gaze. As the lights in the apartments around slowly die out, I’m alone in my room. How could it be that a moment ago I was surrounded by so many different stories, so many different eyes, and now they have all faded into the night? The couple finally compromised, the baby fell asleep, and all of the friends slowly left. There are no more eyes to steal, so I close mine. What my eyes see then, well, that is a self-reflection for another day.

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