My morning commute lately has changed slightly lately. Not in the actual commute itself, but in how I’ve been passing the time. Normally I throw on one of my many well-curated Spotify playlists and space out while playing Solitaire, or staring out the window making awkward eye contact with strangers on the platform, but lately I’ve been into podcasts, and specifically, the TED Radio Hour from NPR. It’s been a nice burst of inspiration in the mornings and after work, hearing from these powerful visionaries on everything from how humans and technology will merge in the near future, to how there’s no such thing as original anymore.
There was one episode I played recently that was about listening, and how something so powerful is taken for granted in so many ways. The point of the show wasn’t to make us appreciative for the general ability to hear, but to point out how inactive listening really has become. The man behind StoryCorps (click the link, I’ll wait) was interviewed at one point, and he mentioned the three questions that he suggests people use to start their StoryCorps interviews with each other. The questions are so simple, and yet as he continued talking about them, I found myself really listening to some of the answers, and starting to listen internally to my own answers to these questions.
I ended up grabbing a pen and scribbling down my thoughts to these simple questions as my train rolled into my station, still writing as I climbed the stairs to the outside world. It’s not quite a StoryCorps, but I felt like sharing my own answers, my own piece of mini-history immortalized in this blog. I don’t even know if anyone is listening to this space anymore, but in the event that there’s anyone there paying attention, I’d encourage you to write down or speak aloud your own answers to these questions, and really, really listen:
Who are you?
I’m LB. I’m almost 27 and I live in New York City (for now). I like tattoos and red wine and my cat more than most people. I live alone and my neighbors have definitely seen me naked like, many times.
I’ve been so many people since moving here in 2010 – the one in a relationship and the crazy single friend, the one who lives on the east side and the one on the far upper west, the blonde chick who doesn’t work out and starves herself to feel something, and the strong redhead who’s entire life has been shaped by a steady yoga practice. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is the real one. Maybe when I grow up that will start to make more sense.
What have you learned in life?
Don’t drink vodka or you will absolutely cry and lose something.
Sidewalk puddles are almost always pee.
It takes way too much energy to be negative, even just for a minute.
The kindness of strangers will surprise you when you least expect it and most need it.
Life has a funny way of working itself out.
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who lived and loved really well.