I’m by the beach, enjoying my morning coffee & this lovely breeze & the 90s music that is playing. At the moment, my friends aren’t here so I’m enjoying my time alone. I scrolled on my phone and wrote for a bit on my notebook.
Then was just enjoying the view and the moment, the stripped beach umbrellas, the tiny palm trees, the glowing sand, the parachute up in the sky and the person in it probably having the time of their life.
And the elderly (seemingly) couple next to me. They seemed to be enjoying the moment as well, especially each others company and the conversation.
sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own
My friend was in the airport people-watching, hard. We started talking about sonder. Strangely (or not?), it’s one of my favorite aspects of being human. Usually, I “get” a lot of sonder when I have errands to run and end up walking for hours, thus seeing a lot of people. Our paths might never cross again, ever. In that moment though, they did, everything that had ever happened to us leading us to our lives intertwining.
That other person will have a favorite shirt, favorite movie, favorite color that you’ll never know of. They’ll carry on with meeting their friends, crying, going swimming. They’ll get their heart broken, fall in love (unless they’re aromantic*), fall off a chair, fall asleep…We’re all in each others lives in some way or another, even for a fleeting second, as a presence or thought.
As of my favorite artists Jenny Holzer beautifully put it:
I had a bittersweet realization regarding the elderly couple next to me though.
There is so much you can learn from people who’ve been doing this unbelievable thing called life for way longer than you have. You can ask them so many questions and they probably don’t need to answer with a hypothetical “if that happened to me, I would…” because that has happened to them.
They’ve seen war and famine and dictatorship. They’ve experienced loss. They can advise you on what your 20s are for, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. Some have been in their field of work for 30 years. Some have been married for 50 years.
Unfortunately, despite their wisdom, they’re the most sexist, racist, everything-phobic, close minded people, filled to the brim with prejudices and bitterness and anger.
*I know you can fall in love with your friends and work and life, but there’s a romantic connotation to it and you know it. Btw aromantics are people whose anaconda don’t want none, period. Not sexually speaking (those are asexuals), just romantically. Who would’ve guessed people have lives outside their relationships?!