Maybe this is an ubiquitous experience, but it amazes me (in a wonderful way) that these kind of people exist. I suspect that there are many people out there like this, who due to the chance occurance of having just the right characteristics, and being in the right place at the right time have an influence approaching Ta'veren. Or maybe these people are influential and changing in and of themselves, wreaking negative change or positive growth in everyone they meet. Regardless, it could a pretty scary concept, I think.

For me, it was a girl I came to know this past year, who for purposes of nostalgic narration, I'll call Angela. I don't know exactly how to tell this story, but I'll go about it chronologically, because it makes the most sense. I met her after yoga one night. She was the kind of person who stands out in a crowded room, and I had seen her for several weeks. One night, she introduced herself to shy little me without provocation. I began to start spending nights after yoga just sitting outside in the cool night air just talking to her about life and any little topic.

I am generally a very shy person. It's not that I'm not personable, or that I don't like people. On the contrary, I love people...and I would rather spend my nights in a coffee shop or in somebody's room just having a deep conversation than drinking, partying, or dancing. But, I've come to the conclusion that I'm a very hard person to get to know. I don't know what it was with Angela though. Something about her just put me at ease. I found her telling me all about her life, and her family, and her friends and I found myself reciprocating easily the same information I was usually careful to give out.

As the semester passed (yes, this is a college story, durnit!), we ended up randomly spending a lot of time together, as I got to be much closer friends with her, like eating meals, or going to get coffee (*smile*). There had always been a sort of flirty friendship going on the whole time. Nothing so overpowering that I thought her deep conversations were just because of that, but definitely something noticeable. Even through that, our openness continued, and we talked about how we felt about each other. We were open, and honest. We both came to the conclusion that we were attracted to the other, but weren't sure if we wanted a relationship, just that we'd see how things went and talk about it as we went. Normally, I'd feel like this would be a brush-off; from other people this would feel like a "let's just be friends" talk. But from her, it felt honest. Our semi-relationship quasi-friendship continued for a few weeks. It wasn't awkward, it was just as it always was. A few days later, she started telling me about this guy she had been attracted to a lot and had started to have a mini-crush on. To cut my wandering narrative short, she ended up going out with him a week or few later. But...I wasn't hurt. Nothing really bad really happened. That surprised me, more than clean, easy, simply...maybe even painless that revelation was. I honestly think it was the communication...having her actually talk to me about the way she felt about me, and the way she felt about other people. There wasn't anything hidden, or only brought up when it became an issue. That made all the difference.

But...she taught me what a friendship and what a relationship could be like. That there were people out there who were willing to be so trusting as to tell you directly what they thought of you. I'd never met somebody so willing to put all their cards on the table and deal straight-up with me. Although this node is called people who change you forever, I don't think I've been changed in such a way that I've found a new purpose in life or become an entirely new person. But, I see things in me now...a higher self-confidence, a larger trust in people, a greater faith in humanity, an ability to be more open with other people, and a definitely idea of what a relationship (in the most general sense) can be all about.

Yet now, as I think back, I feel forgotten by Angela already. I haven't talked to her in a while, but I feel my emails to her are partially unwanted. Or maybe she's just busy. (see: rationalization) Perhaps the portion of my life that touched hers wasn't so influential. I suspect it might have been a little, but I don't think I'll ever know the true extent. I can only hope that it has. Regardless, it amazes me that such a brief connection between two strangers can be so transforming. If everybody I met touched me so, I couldn't even imagine the kind of person that I would be. *smile* Maybe I'd even write better nodes...*grin*

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