True Colors

Sometimes the true colors of nature are not visible to the eyes. Specially if those colors are hidden behind a beautifully displayed flower. But through a special lens, those hidden colors are revealed. They are exposed, and they become clear.

An old friend — who is not a friend anymore — often told me, “Don’t always believe what you see. Your eyes can be deceived. Most of the time, what is true is hidden behind the scenes; and what seems to be is not always the real thing.” That was thirteen years ago.

At first, I thought he was just sharing with me a favorite quote or saying that has caught his attention and never left. Six years later, I discovered something about him that was exactly what the quote was saying. I couldn’t believe it. I was his close friend for many years. Maybe his only friend. Apparently, what he showed me through those years, was just the surface — the very opposite of what he was underneath.

Since then I became more aware, always cautious that another reality maybe existing below the surface, that there may have tears behind the smiles, or a prejudiced heart is just coated with gentleness.

But what then? When some people encounter similar experiences, they learn to distrust others. Not me. What I learned instead was to be cautious. To be careful. To test the surface. To look for signs.

I also became aware that whenever the surface is not the same with what’s under, it’s not always intentional. Ever since, many people always mistaken me to be confident. Little do they know — in fact, only my closest friends know it— that I’m not that confident…that many times I’m struggling with my own selfsteem.

But that is not intentional. I am not pretending. That confidence is not an acting. And where it comes from, I do not know.

Sometimes the opposite of my old friend is also true. I have met people who at first were very intimidating and antagonistic only to surprise me later — during my lowest point when all those so called friends have left my side — that they are true friends. That I could count on them.

That’s how I came to appreciate those three photos. With only my naked eyes, those glamorous colorful backgrounds were not that beautiful. They were just blurry images. Unattractive. Unnoticeable. But through the camera lens, they were revealed beautifully — lovely and captivating.

Maybe because I expected it that way.

Just like in life, my attitude and expectations to people are the equivalent of my little camera lens. Although it may not be absolute, but most of the times, what I silently expect deep inside me are the ones that usually show up.

Maybe that’s how it works: I become distrustful of people and expect ugly things from them, then those expectations will later become reality.

The opposite may also be true: I expect beautiful things from people who don’t look promising at first, then they will surprise me later with beautiful colors — lovely and captivating.

And as a photographer chooses her lens, so I choose my attitude toward people. The choice is mine.

How about you, what do you expect today? What lens are you using?