The seventh question for the Q&A section is: “Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met?”
This question is insanely hard. Really, insanely hard, to the point that I don’t even know where to start. I feel both like there are a million answers to this question, and like there can be no possible answer to this question, at the same time.
I love learning about people. It’s one of my absolute favourite things to do, and that’s why it’s so depressing for me that I’m terrible at small talk, and cripplingly shy/socially anxious. If I could do anything I wanted for the rest of my life, and I could overcome those issues, I would do nothing but travel the world, meeting new people and collecting their stories. I find life histories fascinating, I find beliefs fascinating, I find random thoughts fascinating…if it comes from a person, and they’re willing to share it, I want to hear it.
That being said, of course I know that interest fades over time, and when you really get to know a person and hear all their stories, there’s not so much they can tell you anymore that has as much of a punch as what you learned in those early days, so in a way, I wonder if maybe the ‘most interesting person I’ve ever met’ is actually just anyone I meet, in the early stages of meeting them, when there are so many stories to tell and so much learning to do. When you hit that comfort level where the other person is really willing to open up and tell you their stories, it’s just fascinating.
I can say that the people I’ve met who came from foreign countries and the people my grandfather introduced me to in Scotland rank high on the list of most interesting people, because they were packed with stories and culture and history, and those just aren’t things I usually find in most people from my own area. I tend to prefer elderly people, because it seems like they are an endless source of fascinating stories, and my grandfather is certainly no exception to that. He is high on the list of people I would consider as potentially most interesting, as are a lot of his friends. I could have spent days just listening to their stories, and been perfectly happy.
At the same time, I find my son incredibly interesting as well, because at 3 years old, he’s really starting to come up with his own views on life and everything that happens around him, and it’s fascinating to see. It’s amazing to see the way his personality, feelings and beliefs develop, and to know that no matter what happens in a day, at some point he’ll surprise me. Sometimes, when I’m in conversation with him, the fantastical nature of his stories is just spectacular.
And then we have the people in the middle of the age range there; Mike and another friend of mine that I will call Ted, because I like How I Met Your Mother, and I don’t want to use his real name here. Mike is absolutely fascinating because somehow, he knows something about absolutely fucking everything. I mean seriously, this guy can talk to you about anything and have an incredible insight on it, and that’s just amazing to me. I can talk to him for hours and not get bored, even if I’ve already spent the rest of the day doing so.
Ted, I just think has had an incredible life. He’s met so many people and gained so much from each meeting, he has a depth of feeling I’m not sure I’ve found in anyone else, he lives differently than the rest of the world but does not at all feel excluded from the world despite that, and he just seems to take life by the horns and live it to its fullest potential. He has endless stories and tidbits about anything and everything, and talking to him for hours feels like one of the easiest things I could ever possibly do. His perspective, his thoughts, his ideas…they make the whole world seem more colourful and bright, and I think that he could change the world just by being himself.
So there we have it…I guess I don’t really have an answer. The most interesting person I’ve ever met is either Mike, Ted, my son, my grandfather, any elderly person I’ve ever talked to for any length of time, everyone I ever meet more than superficially, or someone I haven’t met yet who will blow me away for the rest of my life. Honestly, I’m hoping it’s the last option, because that would make me so happy in my life, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had the rest of them.
Man, now I really, really want to travel and meet new people again…if only there was money to be made in doing that.
Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! 🙂
(Next question: “What’s the most imaginative thing you’ve ever done as an adult?”)