I Went On A Walk With A Stranger, And This Is What Happened

I Went On A Walk With A Stranger, And This Is What Happened

I promise it is not as weird as it sounds

This past weekend, I went on a Freshman Retreat in Cape May. It was a weekend of reflection, new connections, and laughs. While the retreat as a whole was moving, one particular activity, a walk on the beach, impacted me greatly.

I’ve done dialogue walks in the past, where I have gone on a walk with someone who I don’t know too well. Some have been guided with questions, others with the only instructions being to allow each person to speak, and to actively listen.

I have always found the act of a dialogue walk to be comforting. When you go on a walk with someone, your body is moving, and for me, many times this act of motion translates into the words I share.

The fact that my body is in motion allows my emotions and thoughts to also move to a point where I feel more comfortable sharing what is on my mind.

When you are having a “normal” conversation, you can see the other person’s face and reactions to what you say. However, when walking, you are not directly facing whoever you are talking with, so there is less frequent eye contact. Less judgment is emitted and again, it is easier to say what I may not otherwise share.

The walk I took this weekend was no different, and had a particularly great impact because of my current circumstances. Being at college means constantly meeting new people and seeing new faces every day. It means forming friendships without knowing whether they are lasting ones or are simply ones of association.

In a new environment, it is natural to want to surround yourself with people, and while that aspect may be easy, the difficult part is figuring out if you are surrounding yourself with the right people. It is even more difficult to decipher when your friendships that may have started surface level can go deeper.

The dialogue walk allowed me to go past small talk and instantly form a deeper connection with someone.

However, this doesn’t just happen: forming that connection requires opening up. I went into the retreat with the intent to have an open heart, and this carried on into the dialogue walk, where I chose to be my true, authentic self.

I feel like a lot of the conversations I have at college are guarded. Everything is so new and you never know how people may react to the things you say.

I have always been an advocate of vulnerability, but putting this into practice is easier said than done.

On the walk, I let go of the need to keep up appearances and was honest. I took a risk, and I am grateful to say that it paid off- once I took that step to share something close to me, she instantly felt compelled to do the same. My partner had similar experiences as me. Finding that connection was inspiring.

The conversation that followed has stayed with me over the past few days. I hadn’t realized how private I had felt the past couple of months, how much I missed letting people see exactly who I am.

This does not mean I am not real with the people I encounter every day, just that there is a certain level of closeness I know I have yet to achieve with people.

I feel so much freer. Opening up with those around me may take time, but having such a positive experience with someone I didn’t know too well is encouraging, and I am going to continue to trust the process.

So, if you ever find yourself able to, take a walk with a stranger.

I promise it's not as weird as it sounds. And while on that walk, just be yourself. It's worth it.

To the stranger, now friend, I went on the walk with, thank you for listening, for being receptive to my thoughts, and for sharing in return. It is so appreciated.

Talk soon,


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

A Girl Gets Raped At School Then Gets Suspended

Boys are always going to be boys, right?

How many cases have there been about young girls get raped? As of late rape is becoming a huge topic that some are still afraid to talk about. I am here to share a story of a ninth grader who is, of course, getting the blame rather than the boys that did the crime.

A female student who goes to Miami Carol Senior High School has brought claims to people about three boys who had raped her. Where did it happen? It happened in the bathroom at the school, yep you read that correctly. These students had taken advantage of another during the time they should be learning.

The fourteen-year-old who I'm going to refer to as Sarah claims she was sexually assaulted by three boys and gets suspended from the aftermath.

"He was holding onto my sweater really tight and I was trying to leave to get back to class, and he kind of just pulled me into the restroom," Sarah tells. She went to a teacher had told her about the incident that occurred. Eventually, the school suspended the boys but did not expel them.

I get that Sarah may be horrified or even scared to go to go due to what happened. Why does she need to be suspended? What did she do in the situation that she should get a strike for it? Maybe it's for Sarah's safety, maybe they are treating her unfairly.

Moving on, the first boy she says forced her to have anal sex while the others forced her to perform oral on them. However, the girl supposedly told the Mother that she didn't scream or run away leaving that as consensual.

Sigh, why does it always come down to that? If a girl or woman doesn't strike back it is considered consensual. I've read that in other cases before and I just don't understand how that can validate any situation. I'm sorry I didn't have enough time to fight back when I was being held down or forced.

As if this story could get any worse it did and fast. Two of the boys' families stepped forward and told the investigator something that no one wants to hear. One of the boys has gonorrhea and the other is HIV positive.

This girl is only fourteen years old and is going to have life ripped away. They had given Sarah medication just in case and she won't know if she is positive until a year later. Why? What did he do to deserve that?

The same with the boy though, it is a shame that he is HIV positive but why would you want to infect someone else? Why would you want to let someone else suffer from the same disease?

The school had released a statement which said “School district administrators in conjunction with Miami-Dade Schools Police are thoroughly investigating this case thoroughly, and it continues to be an active investigation. Information regarding the case has been provided to the State Attorney’s Office as well as the Department of Children and Families (DCF).”

Sarah is getting therapy and is staying away from the school which I said I would completely understand. Her Mother is stating that the district is being difficult with allowing her to transfer someplace else.

Rape isn't going to go away even if we want it to. People are still going to do the same thing no matter how hard we fight. It becoming the same fight over and over and there isn't much we can do.

I just hope that this won't be so popular in the news. With each and every story that comes up reads the same thing. Female gets raped by a male and they usual result in the winning of the man.

At some point we need to figure out a way to calm this but unfortnauly for us we can't make it stop.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Full of Emotions: A poem

Not positive emotions, but they needed written

This is a poem that has been stewing in the back of my head for the past week, things that I've felt like I needed to voice and should've spoken up about ages ago.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it.

I can't bring myself to love you.

I can't stand you

I almost hate you

and yet,

because of who you are,

I know it shouldn't be like this.

Does it make me a bad person

if I wish for your existence to end?

Does it make me evil

to wish no good to come to you?

If this is a sin,

I think it probably is,

I am not ready to repent for it yet.

All these feelings

I used to have for you

have been numbed

by the anesthesia of time.

Every time the anesthesia wears off

I learn a new thing to like

and almost just as quickly

another thing to hate.

You hurt me and you hurt

people I love

with equal abandon

and I can't forgive that.

Maybe it makes me a bad person

maybe I'm justified

in my feelings of dislike

and even if I am

I don't care.

My emotions have been

stunted for so long

because of you.

Being away from you,

I'm allowed to lower my defenses

and actually let my emotions grow

and attach myself to others.

Being away from you,

I realized how strange your love is,

how different your views are

and I've seen how far apart

you and I are now.

And I'm okay with it.

Cover Image Credit: Erdenebayar

Related Content

Facebook Comments