Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Their Joy In Having Found Each Other Is Obvious

“Tell a story that makes them proud to take the first step.” I've been asked about my nametag over than fifty-thousand times in the past fourteen years. And whenever someone brings it up, I’m always conflicted. On one hand, I so badly want to be heard, so desperately want my life to have witness and meaning, that my first instinct is to vomit all over them. To launch right into my amazing story, with all the passion and pride in the world, making sure they never forget who I am, hoping they go tell all their friends about me. On the other hand, people aren’t as interested in us as we want them to be. And when it comes to downloading information and digesting story, people don’t want to drink from a fire hose, they want to sip a glass of water when they’re thirsty. We have to pace ourselves. We have to let the story unfold according to their clock, not our ego. We have to take people on a tour of what convinced us to believe, so they can follow in our footsteps and believe the same thing. Proselytizing through purging doesn't have the same effect.

"Their joy in having found each other is obvious." When you love someone, you should want to parade them around the room. Not to brag about your conquest. Not because they’re your property. Not because you want other people to be jealous. And not because it makes you feel better about yourself. You parade them around the room because you don’t want your life to be explainable without them. You parade them around the room because they are your reason for everything. Because they are the missing ingredient that makes you into a whole person. Because when you’re together, the world can literally see the life dripping off of you. It's just good old fashion gushing. It never goes out of style. And it's one of the most beautiful forms of sharing that humans do. Who we love should be our worst kept secret.

"When love is at stake, you don’t waste time on rest stops." The problem with romantics is, we fall in love with our rebounds. We get so happy and flattered and revitalized that someone new has brought us back into the game, that we give our hearts away to highest bidder. Confusing love with infatuation, we say I love you, when what we really mean is, I love the version of me that you reflect. And it’s not just personal. We fall in love with professional rebounds too. Jobs, careers, geography, projects and other life endeavors. Like the new blog with only three posts that forever remains a monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm. Or the new job that's everything we've always wanted, and by that we mean the first company who called us back. The point is, confirmation bias is a dangerous bedfellow. We have to be careful in turning what we find into what we want. Just because we wear our heart on our sleeve, doesn't mean the first person to see it holds the key.