People are fascinating.
In general, human beings are amazing and wonderful, curious and passionate and emotional and heroic and dramatic and kind and rude and creative and strange. I love them. I love the things that make them all so weird and unique. I love learning about people, too. About their background, their heartbreak, their achievements, their family issues, all of it. This is part of why I like to travel. There’s nothing like visiting a new place and observing the people who exist there, speaking with them and learning about who they are and the things that have happened in their lives, the beliefs and experiences that have shaped their lives and perceptions.
I have this theory that every time I meet someone new, they give me a piece of them, and in exchange I give them a piece of me. If you subscribe to the idea that we are all energy, or vibration, (and I do), then you have to believe that you leave a piece of yourself everywhere you go and with every person you touch. Every person I met in New Orleans, especially those I had interactions with, is a part of me now, and I am a part of them.
Isn’t that romantic? I am absolutely taken with this idea.
Think about it. Think about the people who you have met in your life who have signed their names on your soul. The woman who took care of you when your parents were away. The guy who taught you how to cook a new dish. The rock star who introduced you to Jeff Buckley totally by accident on a rainy day. That enchanting girl who had the raddest hair cut EVER, who inspired your own brave makeover. The author who changed the way you thought about something, forever. ALL of these people (and so many more) are inside you. If you believe that, anyway. (And I do.)
I had an English teacher in 8th grade who wrote down every phrase sung by Billy Joel in the song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. (If you know the song, you know there are a lot of them.) He put them into groups by decade, each decade on a different color index card, and had us learn about these events in groups. I don’t remember everything about this assignment, or how I did on it, but I remember his creativity and passion. I admired it. I took a bit of it with me.
There was a man I called Uncle as a child, who I believe was Italian and I believe was actually married to my Great Aunt for a time, but I can’t be sure about either of those things. He had a big nose and a warm smile, and I don’t know if he was from New York or Chicago, but I do know he could cook like nobody’s business. I remember that I loved going to his house because he fed us extraordinary food (especially compared to normal kids’ fare like mac and cheese) – eggplant Parmesan and tortellini and red sauce that was his own recipe. I admired his open heart and generosity, and though he died when I was very young, I still carry a part of him with me.
Another person worked at the front desk of a small hotel in England. She was witty and fun, and didn’t talk to me and my brother like we were children, but rather like we were cohorts. We tried to be pen-pals for a while but I’m sure I got distracted and unfortunately, I lost her. Part of her, though, I still have, and I remember her fondly whenever I think of my first trip overseas. It was also in that hotel that I saw BBC News and Absolutely Fabulous for the first time, which is just a random thing I remember enjoying as an 8 year old in a foreign country.
I could go on for ages about the people I’ve met who have taken up residence in my heart and forever impacted me for the better. I wonder all the time if anyone else does this, or feels this?