One thing I’ve realized after almost 4 months in a new place is that no one here really knows me at all.
When people don’t know you, they can’t tell you when you’re doing the wrong thing for yourself because they don’t know what the right thing is, they can’t promise you that you’ll eventually get what you want because they don’t know what you want, and they can’t assure you that you have the strength to survive because a) they’ve never witnessed your strength and b) they probably don’t care that much if you survive.
When people don’t know you, they cannot provide an informed commentary on your life, but they are also not biased. They don’t know about your limitations, and they will not limit their expectations of you based on their assumptions.
If you are hyper-analytical, you can learn a lot about yourself from these people as they trying to learn about you. Ultimately, they have very little direct insight, but they are like mirrors, reflecting back your image, backwards.
Me: I know it’s morbid, but whenever I leave my bike outside, I emotionally and mentally prepare for it to be gone when I go back out.
Her: Oh, right…of course..because?…locks don’t really work?
Him: They were doing the kind of daring, dangerous things that kids do.
Me: I don’t think I was very daring when I was kid–I never did anything reckless.
Him: Really? Like nothing?
Me: Yeah, not ever things like jumping off high places in the playground.
Him: So, all the other kids were doing it?
Him: And even after you saw that all the kids had done it and didn’t get hurt, you still thought you would get hurt.
Me: Yes, even though everyone had done it, I thought I would be only one who got hurt.
Him: Well it’s good you didn’t–that’s a good way to get hurt.
Me: What is?
Him: Thinking you’re going to get hurt.