When you need to unwind after a stressful day, how do you do it? Some run to Netflix, which works sometimes. Other times I have to feel like I am doing something productive so I like to colour (though depending on the complexity of the thing it can cause anxiety), or build things with instructions like lego. My favourite is reading fiction. It takes my mind away to an imaginary place, someone else’s story. I’m now 7 books into my 2016 Reading Challenge, which is 2 books ahead of schedule to read 52 books!
Last month I spent 31 days not buying anything online. In doing this, I saved a lot of money. Here is a record of some of the useless things that I would’ve purchased if it weren’t for this challenge. These are not a joke:
• Copious amounts of cosmetic sets
• A fancy office chair
• Compulsively bought a replacement Kindle for my broken Kobo (but thankfully I went to the Apple Store the next day and got an iPad)
It would’ve been super weird to say maybe a few years ago, but I met some of my best friends on the internet. I thought it would be very hard to revamp the friend wheel post-school but the web makes it so much easier to find people with similar interests. Often you know what they’re like before you even meet up in person.
But how do you hang out in real life? you may ask. It can start with an invitation to coffee or a meet up with a group of people. The web has made going up to randoms a little bit easier with the phrase, “Hey, I follow you on Twitter!”
Yesterday I went to a Jazz Cartier secret show as an invited guests. Other people cryptically texted a number in a photo and went through a series of clues to get in. As soon we entered, we were told there was no photos or video to be taken. No snapchat or anything allowed.
“Aw crap,” I thought as I had come to this event alone, not knowing if anyone I was familiar with would be attending. After-all it was an exclusive event.
We walked up the stairs to people dressed as hotel stewards, who took our names and coats. On the tables were typewriters as well as roses. The setup was elaborately thought off for the album launch. I absorbed it all in with my eyes instead of my phone.
I had a bit of anxiety trying to figure out what to do since I didn’t see any of my friends around and I couldn’t have a camera to keep me distracted before the show started so I started to talk to people and met some new folks.
I’ve been in the industry for a years now but I still get anxious talking to new people. I’ll have weird thoughts like what if they hate me? or am I wearing the wrong shoes? or how do I not talk about the weather? Like all things, these diminish with practice and I do want to get better at it. The easiest thing is to go somewhere where no cameras are allowed, failing that, just putting the phone down for a little bit is enough.
One of my favourite ways to inspire creativity is to let myself be distracted. It’s harder for me than you think because doing nothing makes me anxious. Some of my best ideas come when I’m not doing anything!
I loved this Kanye tweet so I put it up at my desk at work.