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?