Ignore your parents: Why you should definitely talk to strangers

 Image by Erin Kelly via  Flickr .

Image by Erin Kelly via Flickr.

We normally take public transportation, but every now and then we're loaded up with so much film gear that we need a Lyft*. These times feel like such occasions, especially because we get to chat with someone new along the ride. (FYI, if you're sitting silent with your driver, you're missing out.)

Wednesday we met a guy named Wahab who said that he'd been driving for Lyft full-time for the past year and loved it. Before that, he'd worked for two decades behind a desk in the insurance business. "I hate that I let myself do that for so long," he admitted.

Not that we have anything against insurance, but Wahab's smile in his new position behind the wheel said it all. He'd found his daylight. 

"I get to go everywhere now," he explained, waving a hand back and forth like a confident symphony conductor. "I see everything, smell everything — Chinese food, Latin food, you name it." 

He said he enjoys the new faces and conversations constantly rotating through his car; it makes work interesting for him. "And if I want to take an hour off for a coffee or sandwich, I get no bullshit from any boss. I'm the boss," he said with a near-giggle. "It's great."

As we looked around the car neatly stocked full of fresh mints, tissues, and water bottles for guests to enjoy, it was clear that Wahab was indeed handling his business like a boss.

Here's to finding your happiness, believing things can change, and starting good conversations with strangers.

*This is not a promo for Lyft, just a story about our lives.