I am having a conversation with someone who I have never been super close to. 10 minutes in, we’re asking questions like, “What have you learned about yourself from going abroad?” “What kind of experiences do you strive to have in the near and far future?” “How do your goals/aspirations align/come into conflict with what career path you’re set out to do?”
It’s been so long since I’ve had a conversation like this, and to be having this sort of deep talk with someone who I definitely don’t know well. We took the leap of faith to be vulnerable with one another. What exactly happened? Why haven’t I had these sorts of really satisfying conversations in so long?
We are constantly surrounded by people. There are our incredibly close friends who we think we know inside and out. We’ve probably brought up those sorts of probing questions before. Those existential questions. But we’ve become comfortable, we know each other too well. Now we approach each other about everyday annoyances, how to solve day-to-day conflicts. We say “hi” and “bye” to show appreciation, but where did those conversations go? We know inside that we can talk about anything. But why is that I’m now seeing it as we can complain to each other/let out whatever emotion like a child whenever we want when we “can talk about anything?” The questions that I find to be so interesting, it’s so hard to ask a question like that now that I’ve reached this closeness with someone.
There are our close friends. We’ve probably had those sorts of conversations before. But it’s a sort of limbo/purgatory where we’re not so close to seek their help on anything and we’re not not total strangers to be able to ask those questions out of the blue.
There are the close to total strangers. There is a sort of mystery to getting to know these people and to better understand their positions, their moral views, their history. A lot of the time, I am able to feel refreshed by hearing a new perspective and getting to know a new person in their wholesome.
While it is obvious that we don’t know things about strangers, what about people we do know well? I think it’s a given that as people change, we should be able to revisit those initial conversations where our views have probably changed.
What is it exactly that stops me from doing so? Am I being complacent? God, I really hope I’m not becoming complacent. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, surrounding myself with very different people, placing myself in a different vibe and a different environment, I strive to have as many diverse experiences in my life while I still can.
I think these musings, while throwing me into a huge question mark about my relationships and how I approach people in my life, has helped me revisit a realization. I spend so much time reflecting on my own, finding out what I’m learning about myself on my own, making self-improvement goals on my own, and never discussing such things and turning it into a meaningful dialogue.
Maybe it’s the busy lives we all lead now, that renders us to just doing brief check-ins on people we deem to be worthy of that precious time and focus. In such a globalized society, there is so much opportunity to meet new people and for friends to shift and change.
This is where I sort of see a loophole. I value talking to people who are very different from me, because they lend an entirely different perspective that I have not thought to consider. As our friends change, they will most likely end up having different perspectives in some regard. So why do I either: 1) not bother to revisit those conversations to learn, or 2) grow farther apart from these friends even though by my “philosophy,” I know I can learn so many valuable lessons from them and they can learn from me as we both change and evolve.
Maybe that’s just the sad nature of having an oversaturated society. There is too much to do, too much to learn, too many people to meet. That’s where priorities and picking-and-choosing comes into play. What do I value? You know that question where you’re asked to pick the top three most important things in your life? I always struggled with that question. I’m such a greedy person that in my attempts to maintain everything, inevitably some things slip out of my fingers.
TL;DR make the most of what you have. You never know when it leaves. And stop spending so much time reflecting on your own and dwelling on your emotions, your mistakes, your lessons all on your own. Invite other people to the conversation (to your comfort), tell them what you’ve learned, ask them what they’ve learned.
You’re better than what you are right now. There is always opportunity to better yourself. This is one way.