a unique perspective on this crazy world

Yesterday I was buying groceries and had one of those memorable random experiences.  Some kid was more or less in my way in the produce section and his mom apologized but I said, “hey, a kid that gets that excited about fruits and vegetables, that is a wonderful thing.”  He was doing a bit of a dance and singing about the quality of the rhubarb.  His mom said he got that excited about everything in the produce section so I asked him if he was planning to be a chef.  He said he hoped so.

It made me a little jealous 🙂  At that age I had no capacity to talk to strangers, let alone a vision of my future self.  He seemed ready to grow up to be the next Gordon Ramsay 😉

I may have been a boring child and god knows I try not to reveal my proper job when I am talking to strangers in a bar but somewhere along the line I seem to have become kind of interesting.

It’s come as a shock to me.  And I still worry that maybe I am not as interesting as I may have decided I am… but at least a few random strangers seem to find me entertaining.  When I was in Amsterdam at citizenM I had to keep sneaking off to my room when the other party had gone to the bathroom or out to smoke cause the bar was open 24/7 and there was always someone wanting to talk to me no matter the hour…

Of course one doesn’t want to confuse willingness to talk to drunken strangers at 3am with actually being interesting 🙂  But people often want to talk to me even when it is the middle of the day.  I think a lot of it can be attributed to something my friend Yvonne said years ago when she was introducing me to a friend of hers who was moving to my city.  “He is interesting – and interested.”

The key to being interesting is to be interested.  When you are open to other people and cultures and really listen when people talk you learn all kinds of strange and random things about the world.  And then when you meet the next random person, you have a wild database of miscellaneous information on which to draw.

I feel really lucky to have experienced life in all types of channels.  I feel equally comfortable swatting tsetse flies in Africa, sipping champagne in Paris and biting a kernel of wheat to see if it is ready to harvest.  Living your life all over the map – literally and figuratively – opens up the world – both the physical world and your emotional map – because you can relate to everyone that you meet and bond with strangers in strange lands.

And then you become the person who has just returned from five weeks of travel out of the last eight and people ask you “where are you going next?”  I thought I might stay home for a couple of weeks 🙂  But you have become a person of interest.  Someone who inspires others.  And has something to say.  Life doesn’t get much better than that…

And the answer… Croatia I think… 🙂

I think the kid will be cooler way faster than I ever was.  But I like to think I am more aspirational.  Some of us know what we want early in life and follow our dreams and realize them by the time we have barely reached adulthood.  For some of the rest of us, it’s a practical journey, filled with lots of boring bits… but eventually we make enough interesting choices to piece together a life of some interest…

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