Do you wish you could walk in another set of shoes for a day?

I chatted with a young woman yesterday who was bubbly and expressive, with words effortlessly flowing out of her mouth like a waterfall that would take immense effort to hold back. As I listened, I was intrigued. How opposite of me!

Oftentimes I feel like I (or others) have to tug the words from within myself because they feel so comfortable sitting quietly inside. I tend to have a lot going on within me, but it’s as if I forget to speak out loud and share my thoughts and experiences with others.Yes, a rich interior life is a blessing. It can also be a block to relational intimacy if/when I don’t open up.

Anyhow, as I spoke with this college student and grew more and more curious about what it was like to be her, I asked how much time she spent alone each day. After thinking a bit, she responded “About an hour, at most.”

Holy moly. My introvert self was baffled. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Of course I’ve experienced it for short stints, like on road trips with friends, but even then I have to get up early for some solitude or go on a run or escape with a book…

Each individual is wired so uniquely, and yet how quick we each can be to think we know how others operate (or how they should operate.) Here we are, all traversing the same earth, but with such vast and varied experiences and perceptions. How fascinating it would be to process the world – even just for a single day – through another person’s eyes, ears, hands, brain, and heart. To feel pain like they feel pain and joy like they feel joy. I try to imagine, but how I would love to actually step into it in a physical, flesh-and-blood way.

Do you wish you could walk in another set of shoes for a day?