A few months ago I was driving with my friend to institute when she said something that caught me totally off guard. We were sitting at a stoplight and she was telling me this story about her and her friend. She said that for one day, she felt like she was me. Everywhere she went with her friend, she kept running into people she knew. (This happens to me all the time, everywhere I go. Taiwan, D.C., it doesn’t seem to matter.) She turned to me at the end of her story and said, “I was somebody else’s Elysha!”
I wasn’t sure how to take it, but I chose to take it as a compliment. I’d never been referred to as anything like that, and I didn’t know that someone actually kind of wanted to be me in a strange way.
I guess I’ve done that with friends before. When I move to a new place I’ll find a new friend, that reminds me of my old friend and say you can be my J.D. or you can be my new Sara. We use our old friend’s names to frame in our minds who this new friend is going to be to us.
I guess in a way she was telling me that she not only ran into a lot of people she knew, but also that she was the kind of friend to someone else, that I am to her. We are pretty good friend, so I’m hoping that’s a good thing.
It made me realize once again that people are always watching us. They see how we treat people, what we talk about, how we dress. Think of the last time you were introduced to a new group of people at church, work, or friends. Within seconds of meeting them you had formed opinions about every single person. I had a drama teacher tell me once that you have 6 seconds from when you walk into a room, to impress a talent scout or a boss in an interview. By that time they’ve already made an opinion of you. That teacher had us practice over and over again walking into the room with a confident stride. Some people took more time than others. We had to be professional, but everyone has a different look/walk/attitude/thing they want people to notice about them. It was an interesting exercise.
This whole experience just made me want to be a little bit better. If someone is going to be copying my actions, then I better make sure I’m leaving a good lasting impression on everyone I meet.