Growing up stranger meant danger and that was that. People have been crazy on this here earth for years and they’re [still] going to be when we’re long gone. That is a fact that no one can deny, but did that ever stop any of us from speaking to a stranger? Yes, we were also taught that “it’s the polite thing to do” so it’s a little contradicting in my opinion. Just because a person speaks to you with a smile on their face doesn’t change the fact that they’re a stranger and potentially dangerous. I would go on about the background of the stranger danger lessons and how I feel, but I want to talk about now. How as an adult I’ve come to understand that strangers play a more positive role in my life now.
Being a creative – small business owner, blogger, content creator – changed the way I view strangers. For years I was stuck upset about the fact that my family and friends didn’t show me the love and support that I always longed for. Yet there was always an unknown person right there, cheering me on, showing me that love – if not more. Of course, I wanted to rebel against it because I didn’t want that from them. I needed it but at the time it mattered more who I wanted it from in place of just having the support at all. I kept seeing the same people who call me “friend” and some of my family post everybody’s businesses and regular photos as if it were nothing. I got too tired to keep saying anything and I ended up doing them exactly how they do/did me. Why not? Being the bigger person is cool, but I don’t want to have to be so all the time. Once I decided that I didn’t have to support those that don’t support me, and I wasn’t a bad person for it, things changed.
The first person I ever met was through Twitter and I think we’ve known each other for six years now. It could be longer, but I know it’s been a while. As of lately I’ve met three people who I really like. One is so supportive and when we talk, I never feel like I’m beneath or being judged by them. The closest one to me is a good five hours away so it would probably be easier to meet them if the opportunity ever presented itself. All three of them make me feel like there’s always someone here for me and they don’t know how much I appreciate them. I’ve met others but it didn’t work out so in those cases I’m glad we could simply go back to being strangers. I do still feel like you should be careful with strangers though because some people are rude. I have experienced that side of it too and I didn’t feel good about it after. But it never stopped me from being who I am. Once you learn that everyone isn’t as open as you are things get easier. You’ll learn to read a person through the way you guys communicate.
You really have to feel people out and I know that can be hard through social media, but it’s possible. I know that sounds weird, but you’ll know when it’s the right time. One of the people that I previously mentioned was following my business page and ended up following my other page. They later purchased from me and began commenting on and likes my post. We’d hold a conversation via DM’s here and there and one day I went for it. I reached out during a tough day explaining why, asked for their number, they told me they felt the same and the rest is history. We’ve connected for a reason and that’s what matters.
When I pulled this card, it truly struck something inside of me. In a good way. Too often we’re stuck feeling sad, lonely, angry, just all these negative emotions because we can’t count on those closest to us and we haven’t learned to accept that yet. We keep holding on because we feel like things will get better and its pretty trippy because that goes for both platonic and romantic relationships. Once you open up about this – which you may or may not do directly with the source, but – you’re usually met with a response like, “You gotta get out more”. It’s said like it’s such this casual, easy, no-brainer. And for those like myself it is not because not only am I a stay-at-home mom but let’s not act as if covid doesn’t still exist. I don’t know where I would go to meet anyone aside from a playground and I don’t know anyone I’d legit hang with on that level to go out and meet others except one person.
I’m always cautious about how I reach out, if I do, because sometimes a person just wants to show their support and go on their way. I am so grateful for those who have felt the same as I and how we’ve grown. I may never meet some of these people but that’s okay. Knowing that we’re openminded enough to get to know one another is enough. Please remember that you should always be careful whether online or in person. Just keep in mind that in order for anything to flourish you can’t be closed off. That includes with complete strangers.
P.S. – I have always thought about the fact that we’re taught strangers are dangerous, but not those we know. Anyone can be a danger to us whether we know them or not. We also all start out as strangers doesn’t matter who we are to each other. Getting to know a person is what makes them who they are to us. It’s okay to meet new people.