I should probably start this off by stating that I am a person who finds other people enchanting. Whether you’re warm and open, cold and brooding, or somewhere else on the spectrum, I can always make a case for studying (and liking) my fellow humans.
I thrive on the high I get from deep conversation, the buzz I get from silly banter, and the feeling of connectedness I get from shared cultural memories. The people who are “different” to what I grew up with are just as welcome in my life as my beloved life-long friends and close family.
Getting to know an individual over time fills my heart, and the immediacy of people watching in a busy airport sets every cell in my body alight.
There’s just something so inherently human in connection. In wanting to connect. In thriving on those magical moments where eyes meet, lips part in genuine smiles, & stories are shared with a sense of purpose & passion.
We all have so much to give & it’s in the tiny cracks of light that sneak through our modern day facades that I find true joy. Learning about cultures, languages, zeitgeist moments that define us differently… what a trip!
Take a moment to breathe it all in, the beauty in difference
More often than not, when I’m in a crowd, I’ll stop to look around me – and find myself lost in thought. Lost in the wonderment of how so many strangers have been brought together in this place at this time. I also wonder, how many other people are thinking the same thing as me. And, what it all means to us as individuals – and as human beings.
It’s all such a perfectly imperfect magic that draws us together and pushes us apart. And that’s why I love differences in people.
At heart I’m shy. An introvert of epic proportions, I’ve learned to be boisterous when I need to be. I’ve also learned how to quiet a more loud-learned-nature to dig deep into the quiet spaces of others.
My need to know others & what it is that makes them tick keeps me smiling at strangers, starting up conversations with the person sitting next to me on the bus, and reaching out when I’d rather run away.
Differences. They’re fascinating. They’re what bring us together & what helps to change the world. They’re what we all fight for – inalienable rights are rights that celebrate individuality & the greater good. The foundation of which is empathy, understanding, & the belief in building stronger societies through a mixture of cultures.
Flying far from home is magical & terrifying
Having moved away from my Californian home over 15 years ago, I’ve felt the wrath of people who boxed me in. They define me by who they think I am without ever taking the time to actually know me. To know my story. To know what drives me.
Being a stranger in a strange land has opened me (and countless others) up to both hurt & gorgeous beauty that natives who never leave home will never know.
How many times have I been misunderstood, how many cultural references missed, and how often has my homesick phone bill from calls home to my parents far too high? Too often. But, again, it’s the beauty in the difference of others that keeps me sane.
Petty judgement doesn’t bother me. Like I said, we’re all different. Not everyone likes difference, or deals well with it though. It’s scary. It’s unsettling. And, it forces us to face our own biases.
Growing older and (for the most part) wiser
So what does this all mean, anyway? Well, the older I get, the more I realise that it’s people who embrace difference in others that make me happy. People who get excited by hearing stories different to their own are my people. The status quo is only the status quo today… it’ll change. It always does.
In the end, we are all flesh and blood. And we are all storytellers, writing the narrative of our own journey in a patchwork style that includes the stories of others we pick up & make our own along the way.
As for me, today, I say let’s all raise a glass and celebrate weirdness, geekery, being different. Different is beautiful. We all are.