Saturday last weekend, I was at a funeral for the husband of a coworker.
I know this coworker strictly at work. We’ve never talked about life outside the building; we’re not connected through any social media.
During the service, they played a slideshow, trying to capture this man’s life. (Can you ever really capture it?) They were married a long time, so, as expected, she was in quite a few of the photos.
It was neat to see her “other life,” to see a little bit of who she is when she’s not at work. (Or who she is when she’s at work, because it’s all different sides of the same person…)
A few times, I’ve shared a “share a random fact about yourself” thing on Facebook, and I’ve learned things about my friends that I didn’t know. Not just the people who I don’t really know anyway, but people who I’m friends with offline, talk to often, etc. Some of them were surprising.
I’m sure there are things about me that people would be surprised to learn. I don’t know what those things are, because they’re really more about other people’s perception of me. (Just like my surprise was based on my perception.)
But this “hidden side” — sometimes hidden intentionally, sometimes legitimately just never came up — is what is so interesting about hearing people’s stories. Even people who I’ve known a long time. There are always more interesting things lurking. Often things that the owners don’t see as interesting. It’s just a matter of finding them. Which I’m not at all good at. But I often like listening, so there’s that. Now just to get better at asking the right questions…