Recently, I’ve been a lot more open to sparking up conversations with complete strangers in my day to day life. That might sound a little weird, but what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t be the one who initiates a convo about how great these pre-made salads are at my grocery store when a woman stands there pondering which one to get (do you get the hint that this happened recently? haha) – but now I’m more open and engaging with those around me. I told the nice lady what type of salads I love and she thanked me for my helpful opinion. It’s kind of amazing the stories people are willing to share with you if you open your mouth and just say “hello” to them once in awhile.
My mom is a very friendly (and nosey-sorry mom, you know it’s true) person, so she definitely has minimal boundaries when it comes to approaching a stranger or strike up a conversation if you are sitting next to her. I always felt embarrassed to be around her when she made these encounters with people we don’t even know, but I’m starting to learn that most of the time, good things come stem from it.
On Friday, I went to True Value to get some supplies for work. I got into a conversation with a man working there and basically what key point stemmed from it was that we should do things for OURSELVES that make us happy and not for anyone else. If you want to paint your room green, and your sister doesn’t like that color, it doesn’t matter! It’s not your sister’s room, nor her house. Paint your room green if you want to! You don’t need someone else’s approval for wanting to do something that you like. Even though it’s a simple concept, a lot of people don’t really abide by it. Think about it.
A good encounter story with a stranger happened while I was actually in the middle of writing this post. I went on a walk after work while I was waiting for my friend to meet me in Old Town Pasadena. On my walk, I went by this little coffee shop with an outdoor side patio which was featuring an ‘open mic’ night. I kept walking and after I was a block away I heard someone running… I turned around and saw this guy and thought ‘oh, he’s just going to put more money in his meter for his car.’ Then as he got next to me, he stopped and told me that he was at Cafe Alibi and saw my walk by and just wanted to tell me how pretty I was. I was kind of blindsided by the whole thing- not in a bad way though. This kind of romantic thing never really happens outside of a movie theater…He said he was going to read some poems he wrote at the open mic night and so I decided to go back with him and listen to his poems. (I mean it’s the least I could do right? The man came running after me for gosh sake!) When it was finally his turn on the mic, both of his poems were about women and being heartbroken (oh no..). He walked me to the bar where I was going to meet my friend, and he hugged gave me a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. Then he went in for a second hug and kiss on the cheek because he said it felt ‘so good.’
Afterwards I thought- seriously? Did that just happen?? I’m not going to lie, it was kind of refreshing to have someone literally run a block after me to tell me I was pretty. Being single for over a year and half has led me on some interesting dates with some interesting guys. Meeting people (as in ‘people I’d consider dating’) in LA is not an easy task- the guys here really are 98% of the time: actors, screenwriters, film makers, or a bar tender/waiter- which isn’t a horrible thing at all if that’s your profession, but sometimes I’d just like a little more variety. Speaking about dating, my friend just started writing a blog called Live & Love in LA – she’s a dating/love guru with lots of fun stories and advice. Take a peek at her blog if you get the chance!
So I came across the other day another blogger’s post full of inspirational quotes and images. I picked one of my own photos (35mm film taken in Monterey Bay) and inserted this quote that really stood out to me: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”- Plato
No matter what point in life we are in- we all have some sort of battle we are facing. Life is never easy, nor perfect, for any one of us. So just remember next time you feel like snapping on a stranger because you’re having a crappy day, just stop and remember that person may be already having a crappy day too. Be kind to everyone!