Life goes fast. Too fast for me to dabble in all that dazzles me. I try, though! I give an honest effort to some hobbies and drop other pastimes before I’ve really given them a chance. Then there are those things we must all pay mind to, whether we like it or not. Efficiency, public speaking skills, non-bitchy resting face… you know, the types of traits that bode well in a job interview.
I have never been good at connecting with strangers. “Networking” in some situations, “befriending” in others. It’s not that I’m cold or don’t like unfamiliar folks. If someone chats me up in a long line or a café, I’m totally with it. But I don’t dive deeper than common courtesies and stock questions. It’s odd that I focus so much energy on storytelling and authenticity, yet don’t take advantage of numerous opportunities to link up with new people. Especially with how much I spend time exploring Los Angeles and traveling. I am missing out on stories from all over the world!
But every situation feels the same. Where are you from? What do you do? What brings you here? Then there is some chitchat about the weather and the clarification about what exactly your job entails and the uncomfortable reach to find common interests. While most strangers you meet will make a one-time cameo, every single person has the potential to change your life. I need to stop feeling like every unknown person is an uncredited extra in my lifelong movie.
For as many personal and professional development articles I read, I can never translate the urgency of meeting new people into action. Then I complain about a lack of adventure buddies or having no one to call in a crisis. But it starts with a chance encounter! Maybe now that I’ve started keeping track of the valuable life advice, I can put it all into practice. Seems I’ve got a challenge for the New Year. After all, it’s not just the sights and sounds that make this life worth living. It’s the people whose lives we touch and whose lives touch us.