How Heavy is the Load You’re Carrying?
Don’t let your baggage weigh you down. Use it as a way out.
We all have baggage. For many of us, the older we get the heavier the baggage becomes because we’ve neglected to take inventory of the garbage we collected in our lives. Actually, some of us are hoarders when it comes to holding onto the crap we’ve crammed into our proverbial carry-on.
As a result of this accumulation, it can be easy to feel weighed down. Not only because we’re hauling it with us wherever we go but because we’re also hiding it from others. We’re afraid of what they’ll think if they knew the real you instead of the person you pretend to be publically. Both are exhausting.
A few days ago, I saw a Tweet by Lex Fridman that caught my attention which has sparked my thoughts for today. The Tweet simply said, “I try to skip generic small talk and go deep right away like the world ends in five minutes and the two of us have just that time to figure it all out.”
I’m of the same mindset. I find small talk to be a drain on my energy and a waste of my time — not because there’s no value in it whatsoever — because we seldom venture beyond the niceties of small talk to have real conversations with people who crave connections chitchat can’t offer.
One person responded to my retweet and said, “I think small talk is necessary to weed out who is going to suck up my energy or who is safe to go deep with.” That’s 100% opposite of my opinion, and I find their sentiment somewhat selfish because deep down each of us is seeking more, and small talk will leave us longing.
I’m talking about connections where we feel noticed, valued, listened to, and loved. “Sure nice weather we’re having.” or “How are you doing? Fine. You? Fine.” falls short of curbing those cravings. Is our culture starved for authenticity today because we’re too busy protecting ourselves or proving our point? Probably both.
The connections we seek are discovered in deep waters where risk and vulnerability are required. Unfortunately, such risks are too hard to consider for many because the pain of the past is where shame, betrayal, and neglect dwell. And those experiences comprise a large sum of the baggage we’ve complied.