The other night I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with one of my best friends in the world. We spent our time catching up with each other, joking, laughing, and having some wonderful, enriching conversations that involved a lot of talking, but also, a lot of listening. We spoke of fears and frustrations, we looked to each other for guidance, and we spoke kind words of encouragement to each other before we bid farewell for another couple of months apart. The topics we spoke on were endless. The issues we pondered over were sometimes daunting. But the thing about the couple of hours I spent enjoying her company were not just wonderful for the things we discussed. They were special because of the things we did not do, and had no desire to do.
We did not criticize each other for our mistakes or opinions. Although we are far from the same person, there wasn’t a tension in the room. Just an overwhelming feeling of understanding.
We did not try to fill the silence with more words. Or with more glances to our screens. We didn’t feel the need to show body language that so often means “I would rather be somewhere else right now.” We were comfortable enough to have strong silence. We enjoy each other’s company.
We did not only complain. We told stories. We reminisced. We showed gratitude for our lives, for those who had accepted us even when we didn’t understand them yet. For those who taught us how to understand.
We spoke in a way that many people have not experienced before with a peer. We recognized how far we have come, but we also bared our faults. In doing so, we recognized the power of accepting we’re not perfect and sharing our struggles so that we can help each other to grow.
As we spoke, we stumbled upon a topic that made us both cringe. The concept that some and really very many “grown-ups” find that our opinions, our ideas, our innovations, are not important because we “haven’t been in the real world yet” or “don’t know how life works.”
I can say without a doubt that we have so much left to learn. But I can also say that both of us have seen some of the realest parts of life that many cannot say they have even considered. Our friendship is a rarity and this little two hour conversation could be considered a miracle to our generation, who often struggles to fight through the most menial of social situations.This conversation allowed for both of us to grow. The little things we share with each other and the moments that make us think, see different perspectives, are slowly developing us as people. Helping to chip away perceived ideas that may be holding us back from becoming our best selves.
So, tell me again why my thoughts are less valid? Tell me why I should have the internal dialogue with your voice telling me I don’t matter.
And then, listen to all that I’ve just said. Because now, we are getting somewhere.