It Really Is A Small World

Though the world is filled with approximately 7.1 billion people, it can feel extremely small.

I live in Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the United States. Not only by population size, but also the actual size of the city itself. Yet somehow I manage to see the same strangers every now and then.

What are the odds that I end up on the same Metro train car as these others at these times? Some of these encounters make a bit more logic in the sense that they either regularly ride the same Metro line at regular times (those in their daily commute), they’re constantly on the same rail lines, just sporadically get on and off the carts (the drinks and popcorn salesman), etc.

I’m more intrigued by the incidents where I see these people in times where they aren’t typical times to run into the same people on the same line.

Someone once told me, “Los Angeles is actually really small. It probably doesn’t seem that way right now since you just moved here, but you’ll begin to notice it. It’s just a matter of time.” He was referring to how small the networks can be, but I realized that it can be applied to life in general.

Not to say that Los Angeles is actually small. It’s not.

One of my close friends (who also moved out to LA for college, actually) and I had always talked about how one of the main reasons we wanted to leave our hometown was because of its size. We didn’t want to have that possibility of running into someone–especially when we weren’t necessarily prepared for it. We even thought about that when we were both home for Winter Break. We were at the mall and she said, “I can’t see anyone, but I can just feel that there’s someone I know here within a 30 ft. radius.” Sure enough, some people I knew walked by one of the stores we were in and stopped to say hello.

I remember telling my mom about how we felt about our hometown. how we didn’t want to always be running into people. Of course she, being the wise woman she is, reminded me that no matter where I go, running into someone is going to be a possibility. It has to do with running in the same circles as others. The longer I stay somewhere and the more people I meet, the city just gets smaller and smaller. Unbeknownst to her she’d be referring an unknown man on the subway train.

Funny how life works that way.


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