The world is a strange place these days. It’s probably always been like this. It’s that now we are aware of it on a global scale. It used to be that only the people who lived on the corner were oddballs. Now we know about oddballs worldwide thanks to the interwebs.
I’ve got a couple of strangers to tell ya about…
The first tale begins with an online encounter. This was a bit unexpected as we did not meet on a dating site. He ran across an article I wrote for a local magazine – which led him to this very blog to which he subscribed. Some funny and encouraging comments were made here and there.
Things got interesting when one of his comments was a bit of a shock and full of suggestions (I did not approve or publish). I felt a direct email response was in order, which then led to another email. Which developed into a long thread of emails that warmed in tone and content as we went along.
The conversations turned into those deep and heartfelt “why are you here and what are you doing with your life” kinds of questions. Which led to phone and text interactions. Which eventually led to connecting in real life. One meeting may have included a homemade pot roast.
It’s a tricky business going from online interaction with someone, to, “Hey, here’s my address. Dinner will be ready at 7pm, bring dessert.”
I’m not assigning him a letter (if you have no idea what that means, welcome to my blog. Go back and read a few posts to catch up on the alphabet dating adventures). While I am currently, somewhat reluctantly, playing the dating game, he is not. He’s pursuing a lifelong dream and has put his heart and his bank account into it. It’s an amazing project and it’s cool to see such a venture being birthed.
I am attracted to ambitious visionaries who happen to be tall, dark and handsome. Especially one who also knows how to help with dishes, carries all the gear to a beach sunset, and is a gentleman possessing class, style and intelligence.
The challenge for me of course is to keep everything super chill – which if you know me at all, you know that doesn’t just happen. We’ve established that his priority is this project, not a relationship, and I support that. I’m not sure I’m ready to be front and center in anyone’s world anyway.
Let’s segue to my vacation where the other stranger comes in.
This week I will be traveling 725 miles in my car with Andrew, whom I have yet to meet. We are both journeying to the Wild Goose Festival and got connected through a Facebook Ride Share Group. We have fantastic mutual friends, and have talked on the phone several times. He’s a pastor and has a girlfriend, and I feel totally safe. The great adventure begins at dark thirty tomorrow when I pick him up and we head to Hot Springs, North Carolina.
At the festival, there will be a few folks I know, and many hundreds more I do not. The vibe is that we are one big community and have more in common than we do not. Oh, and did I mention I’ll be sleeping in a tent for five nights?
You could say I’m reconnecting with my inner hippie. And that I’m adventurous.
And maybe a little wack-a-doo. But you probably knew that by now.
Yes, I know all about personal safety, and boundaries, and that people get swindled and murdered and raped and all that jazz (I carry pepper spray and know a few self defense moves). But here’s the thing: I don’t think we as humans do very well when we are always living in fear and suspicion of the harm another can do to us.
I’m not saying that we become careless. I’m saying that we try to believe the best and not the worst about others. That we look for the good. That we trust our gut instinct. That we pay attention. That we become more open minded. That through our willingness to learn about others, we learn more about ourselves and our world.
Heck, I’m already sharing so much of my little world right here with all of you. Which takes courage. Or insanity. It is a fine line, indeed.
Okay, is it obvious that I happen to be reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly? Which is all about “how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.” Rock on Brene, I’m absorbing your words. I want to allow more good. I want to be open to all of the greatness that this life holds.
And then there’s Jesus. He said to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Doves have wings. Wild geese have wings. I’m ready to fly!
Thanks for reading, until next time,