Perception is a powerful thing. It has the power to create as well as destroy; win or lose battles; bring joy as well as harbor despair.
During my first two months in London, while still figuring things out I have been all too conscious of my color during my morning commute on the tube. Now, I do not mean my skin color but I do mean the color of my attire and American attitude. I found myself being the only orange, yellow or red dot in a sea of navy, black and dark pinstripes suits. To blend in and not make waves, I started wearing wearing black and navy suits as well myself. Walking in the sea of endless navy, black and dark pinstripes, my spirit became a bit dull. Yeah weird, Right?
If anyone knows me, you’d know that “dull” wouldn’t last long. True to my form, I chose the day I was leading two major meetings at work to reclaim my color. Outfit – light gray suit with my yellow blouse and natural colored shoes. Hair & Makeup – Curly locs with pink blush to highlight my rosy cheeks. Breakfast – bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese to resurrect my inner New Yorker.
Test one was my 10 am meeting which was dominated by dark suits and dull long faces. I cracked a joke to lighten things up. I waited two awful silent seconds; then laughed at my own joke… HA HA HA. It was one of those loud laughs from the heart. They must have thought, this chick is crazy or even who does she think she is? Well I didn’t care because an expressionless living is not my way.
By the end of the day, I was getting hairdresser advice from the maintenance guy and making small talk with someone I’d previously dubbed as a grumpy old man. Bisi’s got her color back! YEHA! No more dark suits for me. The perception of London being a gray and black suit town with dull people blinded me from seeing the color in myself and the color in others. Don’t let perceptions rule your world. Special thank you and shout out to the lovely Londonites that reconfirm my belief in the power of compassion, friendship and kindness. Let’s get a pint at the pub next Friday.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”
― Oprah Winfrey
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung