Friday, September 24, 2010

small world

i live in a major city. there are millions of people in the national capital area. i can walk the streets here, pass hundreds of people while winding my way through the metro system, and never see anyone familiar. it's an interesting feeling; a lot of times, it lets me be totally alone with my thoughts, anonymous and cloistered while in the midst of teeming life. it's, honestly, one of my favorite things about living here at this phase of my life.

but sometimes, way more than you'd ever expect, this is the smallest town ever. tonight, i discovered that a professor of mine grew up in my home state, and his niece and nephew are friends with a girl who was in the mock-congress program in which i met the man. the professor was familiar with all of my K-12 schools, knew people i knew. this sort of thing isn't supposed to happen in a place like this, and yet, it does. this isn't the first time, either; a woman in my program grew up with the woman who married my high-school boyfriend. that's crazy.

i guess, in a way, there's something warm and comfortable in these small moments. it reminds me that there's connection in this world. and really, i'm going to (god willing and the creek don't rise) be a real-life lawyer in a little less than a month; if there's a profession on this earth that depends more on making connections, short of high-pressure sales, i don't know of it. but at the same time, it's just ever so slightly, well, creepy. how am i supposed to be autonomous when these threads to the past keep popping up everywhere? maybe it's nothing. maybe i'm just paranoid. maybe i'm not treating these little coincidences as the fun things to laugh over that i should.

but if my world is really that small, how the hell can i grow?


  1. Isn't it a strange feeling? Someone always pops up to remind you of something you haven't thought of in years. I say enjoy it!

  2. It's the same thing up here...which is why it's often called Smalltimore. Then again, I've been here forever so I often see familiar faces.

    It was very strange when I lived in LA and encountered people that were from back home who knew people that I knew or went to the same school that I did. The world IS small sometimes, but I think you'll be able to grow beyond it. :)

  3. I don't know what is worse: what you are encountering, or the fact that in my ten years here in DC, that has never once happened to me?

  4. Sometimes growing makes us remember where we've been. It's not a bad thing. Just a remembering thing.

  5. that IS weird. Sometimes I too am shocked at the smallness of the world, despite how vast. Creepy's a good way of putting it ;)

  6. I always describe DC as a small town masquerading as a metropolis. We sure live in the same city, huh?


your turn.