Wednesday, October 7

The Viewer Changes… Not the View.

As a lover of instagram I find it fascinating as I look at any individuals photographs and see a theme. Each person has a “style” in what they see and share, and clearly they are capturing things from their own perspective. What just looks like a flower to one person looks like a silhouette for a sunset shot to another. One person just sees clouds, another sees the rays of light peeking through. One can capture the beauty, another hardly sees it.

Recently my manager at work pointed out that one specific quality in a person can be seen completely different ways by different people. That one quality could be seen as a positive thing to one person and a failing to another. Not that the quality changes, but the viewer changes. Who the viewer is depends on experience, perception, mood, understanding, and many more factors depending on the day, or even the weather. I say weather because I have noticed that gray sunless days make me see things in a much more dreary way. Like the lack of light is literally a lack of light and I’m more negative. I have a cousin who loves gray days, she’s not a fan of sunshine, so on a gray day her mood would be up, she would be happier, and her perspective more optimistic.

I’ve heard myself say countless times that we are all different, we all have unique experiences that make us individuals, so we won’t be the same, but what I hadn’t really thought about is placing myself in a frozen moment of time. If I do that, and I consider that there are endless places to stand in order to view one thing, I can see that if you turn your back to a sunset, you see the effects of the light in the opposite direction. If you face the sunset, you see it full on. If you put yourself up in the clouds you would see the light filtered with maybe little else, and if you put yourself inside a forest of trees, you might miss the sunset all together. There are endless points of view, despite there being one sunset.

Since my conversation with my manager over this reality that no two people will see anything the same way, I’m questioning far more than normal, and saying to myself: “Where would I be standing to see this differently?” I imagine slightly that I am a different viewer, that I am not Natalie with Natalie perspective, but maybe I am a teenager or a man, or a child, or anything other than who I am. Does a past experience influence my view? Does a person I know influence my view? Does an annoyance I have influence my view? Maybe even my taste in style or people influences my view. I have totally seen that my history with my father influences my view! So I need to always remind myself the view is what it is, my perspective is what changes.

If I see or experience something I have an unpleasant or unflattering view on, I need to consider where I’m standing, the view doesn’t change, but the angle at which I place myself does and can.