Adult social life operates under the premise that it is the seriousness of our conversations that determines how close or far away we are from the person sitting next to us. If we talk to them about how our day went or how the sky looks particularly stunning that day or how we detest the waiter for not giving us enough sugar, then that is seen as an extremely superficial conversation. I could have told the same thing to a man on the road; so what is special about this particular equation?
According to most, the person sitting next to me is someone I am close to only if I have shared my deepest darkest secrets with this individual – I have ranted to them about how much I hate my job and what it is I’d like to do, I have told them about the sadness which ran deep in my childhood years, I have shared with them what for me is the meaning of love and I have let my guards down in front of this person, and let them in. It is only when this person truly understands my existence at a deeper level, that they can become a good friend.
But here’s the thing. Have you ever looked at children playing? Go back to the memory of you with your childhood friends. You might not have started involved conversations with this friend but still at the end of the she was your friend. So what went right there? Well, in my case, I would make someone my friend if they built mud castles with me or stood on the other end of the cup and wire telephone or helped me find a safe space during hide and seek. What I did as a child is to use my physical self as much as my psychological, to form a bond.
And that’s something I find difficult in my present relationships. I’d rather have a conversation about the inherent meaninglessness of life over going bungee jumping with a friend. After all, isn’t that something adults are supposed to do? But oh boy, does my mind get tired of these conversations? Yes, absolutely.
I feel it is the time that we let the physical body take over, and help set intimacy. We need to let our minds relax and muscles loose and be in charge. So the next time you see your friend, maybe go back to the basics? Playing with Lego, making snow fairies, jumping on a fluffy mattress, having a pillow fight, going out and having a blast on swings or in an amusement park, go ice-skating, try different dresses at a store, play board games, wash clothes, clean the kitchen, make wax candles or photo frames, zentangle. Basically do anything that refreshes your body more and does not give the mind any time to take over and analyze the stupidity of the immense fun you are having.
Maybe it’s time we looked at a fresh way of building connections!