Thursday, February 23, 2012

Won't #421 - walking with my head down

After my thyroid surgery, my doctor asked me how my neck mobility was coming along after several weeks of restricted movement. He asked me to look up and I apparently could not look up as far as I should have been able to. One thing I realized when this happened was that I wasn't so sure that I could really look up very well before the surgery because I constantly walk around Tokyo with my head down. I hadn't though too much about this prior to this experience, but I do know why it happens. One reason is that I don't want to see people staring at me. Not looking up habitually has reduced the stress and frustration I feel at being treated like a freak. If I don't see them staring, I don't get angry. Another is that I've learned to avoid incidental eye contact as it often is seen as an invitation for people who want to get in free English practice to approach me. I now am making a conscious effort to walk with my chin level rather than down all of the time in preparation for returning to America.

To be honest, I think this habit of walking with my head down has had a negative psychological effect on me as well as possibly a physiological effect and I won't miss feeling the need to do it.