So, as I have said many times before out of pride, I work in tech support for a cloud-based software company.
I really love my job.
Being that I am one of those behind the scenes, only talk to via email or phone people, I currently work at the corporate headquarters for this company whereas other people who work for our company work all across America.
I usually end up talking to these people at some point, since I am in tech support and they will need help sometime.
Well, I became very close with one particular employee that lives in another state.
This man would turn to me for help quite often on our company IM and I would talk to him quite often since we were always working together.
It’s nice to have someone at work that you can share you thoughts with and be close with. He was not my only person I could do this with, but it will still nice to have someone to discuss things with.
One of this man’s favorite topics was religion. That was cool with me since religion is a huge part of my life (I’m LDS).
We ended up talking so much that we exchanged personal email addresses to have further conversations after work.
Now, a few of my friends at work said that this was weird.
But even though this man was not in the same state as me, I viewed it as another one of my coworkers and I have a ton of their personal phone numbers that I text quite frequently.
Could not be any different.
So, this man was always talking about religion and existential things that go along with it.
He would recommend many books on sociology to me, meditation books and books that I know what the word for their meaning is, but I can’t think of it right now.
He was the one who introduced me to the book The Little Prince, which I fell in love with.
And mostly he was always talking about religion and one thing about this man is he openly admitted to me to being raised in my church and around my beliefs, but then resigned about 10 years ago for reasons he could not remember.
Now, after all this time he was still searching for what he believed in and was constantly trying to find what made him feel happy.
I only bring this up, because I gave up my religion before only to later come back finding it does make me happy. (Not saying he needed to, but it was just interesting to see.)
Over the months we stopped talking as frequently, as can happen with life.
The only time we really talked was when he was reaching out to me for support. Still fine.
Well, this week was our company’s retreat.
My company is amazing enough to once a year fly all of their employees out to the corporate headquarters for a retreat and at the end of the week we have a company picnic.
Now, being that I am in support for the customers, my job is slightly more essential than those of the other employees.
So, a lot of the festivities that happened during the week support did not go to since we cannot forsake the customers.
And the ones that I could have gone to, for the most part I passed.
Randomly on Wednesday night I received a text from this man (who had never texted me before) and he wanted to hang out.
He said that I was a priority.
….I was already in bed.
But I got up and put clothes back on and took him out for ice cream.
All my impressions of this man were shattered when I met him.
Now, I want to be delicate when I talk about this, because I am not trying to insult him in any means, so I will start with my thoughts on who I thought he was and how he turned out to be.
All my virtual interactions with him were mostly us discussing existential and intellectual things. They were intellectual conversations that were meaningful and had a lot to do with some of the things that I hold dear.
I didn’t really think about what he looked like or how he would act in real life, but I suppose in the back of my head I pictured a very somber, thoughtful individual.
Image my surprise when I picked him up from his hotel to find him buzzed, loud and honestly someone I probably would only be acquaintances with.
He just seemed…sloppy. Every time I saw him after that he was drunk and sloppy.
Here the man who I had shared many intellectual conversations with turns out to be someone who just talked about trivial things and when he talked about those existential things, he did not talk about them in a way that made you think. (which was my prior experience with him)
But he talked about them in a way that made you feel like he did not know what he was talking about.
I feel like all of this sounds insulting to him, but in reality he was just different from how I am. And different then how I thought he would be.
He was probably just this way as he was on vacation, but I will not be able to remove it from my mind now.
Or trust him with my personal thoughts anymore like I did.
And it’s sad.
I find myself once again humbled by the fact that these virtual walls that we put around ourselves, the ones that I use so often in my work and even with my blog, really can hide who we are.
They can make us seem better, but at the end of the day we cannot really know who the person is.
I am once again faced with the reality that everyone has so many diverse sides to them that we cannot truly know someone fully.
Especially when our only interaction is through our virtual walls.
People who read my blog see me so much more differently than those who know me. Almost more intimately.
Anyways, it’s just stuck in my mind.
You can’t see my sadness.