People Are Strange, When You’re a Stranger

   I am currently in Baltimore, visiting family. I have enjoyed some quality time with my one-year-old niece, who loves to laugh as much as I do and can make me laugh with a simple grunt or a smile so wide, the sun shines just to highlight it.

  I had a heart-to-heart with my grandmother, whom I opened up to about the fear of losing my husband. I reassured her that nothing significant is making me believe it’s going to be tomorrow or anything, just a voice screaming at me to make as many memories as I can with him now. Neil and I both have a feeling that time for us is running shorter. I try not to dwell on it, though, and focus on being in the present moment; still, it was helpful to open up to Grandma.

   Surprisingly, I found myself opening up to Aunt Theresa about a subject that I have only ever discussed with Neil and Amanda. We started talking about Mother Theresa. Regardless of where I stand on religion, I have always aspired to be like Mother Theresa and adopt her “Give what I don’t need” philosophy. I am a firm believer in “Build a longer table, not a higher fence.” Anyway, Mother Theresa had many doubts about God’s existence. I confessed to Aunt Theresa that I have been having the same. When Mother Theresa said, “I don’t feel God anymore.” I’m there. I haven’t felt God’s presence in a very long time. It used to upset me, but now, I feel nothing. It was nice talking to someone spiritual who didn’t shove scripture down my throat or tell me that it’s just the devil and I’m falling victim to temptation and blah, blah, blah. (This isn’t the first time I have had doubts, but this is the first time where I’m not sure that I believe.)

   I feel better having written it down. I admit I have been putting off this post for quite some time because I was afraid of the kinds of comments I might get. I figured one of three things could happen:

  1. Someone might say they will pray for me. I know what this means, and I consider it a kindness. I would never judge anyone for their faith, and I admire those who have it. Sometimes, I wish I still did.
  2. Someone might understand. Maybe it will get some conversations going. Perhaps it will urge someone to open up to someone who will listen without judgment. I’m happy to offer a nonjudgmental ear for anyone who might need one.
  3. I might receive unsolicited advice, and quite possibly, some angered messages about how I’m going to spend eternity in hell for turning my back on God. If you are one of these people, please pray for me from a distance because all you will manage to do is make me feel sad for you, and I don’t want to feel sad on my vacation!

   In addition to the wonderful, deep, and philosophical conversations I’ve been having, I have been making memories I will look back on fondly, and getting my Baltimore staples (cheesesteak, Chinese, snowball, and crab cake) while still managing to eat mostly healthy, consume lots of water, and remain active. Go me!

   Today, while standing in line at a snowball stand, I had a sort of strange encounter. The man standing in front of me started making small talk, which anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of, but how else does one start a conversation with a stranger? After the typical “Hi, how are you?” chat, this stranger had an idea to break the small-talk.

   “I bet I can guess your profession,” He said.

   “Feel free to try,” I replied.

   “The dental field.” He guessed.

   I was surprised, and I knew my body language told him as such. “I used to be a dental assistant.”

   “I knew it!” He clapped his hands.

   His daughter, who I’m guessing was no older than eight, told me that I was really pretty, so pretty that I could be a Disney princess.

   I gushed about how pretty she was and thanked her for making me feel so special! Sometimes, we receive sweet memories from strangers. I will never forget the day a little girl made me feel beautiful when I wasn’t even wearing makeup!

   As the little girl and her dad went to leave, the little girl told me it was so nice to meet me, and the dad thanked me for all the teeth I saved.

  “People are strange when you’re a stranger.”

Have you made any wonderful memories lately?

Love & life lessons,

Kristian

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19 Responses to People Are Strange, When You’re a Stranger

  1. I’ve been having a lot of talks with my Gran lately, but she doesn’t remember them, lol. But that’s not the point, lol. She still does have moments of clarity. I’ve been told I’m pretty by little kids, mainly boys (lol), but never Disney Princess pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brad Osborne says:

    Good to hear you are out making memories and connecting with family. I appreciate and understand the struggle that comes from questioning the religious tenets that have been indoctrinated since youth. I, too, have been told that I am going to hell for my beliefs, but the funny thing is that hell is a lot less scary when you no longer believe in it. I am glad you have people you trust that you can confide in. Although we all end up in the same place when we die, I truly believe that all of our paths getting their are different. I know you will find your path! Have fun and stay well!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brad Osborne says:

    There are many paths that lead to any door. Glad you were able to visit with your loved ones and make some memories. Stay well and grateful for each moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Renee🌻 says:

    Kristian, I have to agree with the little girl, you are beautiful, even without make-up and look just like a Disney Princess! I really mean that! Gorgeous!
    I think it took a lot of bravery to admit your questions and concerns. I think it’s good to always be thinking and trying to learn things. I don’t think any of us should be mindless mannequins. And I don’t think God should be pushed on anyone else. All I can relate to anyone is my own experiences with Him. I would say I found God when I was 19, in 1988, but it was more like “He found me.” When I invited His Spirit into my heart, it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. There have been seasons I felt like I could not feel God, and it scared me, because I usually feel Him every time I pray. But I read something one time that really helped me to see more clearly. “When we are going through difficulties and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during the test.”
    I know some believe He was just a “good teacher.” And He was and still is a “good teacher.” He has become more than that for me, personally, through the years. He is like a “good” earthly father to me, (I’m not talking about an abusive father that some have experienced in their lifetime) as well as, a Heavenly Father. A good earthly father always wants what is best for his child. There have been times when my girls were going through things when they were growing up. Things I knew they had to learn for themselves. I wanted to step onto the scene and fight the fight for them, but if I had, they would have missed some very important life lessons and would have never learned how to be strong and to grow. I can’t speak for anyone else, but only for myself. I have learned that God does have thoughts of peace and not evil towards me, great plans for me, a hope and a future. And I also have found that He hears me every single time I pray. It doesn’t mean I get my way every time I ask for something, but He gives me what is best for me, because He is my Father, and He loves me.
    I hope you keep searching, Kristian, with an open heart. I wish you peace and happiness and lots of joy! 💜🤗🦋

    Liked by 2 people

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  6. johncoyote says:

    When I was young, single and traveled. Jim Morrison songs, I did play on the road trips. Good to hang with people, who see the world with a better vision. Good morning Kristian from Michigan.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rosy Mathew says:

    I was just in Baltimore recently. Since my bus didn’t come, I ordered Lyft since it was getting dark and there were few guys watching me. I am so glad I order Lyft because I had the most amazing conversation with the gentleman who was driving. He brought it’s so rare where his passengers are willing to talk. He was the most kind guy. Before I left, he told I have a nice trip with my friends and stay safe out there because this city is so dangerous. Yes, I definitely agree about that. If you take wrong turn in one of the street, you’ll end up in most sketchy neighborhood. At the same time, you will meet the most nicest people out there.

    When I was in Starbucks with my friend waiting for our order, a gentleman right next to us came over and started a conversation. He was on a trip to visit someone in Baltimore as well. It’s so rare you meet like people that in this cold, crazy world.

    Liked by 1 person

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