The Blog Awakens! Will it sleep again soon? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. I think up some fun topics but then life gets busy. Considering how much I love writing, I hope to establish some sort of routine for a time. Definitely not every day. No streaks this time.]
Very recently, I was someplace for the first time meeting other people for the first time. If that’s not vague enough for you, I don’t know what else I can do. So I’ll link to one of my many Sybok articles.
Anyway, as part of meeting people for the first time, I was able to confirm something again while interacting with strangers. Given this was the first substantive gathering I’ve attended since the Before Times, I had to break the ol’ conversational skills out once again.
As introverted as I can be sometimes – it’s true! – there are few things I enjoy as much as a good conversation. It’s one of the reasons I got into podcasting, which is how I managed to meet some dear friends in my life: I love to talk.
But I don’t mean simply waiting for a turn to talk. Sure, that happens too, but I truly want to listen and find out if someone has something interesting to say.
What I Know
I know that I am more than happy to talk ad nauseum about my favorite topics. At this particular gathering, more than once I warned a person asking a question about Star Wars whether they really thought they were prepared for where it would inevitably go.
(Aside: Like a complete shill, I made sure to reference Aggressive Negotiations whenever I could. I’ve been co-hosting that show about deep-dive Star Wars topics with a dear friend for 5 years so it felt appropriate.)
Everyone tends to ignore that warning and wind up in a vortex of discussion about any number of nerdy things. I am nothing if not on-brand. And so the discussions started and I’m pretty sure I broadcast my special brand of conversation repellent across many ears. At one point, I got so caught up in the nonsense that two people politely left to seek another, saner conversation.
I did not blame them.
See, when recently out and about with two people who are very close and dear to me – I asked, “Would Dracula be able to feast on the blood of Frankenstein’s monster, or would it be useless to him since he needs living blood and the monster was essentially the walking dead? And further, does that mean that zombies are useless to vampires as well?”
One of the people just raised an eyebrow and replied, “I don’t know.” The other person asked, “Why do you think about things like that?” My response to that was, “Doesn’t everybody?”
The answer, I guess, is “No.”
The Pleasure of the Rare Gem
That’s why it makes it so much fun to have an engaging conversation with someone you’ve met for the first time. It’s becoming harder to have them since people are living online and care more about jumping on a trending topic than talking to the person across from them.
There’s a real enjoyment when you run across someone who’s unique in their own way and willing to share it. The sense that you’re getting an unvarnished and authentic glimpse of someone beyond what they do or where they work is always worthwhile.
As was said in Fight Club, “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” So why not make the effort to have interesting conversations?
While some people might travel for business, I seem to travel for chatting about Darth Vader to strangers. But sometimes you find people with something to say all their own, which makes it all worthwhile. I’ll continue to steer down those odd paths in hopes of having one of those unique moments. I might drag a few people down that road unwittingly, but it’s a fun ride.
After all, figuring out how others “tick,” and having them listen to you in turn, is one of those things that makes spinning on this blue marble worthwhile.