A Conversation Starter and Why You Should Converse and Connect
“There’s a sort of ‘magic’ that happens when, while conversing with someone, you realize you have a hidden commonality that was only discovered through your willingness to be vulnerable.”
Do you remember the last conversation you had with someone that didn’t leave you feeling drained or tired? Maybe a harder question, when was the last time you had a conversation that gave you that feeling of connection? Most of us just want to be heard, and a good percentage of most want to be understood. Does sharing the same background with someone mean that you can understand them better than anyone? Not at all. But there is a sort of ‘magic’ that happens when, while conversing with someone, you realize you have hidden commonality that was only discovered through your willingness to be vulnerable.
Growing Up: Conversations vs. Talks
Growing up conversations happened around me every day. I’m not talking about text messages and emojis, but actual vocal conversations either in person or over the phone. It was a main event in socializing, especially around cookouts, family visits, and awkward car rides. You remember the ones: The ‘grown-folk’ conservations that you weren’t supposed to be listening to as a child, the sitting on the floor or front porch getting your hair braided chats, and let’s not neglect the conversations that took a turn with the phrase, “well back in my day,” that you reacted to with an internal eye-roll or “ahh, here we go…”
Then there were the “talks.” The talks sort of contrasted the conversations because, well you didn’t converse, but you listened. Although the subjects varied, they often touched on: the “real world” and what is was and wasn’t like, How to not get ‘caught up,’ the reminder of how some people in society ignorantly sees you, and why you will probably have to work two or three times as hard to get an equal footing. Now usually the timing was always inconvenient, but if you had the patience to be able to discern the wisdom from the noise, then those talks served you well. No you may not have used it as a sort of day-to-day guide like the person giving you the talk hoped you would, but if you can recall them now, then know that they became a part of you.
A BRIEF Pause
There’s a chance that everything I said above didn’t resonate with you at all. THAT’S OKAY. Maybe, just maybe you never experienced those conversations or talks. If so, then I need a favor from you: look at your group of friends, associates, or co-workers, and find someone who has. Chances are that if you’re reading this, then you know someone who lived or lives exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe they’ve never brought it up because it’s not something that just casually gets brought up. But this is your opportunity to use it as a conversation starter.
Now I wonder, do you still have these types of conversations? If you do then please let me know in the comments below, on facebook, or connect on instagram. But if you’re thinking, “Dang, I barely remember the last time I did,” then know that I am in your boat. It also took me a while to realize it. It was that '“you don’t realize what you had until it’s gone” sort of feeling, but not the one you may have for your ex. That feeling grew into a sort of craving along with my ceaseless need to create. So I stopped, everything. I embraced the practice of decluttering my mind, time, and space.
Then came clarity. Followed by a solution.
CONVERSE and CONNECT
What is It?
A series housed here on “Ariel Tiana” where I get to converse and connect with a diverse group of brown and black people focusing on: Art and Culture, Relationships (parental, romantic, familial, work, etc), Inner (self) Reflections, Education, and Life and Style.
How can I be featured on here?
To be a part of Converse and Connect, all you need to do is connect. Simple right? Priority is currently given to those located in Japan or within a few (3 or less) hours of flying. To be the first to know when this changes, sign up for the Ariel Tiana Newsletter.
I have other questions for you or topics i think you should touch on
Feel free to send them my way.
How can I support the movement?
I thought you’d never ask. There are a few key ways you can support this: