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.