The other night I was out at a bar with one of my friends and a few of her friends. When a couple of her friends showed up with an attractive, albeit less than brilliant, girl, I took the opportunity to practice my flirting skills. I knew that it wasn't going anywhere, but figured that it was as good a way to pass the time as anything else that evening. And that belief was confirmed when I learned this girl was more than a decade my junior.
My friend was rather merciless in her later criticism since I had spent so much time talking to a girl who, as she said, "has no more than three brain cells that are constantly at war with one another." Certainly, this girl wasn't a genius by any means, and one of the most attractive qualities I find in a woman is a sharp intellect.
However, as I talked to this girl, I was fascinated by something about her, although I couldn't figure out what it was at the time. Only later did it occur to me that what I found so intriguing about talking to this girl was that in a very real way, this girl had her entire life ahead of her.
As a young adult, who has chosen my career path and likely will stay in the same profession or something related to it for the rest of my life, I take that part of my life for granted. I'm always going to either practice law or engage in some related profession. I'm always going to have things related to work and I'm always going to have to travel on vacations.
However, this girl hadn't made that choice yet. She wasn't tied down by her job, her professional development, and, most importantly, her bills. She has all these hopes and dreams and plans that she was---or at least believed she was---on the cusp of fulfilling. She had places she wanted to see, things she wanted to do, concepts she wanted to learn, people she wanted to meet.
And for someone who sometimes feels they spend each morning heading to the salt mines, in many ways, this was refreshing. Listening to this girl's anticipation and joy when considering her life ahead was a feeling I had forgotten and her excitement was almost contagious.
So, while this flirtatious conversation may have made me the butt of my friend's jokes, I really didn't care. This conversation was worthwhile, even if it was just the pleasantness of seeing a part of myself I've lost in someone else, and even it was in someone I'll probably never speak to again.