Everyone has a story; the chatterbox in your English class that won't stop talking, the co-worker who always has a latte in their hand and asks one too many questions, even the next-door neighbor, whom for some reason is always happy and smiling, regardless of the crap going on in the world at the moment. (note: I'm not referring to anyone in particular, these are just examples that I'm using to try and make a point). Each one of us has endured triumphs and tragedies that shape our lives, and ultimately play a part in who we are.
These days, it seems like whenever I talk to someone, I always get the standard "I'm fine" type of reply. Alot of the time that tempts me to ask "Well, how are you really doing?" being that I've gotten quite good at reading facial expressions and the look the people often get in their eyes. However, I never usually ask any further because 1. I don't like to piss people off (on purpose, that is...I do realize that happens every now and again). 2. I know that very few actually like sharing the details regarding what's been bothering them, and 3. if they do happen to feel like talking about it, they will.
I've always loved having heart-to-hearts with people. It's a beautiful thing when you can really bare your soul to someone without holding back. I've been on both sides of the curtain, both as a listener as a talker. As a talker, it's a relief when I tell someone (sometimes, for the first time ever) what I've been going through over the course of time. I remember back in eighth grade when I broke down and finally revealed to someone, at the time what I had kept to myself for a little over a year. This person was patient, understanding and held no sort of judgment whatsoever, and I even to this day it's hard to describe the joy that comes when you realize that you're not alone.
As a listener, it gives you a different (and often times better) prespective on life). When I've spent time with someone and they've opened up about their experiences, I've come to the conclusion that even though life may be difficult, there is always someone out there who has it alot worse. Secondly, I gain a huge amount of respect and admiration for that person because they've had to endure a huge storm and came out of it alive.
Perhaps the most important, as well as memorable aspect of it is the bond; whether it's a bond that has been created out of sharing something so incredibly deep with that particular person, or a bond that has been strengthened because of just being able to talk about something like that with that person, there's a bond that's definately there.
However, there are definately risks when being so incredibly open, and often making yourself vulnerable to another. You take a chance of being taken advantage of and getting hurt. I know this for a fact because I've been there, and it's a situation I'm still currently in. In a nutshell, I shared my weaknesses and struggles with someone and over the course of time, they took advantage of those things. And unfortunately, it's not the first time it has happened.
Because of that, there is always this little voice inside my head that asks "is this going to come back to haunt me somehow"? every time I open my heart to someone. It has made trust and incredibly difficult thing, and I still don't have the answers as to when I finally know that I can trust someone.
They say that by keeping people at arms length, you don't get hurt. And in a sense, there is alot of truth in that. However, I personally feel that you lose out on alot more by not taking the time to get to know someone. You may just lose out on a beautiful relationship, as well as many beautiful memories.