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sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

So I was having reflection on stuff that happened in past. Coming to conclusion while drinking tea in late evening, that I wasn't that Special as I thought. Now that's part were everyone weaves it off and goes to their own side. Except it's not that simple, the problem wasn't in lack of knowledge but rather failing to acknowledge one of simple truths or to put it in proper words disregarding the fact. You see I knew that people were unique, had specific personality traits and tastes that made them different from others but understanding that random passerby which I probably won't meet ever again has life as complex as mine was ridiculous and unthinkable for me from that time period. It destroyed my whole world view and image of self as I regarded myself as Neo and other people as NPC's(It hit me like wall of bricks.)

It took a while to recuperate and acknowledge that fact. I kinda understood where my thought process came from, I lived my life with only one constant point of view; mine(putting yourself in others place doesn't count). It drove me into dangerous trap which was notion that life was centered around me. Once I let it process, it came surprisingly quick to accept it cause I always had access to other points of view through literature and rpg games, So that's why I regard books and games(more-so rpg's) where you can see other peoples life as something revolutionary and magical, as it allows me to see their history, point of view, feelings and thoughts.

That's end of my rant.

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Congratulations. (Honestly.) As much as some people think they understand that, many really don't. Even once it's been understood, we all frequently still forget. It's really hard not to subconsciously consider ourselves the protagonist and everyone else just... obstacles and filler.

None of us is the sun, about which all we know revolves; rather all of us are stars, glittering together, in our own spaces and clusters, making something far more grand than any one of us can truly conceive. :)
This is something that I come to think about more than I really want to admit because it is a partial cause for some of my random anxiety bouts, but it's also the thing that makes me grin with absolute joy. This little blue marble in space inhabits so many people, so many lives, wishes, hopes, dreams, nightmares, and stories that it is beyond actual comprehension. There are nearly 8 billion people on this marble and we all are the protagonist of our own specific story, while still having a strong standing point on every single protagonist we also come in contact with in their own stories. It's absolutely incredible and mind blowing.

There are times where I'll be driving and then realize... there's someone in the car in front of me who's having either a good day or a bad day, making choices that will alter their course of direction every second as they go an in turn their choices also have an effect on mine. While that feels a lot more simple to me, I know it gets so much bigger when I start looking at all the other cars out in traffic, or the faces on the street as I walk to work.

The one time it makes me grin like an idiot is the fact that a whole bunch of choices made by a whole bunch of people led to my husband to finding my blog on Tumblr and choosing to message me based on what was on our blogs. This is why my husband is my person, because the universe mapped it out in this wildly cosmic chain of events based on stardust led us to being together.

I love the concept you bring in about RPG games and stories as well. I have to agree with you there, and it's amazing.

Thank you for sharing this!
I love this discussion! <3

Sonder is the name of one of my anonymous characters who embodies the shaman archetype. It is a humbling realization for sure, but I love the analogy with the infinity of stars and clusters. The Universe is truly so complex and beautiful and we have only started to understand!

However, as much as each and every one of us is unique and complex, we are also all linked together at a very fundamental level, since we are made of the same stardust, sort to speak. For me, it helps to imagine that we are all souls in different stages of a journey, which is why it’s so important to be compassionate and non-judgemental, as much as possible.

Finally, congratulations on finding the Dictionary, it has many other good words which are thought-provoking and deep.
Congrats on the realization, really. It's actually a pretty difficult place to get to at times.

It's hard to imagine that when we are in bed asleep, other people are actually still living their lives. There are people out there actually sleeping, eating, having arguments, going to work, saving peoples lives, having intercourse, having babies, taking their last breaths..

We live our lives and remember ourselves but the fact that the world is actually going on beyond us is a hard notion for a persons mind to comprehend at times.
(sorry this is phrased sort of weird, i had a lot of trouble trying to figure it out so it at least made some sense)


I like thinking about this concept whenever I read historical books (esp. about events) and when I go to museums. I like to find little things that could be stories.

Like, just little people who just appear for a couple of sentences, but affected more than they get credit for. Or someone who lived such a wild life but they didn't do anything super big. Or even someone who lives a wild life and changed a lot!

