Wait, you have feelings?

31 Mar

This sounds really stupid, I know, but I often forget other people have feelings. Not other people like my friends and family, other people like the kids I sit next to in class, the people I walk past on the street, the waiters in a restaurant – the countless people I encounter on a daily basis that I have no reason or opportunity to know in a meaningful way. Last night, I found a coworker’s blog. I’ve known him, peripherally, for a few months now, and thought I had a sense for the kind of person he was. I thought he was talented, but never thought much about him other than that.

Reading his blog, I realized there’s so much more going on in his head, and everyone’s head, than you can see. Just because someone doesn’t come off as an exceptionally emotional person doesn’t mean they don’t have hopes and concerns and dreams and all that cheesy stuff that is swirling around in my own head 24 hours a day. He seemed to have it all together, I never would have guessed that he had the worries and fears he writes about.

There’s a girl I’ve known since we were seven years old. She’s gorgeous. She travels around the world to model, goes to college for a quarter or two at a time, and is still dating the same guy she has been since high school. She seems to have everything sorted out.

But what the people who look at her magazine spreads can’t see is the memorial bench to her dad down at our community library. He died when we were in second grade. Life isn’t perfect, even when it might seem to be.

No one exists just to make coffee, or pick up trash, or write articles. We all have a rich back story that would take volumes to tell. That’s so hard to wrap my head around.

Whenever I fly, I like to look out the window at all the cars and houses as they disappear into little dots. But instead of our incredible smallness, it reminds me of the hugeness of the world. What I can see out an airplane window in one instant is a whole town, people who’ve lived entire lives. Someone’s kid might be dying. Someone just got their dream job, someone just got fired. Someone’s getting married, someone just got dumped by what they thought was the love of their life.

I’m a journalist, I’m fascinated by stories. I sometimes wish I could just go up to random people and say, “What’s your story?”

Because it’s so rarely what you would think.

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One Response to “Wait, you have feelings?”

  1. aolehaole March 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    That’s what blogs are for! This is really well-written. I think you-know-who brings it out in us.

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