April 2, 2008

Looking through windows

I fear I have become addicted to other people’s lives. People I know. People I wish I knew. People I’ll never, ever meet. It’s these people I find I suddenly can’t live without.

Now, I admit, I’ve always had a strange sort of fascination with other people’s lives, preferring to do my jogging at twilight so I can see what the rest of the world is doing inside their warmly lit apartments and spending full days people watching at coffee shops, pretending to read while I strain to overhear the conversations around me.

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. Maybe I’m just strange. But I really like people. They’re interesting, all characters in their own dramas and all with stories to tell.

So imagine my delight when I realized I don’t have to go to the trouble of straining to overhear in crowded coffee shops anymore, that I don’t have to piece together my own stories about the couple sitting next to me at dinner or the quiet guy in the cube across from mine or the dreadlocked barista who makes my lattes.

These days, I can simply read their stories, or more accurately, their blogs.

Reading someone’s blog is even better than seeing through their windows. It’s like being invited in to sit down for a cup of tea and a nice chat.

Seattle chefs. New moms. Teachers living on islands in the Bering Sea. Marathoners. Foodies. Poets. Sports fanatics.

Over the past few months, it’s these people’s lives that have come to amuse me, frustrate me, embolden me, teach me things and make me think. Their words, experiences and beliefs have inspired me to be a better writer, a better friend, a better person. And even though I don’t know many of them and may never exchange more than a comment here and there (if that), I feel like I’ve suddenly made an amazingly interesting and eclectic group of new friends who are always ready with advice, a funny story, an angry rant, a provoking observation or a simple rundown of their day.

Why do I care where some Seattle food columnist went on vacation or what some high school science teacher thinks about religion? I’m not exactly sure. I suppose it’s the same reason I often look at the person in the car next to mine and wonder where they’re off to, what they’re good at, who they’re in love with and what makes them happy.

What can I say, people are interesting.

Don’t believe me? Read their blogs.


Mr. Kale Iverson said...

Man, you just keep stepping up the blogger game. I read your blog everyday, and I can't wait to chill this summer with you and Mase Factor (June/July sometime) and we can talk about what huge blog dorks we are.

I read about 12 blogs right now, I'm trying to cut back, but you're right they're soooo interesting. Its such a crazy phenomenon. I must say thought that I find yours particularly interesting simply because you seem to express yourself much in the same way I strive to. I think if you keep it up you could get "Blogs of Note" or something.

I also like how they evolve over time. Hone in on specific styles, messages, purpose, and so on. It takes a lot of posting to figure out what your "thing" is.

Keep it up, we love to read your trendy LA woman office worker musings on life too!

Jolie O'Dell said...

Hey, lady! Good to see you on the Internet. =-)

You should check out WeFeelFine.org. It's a fascinating mixture of what you're talking about... How people feel, what they're taking pictures of, what they're doing/thinking/saying...

Yeah, I'm pretty obsessed, too.

breakfast in canada said...

I have a lot of catching up to do (except the death and trust blogs--I won't touch that--can't).