One of my favorite and most criticized things about myself is my tremendously rapid attachment to people. Lots of people.
You know that feeling when you meet someone new and you instantly click and feel like you’ve known each-other forever? Now imagine that happening a few times a year, a few times a month even.
I used to describe my attachments as falling in love. Actually, I used to think that I was in love with that one high-school professor, that mentor/ advisor, the two people I clicked with most at summer-school, the girl I met while backpacking through France, and the list goes on; it took me quite a while to realize that it was actually platonic love; An intense friendship.
And I’m not talking about ‘Wow this person is so cool’ type of friendship, I’m talking about ‘Everything this person says or does is pure magic. I am so mind-blown by them and so in love with them, I want to hug this person until all the pain they ever felt goes away!’ type of thing. As I said, the intense kind.
You see, old friends carry this sense of comfort about them because you know each-other way too well. They are like that sweater you would never throw out, or that one particular smell that brings you back to your childhood and you could never, ever give up on them – I could never give up on my best friends. We cling to these people for comfort and love, but what if you are an emotional nomad and you need to discover new minds, new souls to feel fulfillment in life?
There’s this specific view of the world when you truly believe that all humans are inherently good but some have been harshened by the cruelty of life. There’s this feeling you get, you want to know more about each and every person you meet. Each carry their view of the world shaped by their experiences, their loves, their losses – but why can’t we all benefit from these experiences?
I once read about a library where instead of books you can check out other humans who will tell you their life stories and I remember I was amazed, that seemed like a wonderland. Then I realized, we can turn every day and every place into a wonderland. Everyone we meet is a limited-edition classic filled with pages and pages of amusement and lessons, we just have to be willing to explore them.
Meeting these new people and opening up to them is very often quick, surprising, and a lot of times painful. But every once in a while, the person whom you gave a chance to turns out to be extraordinary: a thinker, a doer, a lover – the people who make this world a better place. And then if for some reason, if the connection cannot be maintained, it is even more painful, but all the while worth it. And as much potential that person holds before you get to know them, you hold the same amount, you can also be anyone: you start on a clean slate and you can be the you you’ve always wanted to be.
Yes, you can get hurt. Yes, you can get your heart broken. But I would not trade all the tranquility in the world with the conversations I’ve had with people I’d just met and sat with under the stars, or in the corner of a loud and crowded bar; I wouldn’t trade it with the stories I’ve learned, the laughs I’ve shared, the passions I want to keep hearing about; I wouldn’t trade it with the “You too? I thought I was the only one!”-s I’ve said and received; I wouldn’t trade it with the constant growth, evolving, and being open to new ideas.
Rather than a lone wolf – or a wolf stuck in the same pack – I always want to be part of a flock of birds, discovering new wonders together, setting each-other free, and inviting every new soul in.