It’s spring break, which means that I’m back home in California, trying not to die in the heat that global warming is definitely a causing factor in, and avoiding the thought of having to go back to school in a week. However, thinking about new classes for spring quarter gets me excited for one reason (and believe it or not, the math class I have to take is not what I’m looking forward to).
I love people. I really do. I love meeting people, I love talking to them, and I love hearing their stories. My favorite time in a relationship (platonic, romantic, whatever) is what I call that 'first coffee date' stage: when things are new - when you’re both talking for hours on end and asking millions of questions and the excitement of possibility and potential is starting to feel strong.
Perhaps this is my favorite time because it’s the only time I really know how to do. I’m a restless person, which is unfortunate in the fact that I tend to get to know people, learn about them, but then let the connection fade before I actually get to put those facts into practice and use. Don't get me wrong-- I have my couple of close friends, those that I have bonds with and know the full spectrum of, from their favorite colors to their deepest fears, but for the most part, my life is a constant cycle of the introduction stage. Some will argue that this is a clear sign of commitment issues-- but they're missing the point here!
My point is, have you ever thought about just how great introductions are? Sure, sometimes they’re awkward – OK, a lot of the time they're awkward. Small talk is the worst – I’d rather dive in to what superpower someone would choose to have rather than discuss how nice the weather is (especially with where I’m at now – it’s California, it’s always this sunny). And if you forget their name, that could prove to be problematic.
But the reason I love introductions so much is because everything is unclear, and for someone like me who likes having control, it's pretty amazing that I find that to be the quality I'm praising here. But in this case, the unclear aspect of introductions is something to praise. It's unclear how well this conversation will go. It's unclear what you will have in common. Maybe it's that band that no one else seems to really appreciate, or the Thai restaurant down the street, or why having a night class really isn't that bad. And most importantly: it's unclear where this will go - whether they will remain that person you talked to at a party so you didn't have to be alone or become your best friend you go to for advice or even the love of your life.
This week, maybe you're on break like I am. Maybe you're getting ready to start up new classes, or are looking for that new job. Or maybe you're not about to begin something new, and in that case I encourage you to. There are seven billion people here with you, and even though sometimes I wish we had a rapid case of Darwinism or a new plague to shrink that a little bit (thank you, anger caused by traffic or long bathroom lines), that means that there are introductions in your life you haven't even thought of yet, and then some. "Hello" doesn't have to just be the name of that one Adele song that everyone knows. It's an opportunity.
My life may be filled with introductions, but every single one is different. Every single one is a chance. I hope you take yours. And if I haven't introduced myself to you yet-- just wait. I'll find my chance.