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i’m sorry i judged you, sister: on first impressions

Image: Elaina Daley // @daleyelaina

Image: Elaina Daley // @daleyelaina


To the woman at the end of our Main Rd near home. Waiting for the bus with a child in a pram, and a stubbie of full strength cracked well before midday – I’m sorry I judged you. I don’t know what your day (or life) has held. It’s obviously your choice what you do. You do you. Who the hell am I to judge your lifestyle?

If there weren’t quite so many judgemental assholes driving by you in their 4wds (like I did) splashing your feet in the process while joking about “that pisswreck,” you’d feel more supported and might not need that sip after all. Maybe you don’t need it. You just feel like it, and that’s OK too.

The fact that you are persevering to get out on public transport with a little one in a stroller, having already walked some in damp shitty weather is enough. Fuck, if that was me every day I might want a sip too. You are enough, just as you are. And although you don’t need me to think or tell you that either, each of us could probably do we with hearing it from a sister more often than not.  Actually, the truth is we all are enough. We were born enough.

I want to say sorry. For a split second before shame and guilt set in, I judged you. I thought you “had a bad look” – whatever the hell that means. It’s such a toxic thought and almost predatory learned behaviour. Why must we pull each other down instead of building each other up? And who the heck bestowed me on a pedestal of “goodness.” There’s few out there not doing their best to survive with the skills, instincts, behaviours and material possessions they have.

Imagine if instead judging her, I lifted her up instead. Imagine if we all did. Imagine if we all had supporters instead of critics and people more regularly offered a hand or compliment rather than criticism or condemnation. Most of us need to hear our virtues from time to time.

Maybe if I stopped for the time it took me to judge, and asked the question, maybe my sister at the bus stop would want help. Perhaps a lift, a Myki, a chat, a new stroller, an umbrella, heck, maybe even another can. And maybe she wouldn’t want a goddamn thing (and that’s OK too). But what a different world it might fucking be for her, and all of us, if we all just stopped judging each other.

I’m not saying let’s all have a frothie by 10.30am and be half-cut by midday. I’m saying let’s create a world that people don’t need or want to escape from. And perhaps most importantly let’s bring back the sisterhood. We flippin’ well need it, now more than ever.

Naomi Fryers is a freelance writer from Melbourne Melbourne. She has been published by a number of globally celebrated publications and served as an editor at Lot’s Wife and the illustrious social justice based publication The Good Men Project.
You can find her creative musings at:

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