I purchased some wireless headphones, knowing full well they were being sold for double if not triple the normal price. I was dreading the six hour flight from LA to NY, restless and slightly stressed — I kept repeating questions over and over again, looking at decisions from almost every angle possible. Where in NY should I move? What next career move should I make? Should I take time off, put all of my energy into creating this organization from the ground up? Or should I begin at an established organization first and work my way up? Should I use the next three months to study and apply for more graduate school? Such great, first world opportunities to be considering and yet, I sat defeated, unsure how to proceed, drowning in a sea of stress and indecision, paralyzed with the fear of wasting my time.
Moments later, I found my seat, took out my headphones and felt a shuffling of movement to my left. An older man replaced the young woman next to me. He sat quietly and asked me, minutes later, “what do you do?”. I took off my headphones, saw his gaze and noticed him looking at the collection of Albert Einstein stickers on my laptop along with a “I voted” and a “end child trafficking” sticker. I told him about my job. He told me about what he does and within the first five minutes of our conversation, I was convinced this wouldn’t be an ordinary, superficial small talk conversation with a stranger — he had answers I was looking for. I stashed my headphones away, all ears for this man.
We talked non stop for six hours. I asked all of the questions that kept me up at night and he gave responses that deeply resonated. From relationships, to reincarnation, to dream analysis, to happiness, to time theories, to the meaning of life and what happens after death, he spoke to me patiently, explaining through careful words and examples of lessons learned in his sixty one years around the sun. I took three pages of notes — a desperate move to remember everything we discussed.
Two weeks later, I consolidated my notes into several points of conversation and described them below.