As I’m living abroad, you would expect certain pat answers to this question: my friends and family back home, fitted sheets, central heating. My brother’s adorable puppy, who has grown heaps since this picture was taken:
And yes, those are all true.
But on a larger scale, more than these things I miss the inhibition with which my friends and I lived as children.
Fun fact about me: I love having conversations in the dark. Power outages, camping trips, pillow talk, the circumstances don’t matter. My belief is that when you can’t see the face of the person to whom you’re speaking, you can’t shape your words based on that person’s body language. You speak more freely, more honestly, without fearing the other person’s (or people’s) reactions.
As children, we don’t need these circumstances. We always say what we’re thinking – for better or worse – and we’re straightforward with our friends because we don’t feel the need to hide things from them. I think I’m fairly honest and open with my friends now. But by the time we’ve reached our teen years, we’ve learned there are certain topics we don’t discuss, certain emotions we don’t show, even to our closest families and friends. And the result is distance, great or small, that is self-inflicted.
My hope is to live in a way that bucks the stereotype. I want to be genuine with people and I hope for the same from them.