Although the concept of the doppelgänger usually refers to more of the physical attributes of a person, I’ve been thinking a lot about the personalities we come across or invite into our lives. I met someone recently who reminded me a lot of a person from my past. It wasn’t so much the physical similarities but the personality quirks of this person that are similar to a friend from a different lifetime.
It got me thinking about the people that come in to our lives. No matter how much I grow or change, I seem to be drawn to certain personalities. Sometimes, their presence in my life is fleeting – maybe a conversation that lasts as long as it takes for me to drink a pint of beer at the bar. A passing conversation. A person who won’t be a lasting part of my life but that short conversation can awaken a feeling, thought, or untie a knot that’s been tangled up in my mind.
This is why, even as an introvert, I try to make an effort to talk to strangers when the time is right. The other night, I was sitting at the bar and one of the girls ordering a drink was asking for a recommendation. I spoke up with my thoughts and next thing you know, we were talking about road trips for an hour.
Another conversation led me to meet a couple who had just come back from a trip to China and they were both creatives, so we ended up talking about art and writing for two hours on a random Saturday night.
I walk away from most of these conversations inspired.
People can surprise you. Yes, that can be a negative surprise too, but the beauty of these fleeting conversations is the ability to walk away. If you’re feeling more drained than inspired, walk away.
If you meet someone who has the same kind of spark of a friend from the past, embrace it. Maybe it’ll remind you of good memories. Maybe it’ll encourage you to finally send that email you’ve been wanting to send. Maybe it will remind you that there’s a reason the past is the past and you should delete that email that’s been sitting in your outbox and move on.
The world is constantly talking to us but we hardly listen. Once in a while, it takes the Doppelgänger Effect to make us stop and pay attention, even if it’s just for the duration of a short conversation.
It’s easy for me to get lost in my own head, until a conversation with a stranger sparks a thought, debate, or clue to help me find my way back to the right path.
When was the last time you paused long enough to listen to the world around you?