Other people’s perceptions are always so interesting to me. Their perceptions of newspaper articles, of politicians, of me. We are all so different, yet at our root we are all so similar.

I want there to be one word that comes to people’s minds when they think of me. Open. That’s it. I want everyone to feel invited to talk to me, to ask me for things. The McDonald’s cashier, the library clerk, the tattoo artist. They are all welcome to talk to me, and I take steps to let them know this.

Ask a neighbour if you can photograph their pets, ask the little girl in line behind you at Saver’s if you can buy her a toy, listen to a co-worker’s band’s newest EP, smile, wave.

Creativity is key, I do believe: finding things that speak to people on their level. Some actions lead to a response, others to a friendship, and most, to nothing. I’m at peace when I make openness a priority. I rest knowing that anyone who needs a friend will perceive me as such because of the steps I take to come across as open. I think that’s what matters, and I hope to learn more about meeting people on their level (whether it be “higher” or “lower” than mine) everyday. What starts with a smile could end in…(anything).

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