The Honesty of Strangers

24 May

One day in January 2015 I was sitting in Starbucks in Charlottenburg and a stranger struck up a conversation with me that ended up lasting for 3 hours and was refreshingly honest and mind opening.

He expressed that he felt he wore a mask when with his wife who he had been with since he was 19 and they are now in their 30’s with 2 children. They live in the country side in Belgium and he is teaching his children about growing vegetables and making sure they spend time outdoors rather than using technology. He said there were things he couldn’t tell his wife about himself that he had told me a perfect stranger because he had nothing to lose and with her he was afraid of losing his family.

All I know is that when I am in a relationship I don’t want to have to wear a mask or put on an act, I want them to know me exactly as I am and love my flaws.

He was amazed to hear how I live my life, thought it was incredibly brave for me to move to Germany without knowing anyone here and he said that I had opened his mind so that when his daughter grows up if she decides to move to Australia he would be supportive of that. I told him that I find happiness by avoiding things that tend to make other people happy (relationships, security, things that tie you to a place such as buying property or a car).

Why is it so easy to tell a stranger your deepest and darkest secrets but you cannot admit them to those closest to you?

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