I am a listener. I hear the world.
It started with strangers who would come up to me and tell me their story and what was happening in their lives.
I never gave advice, never solved their problems for them, and I never told them experiences of my own.
I just listened.
This is the way I am and the way I have learned to be.
I opened my very own Inn. I call it the Half Point which is exactly what it is.
In every person's journey, they reach their halfway point where they stop, rest, refresh and reflect.
My Inn provides this service to people. I guess listening has to lead me to this job because out of all the things I could have picked, I have found this one to be the best place to listen.
Some people have no idea what they are doing here they just show up and are greeted with open arms.
Some know that I provide a safe to tell secrets to without them being spread.
Either way, tired souls find their way to me when they are ready.
No, I don't mind it at all. It never gets boring to hear all the lives happening out there.
There are so many different people in this world and the amazing thing is that each one has its own story to tell; each experience is unique and is handled in personal ways.
You learn things from them that you normally don't pick up anywhere else.
Language is no barrier to me.
I learned to hear in other ways.
If you watch how eyes change when emotions are involved, or by the tight grip on a wine glass when trials are introduced, or how a face brightens when things are remembered happily, you will easily understand anyone.
People are not limited to speech, they can communicate through a variety of intricate and complex methods that most of us don't even realize.
Hearing teaches you lessons.
You realize you can never know what a person has gone through or is going through unless you are told.
What you see of a person is only what they chose to show you. Their full life is never fully known by another.
Appearances are truly deceiving.
If a large man covered head to toe in tattoos and reeking of alcohol came to sit on a bench with you, you might slide farther away and leave quickly in fear of his supposed aggression. But what you might not know about this man is that he wishes to be a father and an artist, he just doesn't know how to start.
You might mistake a small and quiet girl to be unimportant and simple, but by looking further into her life you see that she takes care of her younger siblings and makes them laugh till they cry when her mother is working late shifts. A common error of thinking is making assumptions based on the little facts present at first glance.
You probably think that someone crying by themselves is upset by the ending of a romantic relationship, but there are several more just as probable situations that could cause the same result.
In this fast-paced world, nobody takes time to observe what is around them. They don't know how important it is to understand things that are bigger than you.
You might be a person who is always late even though you are constantly rushing to be on time. You might be jealous of someone who appears to be in a better situation than you. You might wish that you could start over and erase your past. These are thoughts that most people are afflicted with. It ages the soul and tears the mind.
I have heard these common problems from several misguided people. I know that it is hard for everyone to deal with but it is also not dealt with in the same ways. Some of those ways are healthy while many are not.
People talk to me because I don't place judgments or make the mistake of sharing my advice.
I know how to hear their words and see all of them and yet still give the safety of being a stranger.
I have never related something to my own life and turn the attention on me.
I have mastered how to give someone the privacy they need, and still show them the attentiveness they want.
I am not boasting, but I do take pride in being the listener, though it is not a great feat. Anyone can achieve what I have and obtain the knowledge I have if they just take the time to learn.
I am not a selfless man, I have many regrets and I often doubt myself and my choice of action. You would think that if someone told another they wanted to commit suicide, the listener would try to stop them.
This is not the role I played on several occasions.
It is a conflicting idea, but I live by the standard that everyone should have control of their lives and their choices. This means that if they want to end their life, I am certainly not obligated to change their mind. This response of mine has caused me many sleepless nights trying to decide if that is a fair method. I have concluded that it is all I can do as I am only human.
The world is complicated, no one can explain how it works.
Everyone has a story.
You may think that your life is dull and pointless and yes, that might be the case.
You may think that you have no purpose and your life makes no difference to the busy world. This theory is flawed.
While the world might go on without you while you wallow in self-pity, you fail to realize that you have already made an impact by being born.
Did you not have a mortal mother that birthed you? Were you not raised in some way? Did you never have any experience that made you the way you are?
I have learned personally that not one human on this planet has no mattered in some way.
I could go on for hours about what I have learned from being a listener, I could share all the stories that have taught me lessons, but that is not the point of writing this.
I mean to say that I have taken my turn hearing, and I am ready to be heard.
I have slowed down the world for others as they share with me what they have wanted to say all their life, but couldn't find the words, I have respected the choices people have made and not told them what to do, making myself important to them in a seemingly unimportant way.
I feel that it is now my turn to speak.
This last Christmas season, I will open my Inn doors to all those who will come. And then afterward, I will leave to finish my journey.
It is now my turn to speak, I am ready to show the world who I was and who I have become.
I was a listener, and I have heard the world.
It's finally time for me.