Today I was at a beach in Rome, and when I looked around I was surprised by the familiarity of my settings. I saw families swimming together in the water, couples lounging in beach chairs, and friends eating at the snack bar. It made me miss my own beach at home. It was so funny to me, because I could easily relate the different groups of people I saw to people in my own life. I saw groups of girls talking in Italian and laughing, and thought that they don't seem so different from me and my friends. Then the group of very attractive teenage guys and girls who were starring at me and laughing and obviously saying god knows what in Italian, who reminded me of the people in my high school who would do the exact same thing. I feel like it doesn't matter where you go, there will still be kind hearted people and there will still be mean people. There will still be good times and there will still be pain and heart ache. Though you may look at someone, or hear them speak, and think they are so vastly different from you, if you look a little closer you will realize we are all more similar than we think.
I've seen so many interesting people here in Rome. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to approach strangers and start a conversation with them, because I know it's a bit weird. But sometimes I just want to know people's stories and what their life is like. I feel like we all go through life and barely even know the people we interact with. You can pass thousands of people on a daily basis and each one is living their own life and has their own personal story, and your paths cross for just a minute. I think that's pretty magical. We need to be aware of the danger of a single story and being judge mental, because at the end of the day we are all human beings. You can be best friends with someone and you still truly never know their whole story. I crave depth and meaning, and I just enjoy knowing what makes someone who they are. When people watching on this trip, though I am thousands of miles from home, I feel comfortable because of the fact that I'm not that different from the people here. We all wake up, eat sleep, hangout with our friends, work, and deal with some bullshit in between. We all have triumphs and struggles and when I pass someone on the street I know they are just trying to live their life to the fullest and be happy, and so am I.
So even though you may not have the same skin color, speak the same language, or have the same beliefs as someone, we can relate to the fact that we are all human. When going to a new place, look around, and I think you'll be surprised by what you find. That girl over there that laughs like your best friend, the group of middle aged women that reminds you of your moms book club, the teenagers swimming like you and your friends do on a beach day, what's so different? Open your eyes and mind to the world around you, and look for familiarity in everything you encounter.
What do you think? Are we all really that different?