Making small talk, memories

Kristin Kuwada

I was sitting outside of Chipotle the other day next to my best friend and across from an older man who claimed that he could physically see the colors of our aura.

He interrupted us to introduce himself, admitting to listening in on our conversation about the future. We had been talking about our career goals and thoughts on having kids and getting married. You know, one of those existential talks that you often have with your best friend.

So there we were, sitting with this guy claiming that he had died three times. He told us about the visions he had when his heart stopped, explaining how he saw heaven and heard God.

We ended up asking him various questions about reincarnation, dreaming, soulmates, and déjà vu, and after 40 minutes had passed, we found ourselves completely engulfed in conversation.

It wasn’t that we believed everything that he said or were converted to his way of thinking, but it was refreshing to hear a different perspective. As he was leaving, he mentioned that he was a bestselling author of many inspirational books as well as a chiropractor, and left us with his final words, “your aura isn’t pink anymore, it’s yellow, it’s always changing”.

I looked back at my friend, and we laughed together for a long time, thinking about how crazy we must have sounded talking so intently to a complete stranger in public. But then I thought about how much I enjoyed having conversations like that, ones that were spontaneous and had a lasting impact on how I thought about life and the world around me.

One of the greatest things about going to Harvard-Westlake is that you become accustomed to talking to new people and acclimated to hearing so many different opinions. I definitely carried that lesson into my personal life and often have the best conversations with strangers that I meet in foreign countries and in random restaurants. Going through high school made me more afraid of becoming short-sided than of taking risks and expanding my beliefs. That’s the beauty in keeping your door open, so that new people, maybe even a kindred soul, will surprise you from time to time.