Wednesday, May 31, 2017

To Wow, To Stun, To Amaze

Where do you get your validation from?

Citing my minimal Facebook postings and complete absence on Instagram and Twitter as leaving me without a platform with which to know when people think well of me, a good friend posed that question the other day.

Before I could even formulate a clever response, her husband did it for me. "She was old enough when all this nonsense started to already be confident about who she was, so she doesn't need validation."

Okay, I might not have thought of framing it that way, but that's as good an answer as any.

Of course I feel gratified that people read my blog, but when I stop writing it, I know life will go on. Like most people, I appreciate a compliment, although much more so from someone close than a stranger, but I'll take what I can get.

I don't know if it's true of everyone, but I've always been happiest when I felt validated, especially on an emotional level. Maybe it's the Gemini in me, but nothing validates me like conversation with the people I care about most...except laughter with those same people.

And maybe that's it. I've been accused of being able to talk to a brick wall (untrue, by the way), but maybe my tendency to talk to anyone within conversational distance is nothing more than a desire for validation.

If I talk to them, if I can get them engaged and smiling, maybe even chuckling at something I say, I feel like I've accomplished something. It's a real world "like."

Waiting at the bar for Chinese food, I struck up a conversation with a young guy eating dinner after he smiled when I gave the bartender my order. In no time, we knew what each other did, shared opinions on city versus beach living and discussed the ease of recording music in 2017.

As I was paying, he handed me a tiny purple card printed with the words, "I love you," smiling and saying, "In case no one has told you that today." Corny? Maybe. Sweet? Certainly. Then he left.

Because some days, validation comes from the most unlikely places.

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