Random thought of the day: How often do you think of someone else? How often do you talk about someone else with another friend? And then, that person you were thinking of or talking about, how often do you end up telling them, directly, that you were thinking about them?
I’ve been thinking of this a lot recently, and I’ve been trying really hard, in the moment or shortly thereafter, to call or text or email or write, to let people know they’ve been in my thoughts, that they don’t exist in a vacuum, that some insignificant or forgotten thing they’ve said or done has lived in me, that I’ve been enriched by our connection.
It’s not only when I’m biking that I think of others, but biking is when I have the time to really spin my thoughts out. Either I go past something that I know would make someone smile or laugh or cringe, or I recall some random interaction, or the meditative spinning of my pedals brings up long-ago conversations that take on a new light. And it’s so easy to let that enrich only me, to let all the myriad people who touch my life go about their days not knowing that their essence continues to ripple in my soul. And that sucks, because I want people to know how important they are to me, even in all the stupid little ways that seem totally insignificant but somehow sum-total make up a life. And I want to know that I’ve been important to others as well.
We are particularly bad at this in American culture, I think, in even admitting peoples’ influence on us, much less celebrating it. But that’s bullshit. Thank goodness for all the people who make me who I am.
And again and again and again, I try to remember to reach out, to let you know what you mean to me. Some of it may be selfish: in reaching out, I’m grasping at the hope that maybe somehow I’ve been important, too, that maybe you’ve been thinking of me as well. But mostly, I just want us to touch, to be seen, to admit that we wouldn’t be the same if not for each other.
That friend or family member or near-stranger you’re thinking of? Tell them.