August 20, 2021 – The Twenty-Ninth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
We spent four days this past week in Tennessee at Lake Norris with our friends Rocky and Paula and some of their friends. In a time where I’ve had trouble planning some sort of vacation, the Hensley’s putting together this trip was an excellent chance to get away for a few days.
It’s an amazing thing to share a house with people you didn’t know prior. As I heard author Anne Lamott say recently, “When you meet me, you meet my bodyguard.” I totally get that. When you first meet people you tread lightly, but as you cook together, have morning coffee, and play two truths and a lie, you actually start to talk and spend the days getting more and more vulnerable.
It reminds me of church camp as a girl where I shared a cabin with girls I’d never met before. We were all shy at first, but spent the week singing camp songs, talking about boys, whispering in the dark from our bunks, and crying our eyes out when camp was over; having made friends we felt we would have forever.
As we get older we always feel like we’re never going to make any more friends than we have now. We think we’re fine with what we have and that we don’t have need to make more. That there isn’t anything new people can teach us or no story we haven’t already heard some version of.
But that’s not true. As I’ve said many times on The New Old You podcast, everyone has a unique story to tell. I’ve spent the last week learning things about all these people and about so many subjects. As I type this I’m listening to Paula spit facts about bees and it is absolutely fascinating.
Not only is it things you learn about other people, but things you learn about yourself may surprise you. We get so locked into our lives that being surrounded by new people can be a test of our ability to function in the world. If you have a hard time talking to people, it forces you to open up and tell your story. It also encourages you to listen and invest in other people’s stories. And I tell you, hearing new stories is amazing.
Meeting and spending time with strangers can be intimidating. But it encourages you to be more yourself than any other time. If you want to shake your booty, shake that booty as hard as you want cause they don’t have any reference of you NOT shaking your booty. If you want to sing “What’s going on” on the boat at the top of your lungs, do it. NOTE: And we did. And for God’s sake, don’t forget to put your freaking phone down and look someone in the eye. Take that opportunity and feel the connection.
If you ever have this opportunity, don’t pass it up. It’s like nothing else and at the end of the week, those strangers aren’t strangers anymore because you have shared a moment in time. You’ll be able to meet again and say, “Remember when we…” And I guarantee, instead of the unknown you’ll have a pang of sadness as you leave your new friends behind.
Shout out to my new Norris Lake homies who on the spot SUBSCRIBED to both of my podcasts. You guys rock and I had such an amazing time hanging with you. Till next time!
For the podcast version: