Sunday, October 11, 2009

The One who will listen.

I am one of many interests, like you all. Just to list a few, I'm interested in health care access, cooking, claymation, public radio, and clothes. It's a wide variety, and not really related to each other.

I've realized how hard it is to find pleasure with talking about my interests to people around me these days, mainly because the people around me are not as intrigued about what I can't stop reading/thinking/searching about. I've found myself in more than one occasion where I would passionately talk about something and see that the other person's eyes are kind of glazed over, and I've lost their attention. This is no fault of theirs because a) I am almost always guilty of rambling and 2) it's not their fault that they don't find whatever I care about boring.

Not being able to hold a conversation is a painful thing. It's frustrating to not be able to express what's going on your head and say what you mean to say at the exact moment you mean to say it. I've always had slightly oddball interests than many people, but it's felt increasingly isolating as of yet.

I think it has to do with the fact that I've moved away from the people who, despite not having common interests, knew how to listen in a way where it felt as if they cared that I cared about those things. I remember several times in the past couple of years where I would come home to my former roommate Peter, and unload on him about the frustrations about public benefits coordination, or about what happened that day in national politics, and he would actually absorb what I was saying and respond with questions that allowed me to talk more. (I do lurve to talk.) Peter and I don't share all of the same interests, and the majority of the time, he didn't know the specifics about the topic I was talking about. But he made me feel like I was talking to someone who wanted to learn about what I was saying to him. He talked to me about his theater issues, and I hope I was able to do the same.

I've also maintained the most successful long distance relationship with my friend Naoko, and she is the champion of letting me talk for hours, regardless of what topic. Naoko and I have almost NO common interests, but what we share is a common sense of humor, morality, and sense of self. This is a product of 15+ years of paging/note writing/text messaging/ emailing and phone calls, and I am more and more aware about the rarity of the type of relationship I have with her.

It might be the fact that I'm the furthest that I've ever been away from people like Naoko and Peter, for an amount of time that hasn't been defined. Sure, I was in another country, but that experience had a definite time limit, and I WAS surrounded by common-minded people, also known as my precious Fulbright friends. I don't regret moving, because I am living out the dream that I've always had. I also have very welcoming people here who are my rocks of support. It's just the little moments of disconnection that I've noticed that has made me more sensitive about how hard it is to find people who will listen in a particular way that allows one to indulge in my interests.

I guess it's only recently that I've really noticed how odd I actually am. I have a feeling that this phase isn't an exclusive one that only I'm going through. Maybe on some level, everyone is searching for an outlet, and that's what they look for when they talk about The One. I'm still a gigantic sceptic/borderline non-believer of The One, but I am hopeful to find someone here that might let me be the freak that I actually am, whether that be a mate or a friend. I hope you all have someone like such, or that you will find someone very soon.

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