Sadly, I don’t have any advice for anyone. Despite my early-20s narcissism I really don’t feel like there’s anything I could say here that you haven’t heard already in the form of quotes typed over Instagram-filtered photos and posted every day by your aunt-in-law on her Facebook wall.
What I do have are stories. What I do have is a love of them; that’s why I’m here reading yours, after all.
I’m single. I started dating and discovered something even more fascinating: I love first dates. It’s one of the few times you get to meet a stranger one on one and go for coffee or drinks and just tell each other all of your best stories. Where else, really, does this sort of setup happen?
Frankly, the dates themselves as romantic ventures didn't pan out, so I changed course and branched from the goal of finding someone into the goal of finding as many stories as I could. I started going on “dates” with everyone – friends, family, guys, gals, complete strangers. You know those people who you’re friends with, but only in that sense of ‘you knew them in highschool and they moved into your city a few years back but you haven’t actually seen them since then’ – those, I've found, are some of the best people. Not complete strangers - you have a reason to catch up with them - but also gone just long enough for all the stories to be cool and new to you. And, as a bonus, you usually end up as actual friends again. Good deal!
Even before I discovered this I would always be approached on the train by random homeless people. I have no idea why, but it’s nearly guaranteed: I’m like a strange conversation magnet. Before it was kind of weird and creepy, and you’d do your best to shut it down and shrug it off – now I try my best to truly engage that forthcoming honesty. Some of them are straight up crazy, I’ll admit, but if my times volunteering in soup kitchens have taught me anything, it’s that homeless people see some of the coolest things merely by being out in public and being understated, always silently watching.
This, incidentally, became one of my new tenets: get out more. You can’t see the world by lounging around at home. Pretend your city is somewhere completely new. Get lost. Talk to people.
I lied, I guess. Maybe that is advice.
If you’re in the Calgary area and want to go for coffee, let me know. If you’re in the Earth area and have a story either real or imagined, my email is below and I’d love to hear from you.