Le Flaneur: The art of people watching

A brand new blog with two posts in two days? Woah, someone’s an overachiever.

(In all seriousness though, don’t expect me to keep up this up. I can barely keep up a regular shower routine let alone hold myself accountable for posting every day. But hey, when inspiration strikes, you might as well put pen to paper, right?)

I’m two XL Cappuccinos down and sitting alone at a cafe between the rapids and torrents of students hustling to their next class. I’ve never been one to stop and people watch because WHERE IS THE TIME IN THE DAY?!.

So why the sudden change in pace? Three months ago, I (regrettably) put myself in a position that would still my restlessness. That position was beneath a 110kg+ girl that was running full pelt in my direction with a football in hand trying to find the try line and instead found my leg snapped in three places (see what I mean? I’m an overachiever. It’s a blessing and a curse).

I expected to use my time off my feet reflecting on where my life is at. I was going to sit like The Thinker, furrow my brow and find some earth-shattering revelation about my life and the direction it is heading.

And instead? I ate my weight in chocolate, watched the entire Game of Thrones series in the space of a week and literally did everything I could to look anywhere but inwardly.

Today, I came close. I nearly did it. I nearly succumbed to my thoughts and dared to think that damned question, “What am I doing with my life?”. And the result?

I am now appreciating the art of People Watching, an art that was definitely lost on me until it provided a way of escape from falling inwards.

I think I now understand why people linger to watch a young woman tie her hair – she takes pride in her appearance and has long, warm locks that frame her face just right. She washes, dries and styles her hair for that exquisite “just-out-of-bed” look that actually took her two whole hours to achieve.

I can comprehend why people idle steadily before claiming their coffee – to watch the young and wild looking barista chat up each girl that he hands off the steaming cups to. He puts considerably less effort into his appearance and considerably more focus on his charismatic and extroverted personality to draw customers back (intelligent looking blondes being his favourite).

Maybe the reason we spend so much time offering ourselves to the world as the people we want to be is because every now and then us ourselves need an escape from our inner selves. We reach out to the lives of others through sitting back and simply watching. Appreciating. Knowing.

Maybe it’s an endless cycle of providing one another relief from having to delve too deep into what truly fabricates us.

So to the girl with her hair now up, wear it out. You spent time on that, and girl, it looks damn good. And to the guy with his mischevious smile and provocative attitude, you should get employee of the month, every month. Though I do hope you don’t have a girlfriend…if you do, reel that shit in!

And I hope that I too, can one day provide you with a way to look into the world, and see more than what you could possibly have hoped.

Votre amie dévouée,

La femme de faim x

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