Bonn, Germany- Berlin, Germany: We shared a ride.
You have an amazing voice. The way you speak softens my body, it feels as if your voice breathed it's way through my limbs!
Second: You are wise. You know a lot of things other people need years to figure out. And you open yourself up to any topic, figuring out underlying parallels- in the deeper structures- to other fields... which hints at the third compliment:
I think you are incredibly smart! Quick thought chains, great associations! Talking to you is very inspiring.
Also I dig your sharp jokes. I really like your sense of humor.
Last but not least I think the last question you asked proved that you have the biggest balls in the world. Respect.
How did she react?
She took it. All of it. One of the things I really liked about Jutta was her openness which she proved in receiving the compliments, too. Smiling, nodding, saying "thank you!", giggling even: When I mentioned her humor she replied,"Really?! i have never heard that one before! Usually no one finds my jokes funny except for me: I tell one and end up laughing out loud, all by myself." - Everyone in the car laughed.
Then she said: "I want to tell you something, too." She told me that she hadn't felt as connected with anyone on a shared ride in a long while and that she'd really enjoyed our conversation. And that she thought I had an incredible personal history. Both of these were amazingly good to hear, especially coming from Jutta whose whole face said: "I mean it." Thank you, Jutta.
How did I feel?/What is the story?
This is another ride share story.
All it took was a few moments with Jutta to know she was today's candidate. No more. Her warm, full voice relaxed my shoulders and chest within seconds. She did not press or pitch it, instead she let it be- and sounded sound like honey, a warm breeze, or the smell of jasmine. I could have listened to her forever. And in a way I did: We spent 7 hours talking nonstop. That has not happened on a 400 miles ride before for me.
Jutta told me about her dreams. They are beautiful. She left her childhood paradise near Rostock- picture this: Kids playing hide and seek in the fields, cuddling with animals and climbing up trees- to start a carpenter apprenticeship in Berlin. This petite, well dressed lady walks around the world's hipster capital in heavy workwear five days a week. Sitting in the UBahn she observes the looks people give her: Irritation, surprise and sorrow are the usual mix. Jutta has huge balls. She endures German craftmanship hierarchies and chauvinism at work, arguing with her boss day by day. If he he shouts "There is only one direction in screaming here!", she responds "If one of us is allowed to scream everyone's invited!" at the exact same volume. Or she just grins, thinking: "I will be gone in less than a year." Because in less than a year Jutta will take the next step: She wants to become a stewardess. This way she will lose the 40 hour work week with no time- and place flexibility. Instead she will finally see the world. I have no doubt that this girl is going to be up in the air serving high class airline food in no time. Because she's got what it takes: Her wonderful, calming voice, clarity in her speech and fast reasoning in her thinking. If she speaks up people listen. Because Jutta has got something to say. She finds the concept of balance everywhere: In politics, in personal relationships, in religion and food. "Yeah, if you are very emotional the other person will act more rational. And if one person suppresses another, or a whole people, there will be resistance- or revolution. Or if one thing is too much of a certain taste you will want something to balance it." Being a Yoga teacher I certainly agree- still I was amazed by Jutta's ability to find that principle everywhere, literally. Whatever we talked about she ended up summing things up with: "Balance, man!".
Another quality of hers is empathy. We shared a lot of our personal histories and relationship experiences. The way she connected with what I said and her wise way of mirroring made me gasp in disbelief when she told me she was 21. I would have sworn she was in her mid- to late twenties. When she talks about her own conflicts her statements come from a place of deep reflection and insight. In between she laughs out loud, sending out fireworks: The whole room (or car) lights up in various colors when Jutta finds something funny. She is very present and devoted, too, and I am grateful I got to enjoy that when she suddenly cried: "Guys, look outside! The sky is bursting with stars! You never see that in Berlin! Shall we stop and watch for a moment?" We did. And it was wonderful- just like Jutta.
Who, after all, has no idea about her stunning beauty: Towards the end of the trip I had an intense and long discussion about philosophy with the driver. The third passenger and Jutta quieted down for a while. When the driver hit the breaks for our final stop- we had arrived in Berlin- Jutta said: "Can I ask you guys something? And please be honest. Do you think I am boring?" The whole car replied "Wooah! Where did this just come from?"
Apparently Jutta felt like we had not reacted to her inputs to the discussion. That happens- if two people are personally involved in something they are rationally arguing about things can get a little out of hand and (good) thoughts might end up being left aside. Whatever it was- I admired Jutta's guts- she went straight for asking this question.
We all have our mind stories and weird beliefs ("I am not interesting." might be one of those- for others it might be "I am not lovable.", "I am not of value." or... ), and most of us know that these diminish once we let others see them. This way we give other people and ourselves a chance to gain experiences that prove us wrong. I am sure most of who I know would agree. But I do not know many people who would bluntly ask strangers for their opinion on these innermost beliefs. When I told Jutta that I highly admired her courage (because what if one of us had said "Yeah, honestly, I think you are.") she replied: "Well, I've got nothing to lose, right?"
My mouth open, my head shaking from left to right, nodding vaguely I looked at her.
What a girl! What a girl.