Have you ever seen someone, a complete stranger, and felt like you wanted to know them better, or maybe felt something good about them that you couldn’t decipher but then just let it go because you don’t know them?
The other day I came across a short story by Haruki Murakami on seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning.
In that story Haruki is telling someone about passing by a girl on the street who is the 100% perfect girl for him and he’s imagining what the conversation between them would’ve been like if he had talked to her. If you’ve never read that story, I put the link below. It’s super short!
I was thinking about how much that story resonates with so many people including myself.
I was happy to know I wasn’t the only one who’s ever been in that situation! In fact it happened to me a while ago. I just saw a guy and for some weird reason, that I honestly can not explain, I felt something right…for a complete stranger!
Now I wasn’t as optimistic as Mr. Murakami was as I didn’t think that the guy was the 100% perfect guy for me!! But I do understand where Haruki comes from in his story. I do know how powerful those kind of feelings are, the kind that you can’t rationalise. They are so annoying especially for a logical person. BUt they are like that because their mysterious nature. In my case I actually told the guy! For Haruki, well he missed his chance. He regrets not talking to that girl, that perfect stranger who made him feel something for reasons he couldn’t explain. He couldn’t shake those feelings off so much that he came up with a beautiful emotional story and he called her the 100% perfect girl for him! Would she really still be that girl if he’d actually met her? (that’s a really good question but for a different blog post!)
You should read the story but the whole point of it is how people are afraid to say what they feel. Haruki uses the concept of childhood to show how pure our thoughts are at that stage and then as we grow up how our bad experiences – let’s call them baggage- create fear in us. So when we’re older we always go back to that one time where we got our heart broken or maybe when we got rejected and it stops us from acting on our feelings. It’s really about everything in our life. When you want to take that dance class but you’re too afraid of how clumsy you’d look like at the beginning, maybe someone laughed at you when you were doing something new at some point in your life and now you have unresolved issues.
I guess that specific fear of talking to a stranger is very common because society tell us not to do that. If it’s not for safety reasons then it’s because we think they may perceive us as simply weirdoes! but then again if you think about it, that would be us afraid of what they would think. I wonder what generated that fear in the first place…
I guess what I’m trying to say is acting on what you feel doesn’t make you reckless or hopeless or whatever the adjective you’re thinking of right now. It simply makes you a person who is mature enough to understand how you feel and are not afraid to show it.
If you want a really easy way to practice this try giving complements to people anywhere. I’m not encouraging a fake complement for the sake of the experiment (I feel I have to caveat!) I’m simply asking you to be honest and tell people whatever that comes to your mind. If you’re sitting down with someone and you like their shirt, tell them. If you like their deep voice don’t go tell your friend, tell them. Think of it as generosity. When you feel something to someone it means THEY made you feel that way so they deserve the credit. Be generous and when you’re affected by someone’s positive energy tell them!
I know it’s not easy! I didn’t really tell the guy right away it took me more than a year! But if it’s something I learned from my experience it’s that honesty goes a long way and people appreciate it. I think if Haruki had told that stranger he saw about his feelings in a nice way she would’ve definitely welcomed it. Who knows, if he’d been lucky enough maybe she would’ve been free on a Friday night for dinner and they would’ve picked it up from there! or maybe she would’ve had a boyfriend. Regardless of the outcome she’ll be the only 100% perfect girl who would appreciate the gesture.