Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Pleasure of Your Comapny

Sometimes it's easy for me to forget. It's easier to keep my head down, avoid eye contact, and not notice the person next to me. As an introvert, I often pride myself on being a loner. Still, I forget. I forget about the opportunities to learn more about people - I constantly miss them.

This reality smacked me right across the face yesterday when I visited a local diner. It's one of those hole in the wall, wonderful gems that everyone has in their neighborhood. Being a consummate loner, I didn't find out about this gem for almost EIGHT years. It's a tiny place. There are only four to five tables, two counters, and really great simple, greasy, diner food.

Yesterday, my father and I went to this little gem for the second time in four or five days. It was clear we were surrounded by regulars, people greeting one another, and having a generally grand time. Eventually, we ended up next to two older adults chatting about all kinds of things including; military service, Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Muscular Dystrophy, Lake Tahoe, road trips, rental cars...and the list goes on. This is in large part due to my lovable, affectionate, extroverted father and our two lovely neighbors being willing to chat.

As I sat there nodding, listening, and chiming in occasionally, I realized something important. This is the stuff of life - this is the story. I immediately knew I wanted to tell this story. One of our neighbors - an older woman - said she would maybe see me again if I came in to the diner in the future. What a kindness - just this one small thing. Someone who doesn't even know me - commenting more than once on seeing me again.

It's okay to be a loner. I'm proud of my introverted personality and try to respect it as much as possible. I just need to remember to get talk to look them in the nod and listen. Because these moments are the stuff of life. They are the opportunity to feel connected and part of a larger whole. It's worth the risk. I'm glad I got a chance to see that yesterday. I hope I continue to go there and chat with other customers. It's a small thing but it could be great. Hope everyone's having a great day. Until then...

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