Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: A Perfect Stranger

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Perfect Stranger

I have always had a fondness of meeting new people. In my earlier years I was quite shy and struggled making friends. I would hide behind my mother's skirt and hope that my older siblings would talk for me. As I became more independent in life, I realized that there is a world full of mysterious and striking people that I could meet.

In college, on the first day of class, I would survey the room, look for a table of people that looked either friendly, intriguing, or at least tolerable, and join them. I met a lot of people during my 5 years at UNI. Among them were: the crippled quarterback, the girl who moved to Abu Dhabi, the solid golfer, the over achiever, the disarrayed slacker, the glazed smoker, the wailing complainer, and the unbalanced obsessive. All had a past, a unique reason for being at the same place at the same time as me. I loved talking to these people, learning about them and their experiences. Unfortunately, those listed above never became much more than class acquaintances.

There are only a few people in my life that have crossed my path that I have truly connected with, mainly because I don't like to open up to many people. These people were special in the way that we had a connection that allowed me to relinquish all control of my self shield and share my life with them. These are the people that you end up talking to for hours, because you feel as though you have your whole lives to share with each other, yet feel like you have known each other your whole lives.

I can think of a handful of these people in my life. Some I still share my life with and others I no longer have contact with for various reasons. It scares me, in a way, knowing that there are some people out there in the world who know me better than my own family, and I no longer speak with them. I have shared things with these people from the deepest depths of my heart and they are out there, somewhere in this world, carrying my secrets on their shoulders and vice-versa. There were times I had tried to reunite with these individuals but life barriers have kept us from remaining as close as we once were. It's hard to see a good friendship fade away like your youth with each passing year. As hurtful as it may be to lose a friend that you once held close to your heart, there is always the knowledge of a world full of new people to meet. People that may touch your life in a new way or someone who may fill the hole in your heart of the person you no longer have contact with. You never know when this will happen, but you have to know that if you are not open to getting out and socializing and connect with others, you may miss out on some great relationships.

Even as an adult, I still find myself meeting people who's life stories amaze me and I find myself connecting with them on a level that a lot of people will never find in their lifetime. I'm fortunate to have married a man like this as well as to have friends that changed my outlook on life and myself. I hope that I live the remainder of my life meeting new people, reaching out to them, and maintaining the relationships that I make. Not only can they change my life, but I can hope to change theirs as well.

Thinking about these things has me reminded of a quote that hung on a wall hanging in my house as I was growing up...

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go...others stay awhile, leaving footprints on our heart, and we are never, ever the same."

No comments: