Process Post 1: Stranger Encounter

Interacting with strangers has become second nature in my lifestyle. Not only do I greet people at work as they enter the store, but I frequently take my dog out for walks in different parks meeting new people all the time. However, the interactions are very brief, consisting of only a simple smile and “hello”.

But being determined to detach myself from expectations as Hamblins would says, I wanted to genuinely know the people in my community a little more.  Rather than just saying “hi” or “hello” I pivoted by asking people “How was your day today?” or “Did you do anything interesting today?”. To a complete stranger, these questions are much more personalized and the general public would likely not answer either of these in any detail. 

However, I struck up a conversation with a pair of seniors walking their dog as well. They told me that they had just gotten back from a gathering with their friends and that’s when I knew this conversation was going somewhere. After a few exchanges, we found a natural flow and I ultimately learned that the gathering was actually a reunion with their fellow retired colleagues. They had all worked together in the same company for years and have made it a tradition to gather over the Labor Day long weekend to rejoice and see one another as summer winds down. It’s been seven years in the making and there is clearly no end in sight. They are enjoying every moment of life together right now and outside of holidays and birthdays, this is something that they really look forward.  

Interacting with strangers has become second nature in my lifestyle. Not only do I greet people at work as they enter the store, but I frequently take my dog out for walks in different parks meeting new people all the time. However, the interactions are very brief, consisting of only a simple smile and “hello”.

Our conversation has elapsed almost 10 minutes long which for a dogs must have actually felt like 10 years not being able to roam around freely and to complete their personal businesses. We decided to part ways and although I resorted to a smile and “Bye”, that interactions left me feeling connected to my community. Even though this was only one interaction with a fellow stranger in my community, I felt a sense of belongingness because I was no longer just living in my own small bubble alone. I am slowly branching out and my roots are penetrating further into the ground with hopes of emanating this sense of belongingness towards others in my community.

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