4 lessons learned from an Englishman

14 Aug

1. Everyone’s nice; they just need a reason to show it. Given that most of my tendencies happen to be bitch like, I was surprised to find this guy describing me as “nice”. Was I playing up a person that I wasn’t when I was around him? Was I being nice to live up to the perfectly positive person that I believed him to be?

After calling me a selfless person while I drove him to the airport, I felt the need to confess that I thought he was getting the wrong impression of who I was; that I wasn’t all that nice. After hearing this, he responded, “Everyone’s nice Ciara, they just need a reason to be.” As simple of a statement as it sounds, it was the most truth I had heard in a while. For the past few weeks he had been my reason. He made me happy. Every time I received a text from him, a phone call, an e-mail the happiness radiated, manifesting itself into my life. I wanted nothing more than to be nice to him, to do any little thing to make him happy – whether it was taking him to the airport, bringing him some water after his rugby tournament, or taking him on a road trip with me. I thought of the smallest actions I could possibly take and I did them. And I was happy to. And to him, I was one of the kindest and selfless girls he knew. 

2. Let people look at you. It didn’t take me long to realize that he was constantly looking at me. From the corner of my eye I would see him staring, with an indescribable look. At first it was uncomfortable. Whether I was driving, or walking, or sipping my beer, he was looking at me. I constantly whined at him to stop, feeling like I was under a magnifying glass of scrutiny. After all, guys look at girls. They look, and look, and look. I’ve felt penetrating eyes before that made me squirm. I’ve felt eyes watching my body from across a bar that made me want to leave. But this wasn’t the same. From the corner of my eye I could always see him. As he studied my face, there was brightness in his eyes and a sly, happy smile across his lips. And in the last hour I spent with him sitting next to me, I let him stare at me. I didn’t tell him to stop. I didn’t bother addressing that I saw him looking. I just let it happen. Because I finally accepted what I knew all along: this wasn’t a scrutinizing look, he wasn’t looking for my faults. He was looking at me the way a guy should look at a girl.

3. A positive attitude is everything. Although he denied the title, I deemed him the most positive person I’ve ever known. When I knew nothing about him he seemed simply happy. When I learned more about him his attitude became surprisingly unnatural. My problems dimmed in comparison to his hardships, yet he told me they didn’t. His father is out of the picture and his mother has problems of her own. He’s been working hard to help his family for years. He’s been in the military. He worked two jobs this summer. Yet, he believes that everything happens for a reason. And I hope he’s right. He believes in pursuing exactly what you want. And in the short time I spent with him he has me convinced that whatever I want to do I can and that I’m capable of achieving anything.

4. Beautiful is a powerful adjective. Think of some of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen. From a person, to a landscape, to a sunset, to a snowfall – beauty is eye-catching. It can be simple, but it consumes you.  My morning drive is beautiful, with the sun bouncing off the Hudson River and peeking through the trees. The rolling fields of Ireland are beautiful, saturated with rainfall creating a patchwork of green. You remember beautiful things because they make you feel. Beauty makes you think, it creates a memory. Beautiful things can change you.

He was the first guy to ever call me beautiful and I realized that the moment he said it. I’ve been told that I look good or that I’m hot, but those are descriptions that leave little impact. They are surface and meaningless. He never described me as anything but beautiful every time he saw me. And every time he said it I was uplifted. He meant it and I felt it, and I won’t forget that. There’s nothing quite like someone describing you in the same way that you describe the most magnificent and striking things you’ve ever seen.

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