It’s a Small World

“It’s a small world!”

I hate that phrase.

I can’t even tell you how many many times I’ve heard it in my 21 years, just that it’s been a lot. Hell, I’ve heard it multiple times in the last 48 hours.

I know I’ve always heard this phrase: muttered to people who are friends of my parents friends; whispered to me as my parents walked away from a 20 minute stop in the mall when we saw my mom’s second cousins; said with a smile and a shake of his head when my dad found out that his best friend from high school is my best friend’s uncle. It’s been shouted in gasps at the realization that I’m not a stranger but a mutual friend. It’s been an offhanded comment at work when a co-worker tried to set me up with someone I already knew. It’s been a cheer that followed a “she’s your cousin?”

“It’s a small world, eh?”

Always said with a smile. Always a sort of excitement. Always meant to be kind.

And yet I always find myself answering with a tight lip smile, quick nod, and an eye roll as soon as the other person looks the other way.

I hate this phrase.

I don’t remember when it started, just that in the past few years I decided I never wanted to hear this phrase again. Ironically, I’ve heard it more than ever.

I. Hate. This. Phrase.

Because it’s not a small world. Not really. Just my family has never left this region, and my friend’s families seem to be very similar.

It’s not a small world.

Yes, we are all connected in a way we’ve never been, and the outcomes of globalization is something I’m sure I will discuss another time, but it is not a small world. It is a world that is large and vast, with secrets in every pocket. It is full of billions of people who I have never met or even heard of, yet I’m supposed to believe that my soulmate lives down the street. There’s so much to explore in the world, but I’ve only seen a 20 hour radius.

Do not tell me that it’s a small world.

It’s not a small world.

It’s a small bubble that we seem to be stuck in. A small, safe bubble that we are comfortable with; we’re comfortable and we don’t want to leave because we’re happy believing that it’s a “small world, eh?”

I’m not happy with it.

In fact, I’m moving across the country in a few months and I’d be lying if I said that the phrase “it’s a small world” didn’t have any sort of impact on my decision.

Because it did. Oh boy, did it ever.

I’m tired of hearing “it’s a small world” when I haven’t explored the world. How can it be a small world when I’m moving to a city in my home country where I still won’t know a single person.

It’s not a small world.

It’s big and exciting. And I’m going to explore it. I’m going to get as far away from “it’s a small world” as I can.

-Red Hot


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