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Dr. Karin L. Smithson Headshot

I Want To Know You

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I want to know you. And I want to be known.

Known for who I am on the inside instead of who you see on the outside.
And the same about you.

Known in a sense that you ask about more than where I work, where I went to school, and how old my children are. Known in a sense that you understand where my passion sleeps, what keeps me awake in star-filled hours and why my dreams are so.

And I want to know the same about you.

Known in a sense that when you walk away from me, you can say "She is that kind of person," and use exquisitely true words to describe who I really am. Because you listened. And I listened to you. And my words will also ring with the sweet nectar of authenticity when your name comes to me again.

Let's not do that thing that I am so tired of doing. Let's not surround ourselves with the vapor of meaningless conversation that will eventually settle to the floor and disappear into a shade of cloudy dust long after our footsteps are gone.

Please don't sit here sparking about what designer is wrapped around you or what pitches were thrown in last night's game. Let's not dwell on the specifics of temporary things or the pulp of last night's gossip... because that will only leave me with a feeling of emptiness and stagnancy and my spirit is aching for something -- someone -- to rise to meet it.

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I yearn to know and be known. It is what I hoped for as I got ready this evening and decided to wear this tangerine dress and vintage turquoise cuff. It is what was on my mind as I gently put my kids into their well-worn beds and kissed their rumpled heads, trading a quiet night at home for a colorful night out, sharing words with those who have the grandest potential to inspire me.

And I want to have a window to inspire you.

Please let our conversation flow away from the simple remnants of the day and toward those things that make us speak from the wells of our hearts. Invite me to stay with you here and prolong these moments as our souls find a meeting place and wish to perch there amongst hope's feathers and never stop at all.

Let's not complain, whine or drone about how we are victims or how the world is against us or how much we hate getting older. Let us speak of gratefulness, what life is, and what we hope will come with the years. Let us feel confident and comfortable enough to give voice to life's moments and let them sparkle richly in the air between us.

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Tell me about when you were peacock-colored proud and how it felt when that thing that you used to dream about happened right in front of your eyes. I want to hear about the time that you fell in love with your partner, your kids or your passion and how it felt when you realized the unfolding of joy was happening inside of you.

And I want to hear the rest of your story. Tell me about the time that the thing that was not supposed to happen to you happened, and how you felt when your world was turned upside down because you lost what you did not want to lose. Speak about the fear and the echoing and how you held on to something more powerful than the rain during the storm. Talk about the sadness of that season and how you were transformed in ways that your youth could never have imagined.

Let's talk about the cracks, the curves and the cliffs along life's path and how they have made us search ourselves for answers -- some that we have yet to find, and some that have found us on the most surprising golden days. Let's contemplate life's richness, as the years have woven triumph and tragedy into the fabric of our souls, creating us into these wiser beings we never knew we would become.

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Let's talk about the wonderful things and the wounded things and everything in between.

Let's ask these hours to be filled with a deep genuineness as we breathe in the words of each others' stories with honesty dancing swirls in the space between us.

And as the clock ticks, let it be the learning and the knowing that will satisfy us up until we hug each other's spirits, speak our long good-byes and return to our own well-worn beds -- filled with the fluttering inspiration of understanding another and seeing ourselves forever changed, on the inside, for the better.

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