Sometimes I blurt out what I have been doing the last few years (the ice cream book thing, the whole intrepid exploring thing, the whole living in San Francisco for a long time thing), and strangers who barely know me suddenly say that I am the most interesting person.
I always thought the Dos Equis advertisements featuring the “most interesting man in the world” was so amusing. Because what he did, what he chose to do, and the stories that he could was what made him interesting. He took risks and never looked back. Regrets are not in his blood. Fear is not in his blood. Only courage, curiosity, and ambition survive in his vocabulary. He threw himself into tasks that nobody has ever done. He achieved greatness and all of that. But why is it interesting?
We all are attracted toward the things that we want to achieve. We want to be next to the person who has achieved the job that we want. We want to be present in the movie stars and bask in the glamor, their skill, their livelihood. Is that what is interesting?
Sometimes when I find myself next to someone who I deem interesting, I find myself looking in a way that makes my vision blurry. I am squinting, because in that blurriness, that interesting person is just another person. Who is a person if not for their character? The interesting parts is everything that they might have achieved due to luck and circumstance. But who are they? If they aren’t a full person of character, of loyalty, and of kindness?
Once I went to a book signing of a food celebrity that I adored. I became nervous in line as I held my book ready for him to sign. Each person was given a post it to fill with their name so he knew how to spell their name. But for me, I wanted to have our conversation be as productive as possible so I wrote my name and my entire background on my post it. Then I would ask my questions—how interesting he was to live in France, to have worked in fine dining kitchens, how was it like knowing all those famous chefs, were they that crazy? But then when I got to the front, I could see that he was overwhelmed. An introvert at heart. He was bearing through all this signing, because it’s what he needed to do to get a book out in the world. But of course, he wasn’t the charismatic type, not the talkative type. So I bared my smile and squinted, realizing that all he wanted was to express his ideas. Yes, having the audience made it better, but that’s not his joy. I felt guilty for being one of the overbearing fans, but in doing so, I saw that he was just a person. An interesting person perhaps. But just a person.