Meet someone new. Meet them because they are interesting. Meet them because they have an enticing smile, an interesting tattoo, or stomped in a puddle with more vigor than you've ever seen. Meet them because you wouldn’t normally talk to them.
Simply have a conversation with someone you’ve not met before.
Why:This is as much for the people you're meeting as it is for you. We're starting The Brave New with a simple challenge that may be the most important of the entire project, as it involves breaking down social walls for you and, to some extent, the people around you. Why, as a society, haven't we made a habit out of knowing the people around us? Nothing bad will happen, to put it simplistically.
Bonus points!Make a friend. Make three friends! Make five friends! Don't make four friends. Four's a terrible number. In China, they don't have a fourth floor on most elevators, because the word for "four" sounds a lot like the word for "die". True story.
How many people that you meet can extend into actual relationships? Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook adds, and home address if you're so inclined, and don't if you're not. Remember, the world's not always a safe place, so use your discretion here.
So, over the last few days, in my pursuit of this simple monthly goal, I’m noticing something: I really don’t have to go out of my way to meet new people. And it’s not just Calvin at the Kiwis doing the brave bit for me – it’s a generalized thing. Yes, I am meeting more new people now that I’m, y’know, trying - but really? They’re everywhere, all the time. And they’re nice! Yesterday, I met Roman, who immigrated from Mexico a couple of decades ago and works (I think for himself) as a mechanic, while in line at the DMV. Just started talking to him, then introduced myself, then kept getting to know him.
For awhile, standing there, before we started talking, I thought I could tell that we were going to converse. Something in his posture; although it was almost an apprehension at the expectation, gave the future away. Like he wanted to talk to me, as well, but couldn’t quite bring himself to break the ice just yet.
Today, as it was the first day of building the set for a music video shooting on the weekend, I met maybe half a dozen new people, and I got to know them each, at least, a little bit – and this kind of thing; meeting this many new people, just by living my life, is actually rather commonplace. But! I noticed them more – I noticed that they were strangers, and now they weren’t – because I was asking myself, “Is this the new person I met today? Is this?” I was paying attention more to this bit of living life, realizing how much I already have, because I’d set out to make sure I was getting it.
Yet… Meeting them was neither Brave nor New.
Eddie, however, was. Just a bit – a lot like Roman, there was this idea of it being a Risky Thing, but once I’d actually said a word – none to be found. Eddie’s a policeman, and he and his partner had stopped – in fact, they’d stopped to go say hello to a stranger! – to go talk to the guy who had this big felt dragon up smack in the middle of his open-door studio. I saw their lights when I was parking, and decided to go see what was up. We didn’t talk for long, but I did ask him the cliche of “how did you get to be a cop?” and his answer had this quality…
I’m having trouble putting this idea into a few words, so I’ll try putting into many. Talking to Roman and talking to Eddie – and testing that perceived risk, to find that it’s all in my head, that there’s nothing there to be scared or worried about – it’s so similar to what I’ve found when deciding to actually get up and do something. There’s no climax to it – but neither is it an anti-climax. It just is. You get up, and you go do the thing, and you find out – Yeah. Doing it really is that easy. The task may be difficult – it might be hard to understand Roman through his thick accent – but the doing of it? Nothing more to it than moving bits of these bags-of-mostly-water we’re all running around in.
Anyway, Eddie became a cop by filling out some forms and getting some training.
Brave Newbie Writers
- No Weekend Left Behind An adventure group dedicated to ensuring that when the work week is done, the weekend lives up to it’s potential.
- The Eskhaton The life and times of Cub, an adventurer I respect blossoming with energy who sucks the marrow out of life.
- This Tumblr Will Change Your Life Part instruction manual, part therapy, part religious cult, part sheer anarchy, this is a day-to-day quest very similar to “This Book Will Change Your Life”