You know what they say; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You know what they say about six degrees of separation. You know what they say about it being a small world. It’s true isn’t it. It’s all true.
I’ve had a few moments recently. I’m not sure if it’s just I know more people now. Am I more worldly aware as I’m fortunate to travel a lot? Am I just aware and conscious of my surroundings? Or am I just nosey? I don’t know but I seem to be getting more and more of these encounters. Firstly that make me feel a connection with someone I don’t even know, and moments that make the world feel like the size of a pea.
By the way, these moments are different from when an American you once meet tells you their 15th cousin 6 times removed is from Glasgow and asks if you know them. No pal, I’m afraid I don’t.
I’m going to roll it back a few weeks, for those that don’t know, I went to Australia in April. I played a couple of tournaments, maybe the less said about them the better. Not how I imagined the trip going, but I learnt, I dusted myself down and I moved on. Something that is so important no matter what happens.
Anyway, I want you to put yourself in my shoes for a couple of minutes. Have you ever introduced yourself to someone and they’ve said you’ve met before. If you have, you’ll appreciate this feeling. It’s awful, you feel equally embarrassed, mortified, guilty and try and think back to why the heck do I recognise your face but I can’t remember said initial introduction.
Ok, so. Yeah. I walk up to this chap, ‘Hi I’m Hannah McCook my scores for the last 3 holes are…’ and I get greeted with ‘yeah Hannah, we’ve met before’. Oh my days my heart sank. My mind raced. The feeling of bewilderment. My goodness. I recognise your face. I’m sorry, I can’t remember you. Someone dig me a hole. Where the heck have I met you before? Why can’t I remember? What was the occasion? Should I remember you? Am I allowed to have forgotten you? Am I a bad person for forgetting meeting you? The 20 seconds of guilt. Where have I met an Aussie chap before that can remember me so well but I’m standing there like a dog with its tail between its legs. I look around, no one can help me.
Before you ask; I’ve never been drunk and not remembered anything from the night before. Anyway, to cut a long story short he was at my best friends engagement party in October 2019…in Boat of Garten…my goodness me. 2 and a half years ago. Granted I haven’t met many people over the last 2 years, but that feels like forever ago. At the time of the party he was staying with my best friends now sister and brother in law. Ironically, the weekend before this encounter it was their wedding. I mean, what are the chances. Rob was a gent, I think he acknowledged I couldn’t fully remember him at the first instance. But you’ll be glad to know, when he told me where we met, I remembered him! What a small world.
Meanwhile, weirdly when I was also in Australia… I was staying with my Australian friend. She replied to a fellow Aussie friend of hers Instagram story he had put up about Inverness and the glorious weather the city was encountering. Of course she said her Scottish pal always says it’s sunny there… and she stated how I was from near there. He replied asking if my physio was called Fiona, and that he’d just been to see her. Fiona had mentioned a golfer she works with is in Australia. Yup, yup, yup, that’s just crazy. I had to pick my chin up from off the ground. I was texting Fiona, I was laughing with Kristalle, my mind was blown. Again…what a small world.
Anyway, the reason I write this is I’m sitting on a plane, the chap next to me is clearly a fellow diabetic. It’s like instant best friend status. But I haven’t said anything, I don’t know the guy. I’ve never seen him before. I couldn’t tell him
from Adam. Maybe he is called Adam. Anyway, he’s diabetic, like me, his pancreas is defunct. It’s broken, it’s not working, he has to do it’s job. It’s a hell of a job, so us diabetic’s fully acknowledge anyone else who fully understands what it’s like to be in these shoes.
But what do I say? Oooo are you also diabetic? What’s your blood glucose? You on an insulin pump or injections? Oooo you have the Libre I see, ever tried Dexcom? Oooo are we diabetic friends? I don’t want him to think I’m nosey- but I wonder what his reaction would be if I said I’m the same pal, don’t worry I get it. Maybe he wouldn’t even care.
I promise you by the end of this flight I’ll say something. But I’ll leave you all in suspense of whether he just thinks I’m being nosey. ***
I met a kid a few years ago in Nice airport. His Dexcom was clear as day on his arm. I had to say something, I couldn’t let it go by. He was waiting to get on the flight to Edinburgh, he was with his parents. I spoke. I bit the bullet, I embraced the trying to feel like I was doing the right thing. We connected, the kids face lit up that there was ‘another one’. I mean, if I can have that feeling with a youngster who’s going through this, that makes me embrace my shyness.
You spot another diabetic in the distance, it’s the same feeling. It’s the instant feeling of wow, I’m really not alone. There are others who have the same battles I have. Yeah it’s probably invisible to the majority, but to us that see it every day, it’s like a light beam. They may as well have a ‘I am diabetic’ sign above their head. No thanks to that by the way.
Similarly, have you ever been on holiday and you’ve heard a Scottish accent, or seen someone wear a Scotland top or heard a Scottish voice on the television. If you are a fellow Scot, I’m sure you’ll acknowledge this feeling of spotting another Scot in the wild. Even seeing something that reminds me of home, whether that's a bottle of whisky, a stag or a highland cow. Seeing someone that has the same football shirt as you. Or is wearing a branded golf cap or golf jacket. Ah he/she’s a golfer, look! I mean, we all do it. If only the world could be this proud of each other and all feels these connections. Maybe it wouldn’t be in the mess we are.
The world may be big and round, but it isn’t as big as it appears on the surface.
***by the way I didn’t. I didn’t say a word. I was going to, but when I wrote this blog I then fell asleep and then there was a stramash getting off the plane. Maybe the next time I see a diabetic in the wild, I’ll speak.