I used to be a Floor Fixator.
Assuming no one has any idea what I'm talking about, allow me to explain.
When I was younger, I watched the floor as I walked. I couldn't help it. I found out when I was in highschool that people had different perspectives and ideas about my floor staring.
Some people, before they actually met me, thought that I stared at the floor because I was a bitch and had no need to make eye contact with any of the lowly humans around me.
Others knew that it was because I was just plain scared. In my own eyes, I was the lowly human.
Over the years, I've done my damndest to change that. It's no wonder some people took advantage of me - they could tell my weakness by taking one good look at me. How much self esteem can one person have, when they're too afraid to even look up in a crowd?
I hadn't thought about it too much. Until today.
Walking to work, I passed a woman who was staring at the ground ahead of her as she walked. Because I had noticed, I realized that meant my head was up.
In the past few months especially, I realize that I have made a conscious effort to keep my head up as I walk. It makes a difference.
When I pass the horrible gang dudes that yell disgusting things at me, or homophobic insults at others? My head's up. They can't know that I'm scared of them everyday, because I know what they'll do - I've seen 'em.
When I pass the bitchy predatory girls who automatically hate every other woman in a ten foot radius? My head's up. I look em in the eye, because my fear of them is long over.
Point is, I'm learning. And changing. And maybe becoming more like the tough-shit chick I'm really good at pretending to be.
And now I look up.