Last year I started to pay attention to the conversations I was having with the people in my life. When I hung out with friends, co-workers, etc. the conversations were typically the usual “So what have you been up to?” “How is the family?” “How’s work going?” “What’s new?” I noticed most the talks we have are almost always surface level.
We never talk about what is really going on.
We are more than willing to share the new job promotion news with each other, show pictures of our vacation, explain in detail how much weight we’ve lost, or how much money we are making on Bitcoin.
Yet people almost never share their struggles, frustrations, anxieties and fears about the moments that make up their days. We may also shy away from sharing those personal things, or hobbies that really light us up and bring crazy joy and excitement in our lives.
I thought to myself. What if I could get people together and focus the conversation on real questions, real topics, and cut through all the stuff people don’t really give a crap about talking about anyway.
After a number of people who read my book Blue Goat reached out to me one of the themes I heard repeatedly was “Where do I find people who want to talk about these ‘real’ life topics you bring up in the book?”
Since I didn’t have the answer, I started a monthly group to bring people together and used the phrase #SitWithSomeone.
I could have never imagined what would happen.
Yesterday we had our third #SithWithSomeone meeting. The group was made up of people who were just out of college all the way to business owners and parents. Men and women from various walks of life, different careers, most of whom were complete strangers to one another.
We asked each other questions like:
Has fear ever played a role in you living a certain way or kept you from being your authentic self?
What choices have you made in the past based on what you thought life was “supposed” to look like?
If you could change anything about how you show up in the world, what would be different?
What pressures do you feel from society/media/friends/family that affect how you live?
On your last day, how will you measure your life? Are you living using that same mindset now?
You can only imagine what was discussed and shared as we took turns each answering the questions.
People who had just met bared their deepest fears, most difficult struggles, and amazing perspective on life. There were moments where I was in tears listening to others and what they have faced on their journey. I even got emotional just talking about how remarkable it was that a group of strangers decided to take time out of their weekend, to go to a place and sit down with others and talk about life. There was so much beauty and magic in what transpired that when we all looked up, 3 hours had passed.
A group of people with no prior connection came together to hear and share the details of their journey on life.
When we were leaving I received hugs from people I had just met that were more heartfelt and sincere than I can describe.
I’ve started looking for opportunities to connect with new people and have more of these conversations even one on one. Asking for permission to engage in something more, or something deeper than what we typically talk about in our day to day lives.
What I’ve learned from others, what I’ve heard, and what I’ve had the courage to share has opened new parts of me that I am so excited to continue to explore.
I can’t wait to have our next #SitWithSomeone event in Charlotte and come up with the next round of questions to dive into. I’m so excited to be speaking in Philadelphia in two weeks at United By Blue on the University of Pennsylvania campus about Blue Goat and to lead the first ever #SitWithSomeone event there.
I am also so pumped to hear that a few groups of people and book clubs have started using the chapters from Blue Goat to spark conversations and provide weekly topics for their groups, essentially creating their own #SitWithSomeone moments.
I share this because there is so much goodness out there just waiting to be shared. So many amazing conversations yet to be had. Between friends, but also with strangers. I’m making a point to find that next conversation, to introduce myself to the person sitting at the coffee shop by themselves, to hear about their unique journey and perspective on life.
You never know who you are going to meet, what you may learn, or whose life you might change.
Grab a cup of coffee, something to eat, or just pull up a chair and #SitWithSomeone.