I’m reading through a interaction between Jules and JoJo Magno. (Two fantastic ladies, by the way, go check them out if you haven’t already) and I do not want to jump in there, because the train of thought they started is only very loosely related to the conversation they are having.
This is a direct quote from Jules:
you knew them, they knew you — I don’t know you — who am I? I’m no one to you. Why do I think I’m someone important to you? I’m not. I’m a prop. Why do I think I can send a bit long heartfelt thing to you? I can’t. I shouldn’t.
And my mind latched on to this quote. I want to take it out of context for a moment. Just in general. This is one of those things that is both true and not true at all.
It seems that long, heartfelt confessions are best left for people who know you, who are important to you, people you love and they love you. In other words, people you know personally.
Yet so very often, these are the exact same people you can’t confess to. The stakes are too high. The risk for damage, to the relationship, to feelings, to mental health, of both you and the person you love, make confession much too frightening.
This can happen to me, and I think a lot of people can recognize it, if you do make confessions to someone you have a personal relationship with. I end up lying awake at night worrying about this person who might be lying awake at night because of some burden I have placed on them with my confession. — that’s a lot of lost sleep over something I selfishly needed to get off my chest.
But it is still important to get these things off your chest. Other wise it will linger and fester.
Enter the person who is nothing to you, and you are nothing to them. The person who doesn’t care.
Oh, they care, in the sense of caring that you are a living, breathing human being with emotions, who deserves empathy and support. But they do not care about you, personally.
These are the strangers you sometimes meet in a bar, or on the plane, or train station, who you end up having deep and personal conversations with. These days, you often find the strangers on the internet, too. And you couldn’t really say why, except for maybe a strong impression they are mensch.
Conversations like that are very important. Those are the moments that will stay with you for years. That leave you with the feeling “faith in humanity, restored”. Important, but not personal.
So yes, I do think you can, and sometimes should, have heartfelt conversations with people who mean ‘nothing’ to you. It does make both of you props. But it’s a prop standing in for everything that is good about humanity; empathy, love and connection.