Connecting With A Stranger

When you blog, you’re publicly visible and as many fellow bloggers will agree to, it’s not unusual to receive e-mails from readers, fans, haters and those in your community.

I told my friend who recently started blogging to “expect anything,” when it comes to comments and e-mails.

There’s always the funny, odd e-mails like the guy who “fancied small hands,” and wrote me asking for a picture of them (eek, I know) or a kind, genuine e-mail where someone says your stories and writing are helping and inspiring them. Then of course, there’s even the negative or challenger (like when my blog posts were being copied into a column in an International newspaper) who writes to stir things up, which I also appreciate.

Recently, I received an e-mail from a woman thirty years my senior. Her e-mail was earnest and honest – titled, “Advice.”

She found my blog and reached out because she was ready for a new life change, ready to relocate and take a risk in moving away from the comforts of home, on her own. I write frequently about my personal experience regarding relocating, travel and breaking free of conformity. Even still, I’m not an expert – just another person with a story to tell. For some reason, she felt inclined to reach out. So I obliged. I took it as something I should respond to.

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Our lives and current paths couldn’t be more different, but reading through her e-mail touched me…deeply.

I responded, answering her questions, asking her questions and encouraging her to set sail and just go.

We’ve since e-mailed back and forth five times and over the course of a week, she has set motion to move to her desired new home and city. I can already ‘hear’ the change and progress in her e-mails. I probably will never meet her in real life, but she asked if she could continue reaching out and e-mailing me in the future with questions, support and bouncing ideas off each other. I happily agreed. It’s the least I can do.

Strangers often come into our lives. Sometimes they become more than a stranger – maybe your lover, a new relationship, new best friend, confidant or just someone who touched you, wholly, in a place where you want to only give and answer, the best that you can without expecting anything in return.

The latter is where she stirred me up – woman to woman, strangers, but connecting to help, advise and live a life worth living.

Have you ever connected with a stranger, even if it was a small interaction, did it move or change you?

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