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A few days ago the little blue speech-bubble on facebook told me someone had written to me. Surprise, surprise a face from my past popped up and greeted me with the words “Do you still know me?”

I was thrilled to see this photo of a man I once knew and a whole flood of memories invaded my brain of a few summers spent long ago.  My younger self had enjoyed his company and the time we spent together in and out of the theater.  I was a student back then with big dreams and a smaller waistline. My inner hippie was much more active and I had decided to try my hand at acting to varying degrees of success.

While I was skipping down memory lane and opening all those partially forgotten drawers filled with snapshots of the past and memories of happy times the five little words that started this trip struck a cord in me. “Do I still know him?”.

This harmless question got me thinking about how do we know if we know anyone, do we even know ourselves and do others know us? As my mind spiraled out of control and a whole slew of questions came tumbling down I suddenly realised that knowing someone may actually not be that much fun.

Predictability is a great thing but also a little bit boring. Yes, I want to know how people feel, think, interact and react but I also want them to surprise me. I love finding out new things about people I love and when my sister tells me she listens to this band or likes that person I enjoy that I can still wrinkle my nose in disgust and turn to her and say “really?” with a whole array of undertones. I cherish all the information people share with me about their inner most feelings and secrets, I lock them up and hold them dear but I also know there is so much more in their treasure troves of being for me to find out about.

Getting to know someone, even yourself, is like planting a tree and watching it grow. All the information you find out, all the times you spend together, all the memories you created in unison helps the tree grow and bear fruit. So yes, I still know him, or part of him anyway and I hope that the tree of knowing him that was stunted in its growth many years ago will receive new nourishment and grow up to be a bigger tree in the orchard of my life.

How to know yourself

Me, Myself and I