Traveling was a great chance to get lost in my thoughts. Interestingly the bulk of the threads in my head were ideas that I’ve long thought about, but now got to pull on further.
For most of my trip I traveled alone. Though, in practice, this just meant that I was constantly surrounded by new single-serving friends in each new city. I’d meet them where I stayed, on tours, on lines, in bars at night — pretty much everywhere and at all times. Since I spent so much time with people, I also often got to see people at their best and worst. It brought me back to the concept of kindness and being gentle with each other that I wrote about a few months ago. But talking about my standard of kindness is not what I want to do; I wanted to quickly write up this post because of this great quote* I came across:
We all carry these things inside
That no one else can see
They hold us down like anchors,
They drown us out at sea.
It perfectly captures this idea that, as much as we think we know, those in our lives and those we interact with, there’s so so much that we don’t. I had a conversation with my friend David earlier in the year about how so much of others’ confounding behavior is typically rooted in that person’s past that we have no idea about. It doesn’t make sense to us, because they’re no longer that person, but it’s still there. We carry it around, no one else can see it, and unfortunately some of it holds us down, and in the worst case it can pull us away from the life we should be living.
As if I needed another reason to try a bit harder to be gentle with others, this quote perfectly captured it. We all have our own anchors. Our own weights that drag us around. That probably can’t be helped. But we can help each other.
*It’s actually not a quote, they’re lyrics from a really obscure, strange little sad song. I found the snippet of lyrics on Pinterest and then tracked down the song. I ended up finding a cover of the song, which I know prefer far more than the original. In fact, the song is totally stuck in my head. Give it a listen.