If you’re on Facebook, or been around online social networking for awhile, chances are you know all about 25 Random Things About Me. Or, maybe you just read about it in the NYT or Time. I wrote my own and I read what my friends write. Most of them are actually pretty interesting, but I’m probably biased, cause I think my friends are downright fascinating.
Lately, though, I’ve been a bit freaked out by some of the things I share with my friends. For example:
My friend Kate and I have both day-dreamed about Laura Ingalls Wilder taking a time machine to the future so that we could take her on a guided tour of the modern world.
My friend Nisha and I both think tomatoes are GROSS.
My friend Aimee and I both spent a summer (possibly the same summer though we are different ages), reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, a book that forever changed each of our lives.
My friend Maureen and I prefer cilantro to all other herbs. Me and Franz both like Hawaiian pizza best and Connor and I share a love of beef.
OK, well, some of them aren’t exactly freak-out worthy, but clearly my friends and I share a passion for sharing about our food likes and dislikes. This information will help me in deciding whose dinner invitation to accept.
But some of my friends random things have given me new insights into why I feel particularly bonded to them despite us having very different life experiences in so many other ways. Things I thought were special and unique to me are in fact shared by others. Talk about a life lesson. We are typically less alone in our pain than we think, and in fact, less alone in our joys. Milestones big and small can be shared with others and bring deeper meaning and connection with those we love.
I like thinking about me and Aimee reading the same book, at the same time, even though we didn’t know each other, and considering how this book shaped who we are and how we came to be friends with one another. I like imagining Kate and I as kids sitting in the backseats of different cars in different states looking out the window and seeing the world through the eyes of our heroine Laura Ingalls. These seemingly random things make up how we look at the world, and who we’ve become, and which friends we make. I wish I could go back in my own time machine to tell little Aspen that one day she will meet some really awesome people that will make her adult life interesting and fun.
Oh…and by the way, my high-school basketball jersey number was always 25.