Also, just a little selfish note: while it's pretty incredible how complex anything is, I think it's worth bringing up the idea that you are the main character of your own story. Honestly, sometimes when I think about the vast universe and the whole of history, I get pretty said and stressed out that I won't have any impact and all that jazz. But I get a little bit of solace knowing that I at least am a unique person whose mere existence just affects stuff. I guess.


idk i didn't explain it perfectly, but that's a little take.
This. This is a huge part of my worldview...it's beautiful and it makes me simultaneously relieved and depressed. How great to know that there is almost nothing that can happen to you, or that you can feel, that hasn't been experienced by someone else. The other side though...none of it really matters outside of the context of your life.
You are special. I am special. What if being uniquely special is something that everyone is, whether or not everyone else also is?

A sculpture isn't less beautiful or meaningful just because there are other beautiful sculptures in the world. Some things are inherently valuable regardless of the value of anything else (unlike money, which has relative value, depending on the price of things, etc.), and I believe people are in that category. We are inherently valueable; our value doesn't depend on the value of anyone else. Comparing ourselves to other people isn't the way to accurately determine our worth; we are each infinitely, inherently valuable because we matter. This is why we take care of people who can't contribute to society in the same ways. That's my take.

I'm glad for the good aspects of your epiphany, though! Being non-judgemental, being able to fathom the complexity of other people's lives. But I want to make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that we really are the hero of our own story, in the sense that we only have control over ourselves (just like when we play our character in a roleplay), and we are each on our own unique hero's journey which we are responsible for.

Maybe I'm missing the point, maybe I just like to be contrary, but something about this idea makes me want to try to find the flaws in it. To me, you should be able to be the Neo. Everyone should be a Neo. But recognizing that other people are Neos and not NPCs, that's really a great thing. It's almost like "Theory of Mind," when we first realize someone else doesn't know what's in our heads and we don't know what's in theirs, but to a more full degree. But yet, we are heros.
I simply wished to quote something from one of my roleplay posts here that I found fitting. Maybe it’ll do something to you, maybe it won’t:

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Constellation? Nebula? Her head spinned at those words and for a moment she looked at him, dumbfounded. “Eh... I don’t know any... never learned. I just like to watch the stars. They make me realize how small we actually are and how big everything surrounding us is” she said, giving him a sheepish smile. Oh dear she felt dumb and foolish now. Why had she said she liked stargazing if she did just that? Looking at stars without knowing anything about them?

“I was born in 1575. I’m not sure if I’m from this planet... it seems similar to home? It’s certainly not my time though. I’m not sure what happened, it’s like I fell off the edge of my world when I walked too far away from my village” she explained, feeling even more silly.

“I don’t mind obsession, not if it’s with a good thing. It’s a healthy part of intrigue as long as you don’t take it too far. And I don’t think you’re insignificant, not to those around you. We might be tiny but we matter... it’s just that maybe we have to let go of our worries as they’re miniscule and shouldn’t hold us back” she concluded, not minding his rambling. She too rambled sometimes.

She followed the pattern his finger made when he explained Orion to her. It interested her and if she had a chance that night, she’d try to see it... at least, if it was to be found there.

The 18th century... the future to her. That felt odd but somehow it also felt comfortable. At least she wasn’t the only one far from home although... she wasn’t sure which century they were in.

“We’re so small, so tiny and so insignificant to the universe, mi cielo. My life is so short and there’s so little years to live compared to yours. Yet here we are and here you are, being so significant to me. No matter how long you have, I’d like to spend it with you. I’ll hope it’s more than a day, more than a week but even twenty years... even five... even one... any day spend with you would be a big part of my life. Even a week would be significant.” she spoke from her heart, her gaze never leaving his.

“This... Us... Do you think there’s a place for us in the stars? Can we be something significant *together* even though we’re so small?” she asked and deep down she allowed fear to prepare herself for the worst even though she tried to believe in the best.
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Multiple parts of multiple posts... just a small reminder that no matter how small we actually are, no matter how many other people there are that are just as complex as us... we can still be significant...

(And this was a very meaningful roleplay to me)

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