Have you ever had a heart-to-heart with someone? A conversation completely devoid of judgment? Just two people expressing their emotions or stories in a way that suits them best.
Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been with strangers- strangers I’ve met while traveling. It doesn’t have to be long philosophical discussions, it could even be a momentary exchange of words, an empathetic glance, an unforgettable meeting of the eyes, the beginnings of the smile and a few impatient words bursting with unnamed emotions.
It’s so easy to forget real life for a moment and lose ourselves in our problems with strangers, knowing that you probably will never see them or speak to them again. There’s something almost magically transient about it, feeling the weight of your unheard stories lift off of your shoulders. It’s like you are losing your worries into the wind whose currents will carry them far, far away, if not for a while, for a moment at least. It’s always left me wondering how easily I can reveal my fears to strangers but not to the ones who love me. I suppose that’s how all of us are. We tell strangers things because there is no commitment, no staying on until we separate, no promises, unlike with the ones we love and who love us. Uncertainty, the uncertainty of them, of a future with those we love, with the ones who love us, because, let’s face it, it’s human nature, nothing is permanent. I like to think we are all aware of this folly in us, yet we keep hoping, hoping we might be the exception to the rule. No one wants to get hurt after all, in the end, everyone just wants to be happy.
You also learn, when you listen to their stories, their lives. I absolutely adore it. I love listening to the many stories, about their families, their hopes, their dreams…so many thoughts run wild through my head and the palpable excitement of their hopes mixes with my own hopes and desire, of hoping for new, different things. You realize there are so many different perspectives to explore and so many lifestyles. It never fails to make one realize how small a part one play in this momentary thing we call life.
And above all this, you develop this ache inside you, an ache to make a difference, to play a small part in their lives, no matter how small, in the hopes that your memory lives on after you pass them by.
[Originally written for Acquiescence]