The first “lifechat” I can remember having was in 3rd grade. I was at my elementary school by the monkey bars with a 5th grader during some sort of recess period. We spoke so easily about what felt like hard topics for two kiddos. I remember walking away from the conversation feeling so alive with my young mind spilling over with questions. The conversation continued long after it ended in my head as I zoned out for the rest of the school day. Since then, this “lifechat” philosophy has become one that is at the core of who I am as a person and an idea of relating to others that I wish I could magically spread.
What is a lifechat though? A lifechat is asking “how are you?” and actually wanting to know the nitty gritty answer. A lifechat is prioritizing understanding before being understood. A lifechat is building a bridge between two people rather than a wall. A lifechat is a pause in the chaos and losing track of time in a wonderful conversation. A lifechat is an invitation to the deep end to talk about what really matters to you. A lifechat is born from the desire to know more about the world than you did yesterday combined with a great sense of meaning in truly connecting with another. A lifechat is listening not to respond but to understand. A lifechat is never ending, meandering follow-up questions. A lifechat is holding space for someone to explore, be imperfect, and come out feeling less alone. A lifechat is a form of recentering your soul around community.