Becoming a Little Less Introverted

Sparklers to end a meeting with talented women tonight :) #torontowomeninmusic #the6

A photo posted by Tiana Feng (@tianafeng) on

I am an introvert. I read a wonderful post on Lifehacker that properly defined what an introvert is. Introverts aren’t always shy or hate people. The big identifying factor is that social interactions take energy. They can wear me out.

Recently I have been pushing myself a little bit harder to use more of this energy. This can be super hard after work. But I’ve been attending more events, meetups and facing my fears to talk to new people.ย Call it a second wind, but I never regret it when I am in front of great people. It even starts to energize me.

That being said, I will never not be an introvert, I don’t think that’s a personality trait you can change. I will always appreciate quiet time where I can read, write or create art.

The Internet Is Full of Rainbows

1907492_1292974370732013_9189754401205793039_n

Today is a historic day! Congratulations to my friends down South who now have the right to marry. Love who you choose.

I’m so happy that my social feeds have been rainbows.

How to Have a Long Distance BFF

Recently, someone asked me how I have such a great relationship with best friend who is in another province. We actually didn’t even see each other for almost 3 years prior to her wedding in October. While it feels almost natural for me, I’d like to offer some tips for people who’s friends are moving far away and how to best keep that connection.

Talk frequently, in whatever channel works conveniently for both you. It might be a phone call, text message, FB chat, Snapchat.

Be willing to listen. Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean you can’t listen and talk your friend through life’s problems. Don’t wait until everything is fine and dandy to chat.

Be there when they need it. This sort of relates to the last point but a friend will always value those that make an effort. Also if they really want you there for a serious life event like a wedding, you do whatever it takes to get on that plane/bus/whatever.

Take challenges together. Do you have a mutual goal you’d like to achieve? For Laura and I, it’s currently blogging everyday. Having a common goal can help strengthen the bond because you can also talk about that goal or hobby together.

Make sure the feeling is mutual. Long distance friendships aren’t for everyone. An important question to ask is why the other person is moving away. Some people just want to move away for a fresh start. In that case, the friend may not want to keep touch. But you can always offer them the chance to connect if they change their mind.

Meet A New Person At Every Concert

Toronto Urban Roots Festival 7/6/2014
A few years ago, I was the person alone at a concert wasting time on my smartphone until the first band began. I was afraid to talk to those around me, even though I had an inkling of who they were because their faces matched their social media profiles. Sometimes nice people would try to make pleasant conversations but I shrugged them off and retreated to my phone.

In the past year, I’ve been better at this and particularly in the past few months I made it a general goal to attempt to talk to someone I didn’t previously know (or communicate with face to face) at a show. Believe me, this can lead to exceptionally awkward conversations such as “Hi, are you @thesupermaniak?”. It turns out she was and an incredibly nice person. But do you know what’s more awkward? Staring at someone and wondering if they are a certain person, and then not actually going up to them.

Another thing a friend and I did was go up to a random person alone on their phone. He ended up welcoming our conversation. In the end, he turned out to be a friend of somebody we knew!

Talking to more strangers has honestly heightened my concert going experience because less and less am I feeling like I’m in at a concert alone, but more like I’m in a community or a room full of my friends.

I’m Never Buying You A Watch

20130111-195257.jpg

Mom told me never to buy a clock for a Chinese person. In Chinese culture, the words for “giving a clock” also sound like the ones for a funeral ritual. It also symbolizes that your time is running out and considered an offensive gesture.

When I was in high school I dated this guy for a couple of months. I saved up money for what would be our first Christmas to buy him this shiny GUESS watch. When I finally bought it, I’d take it out of the box occasionally to bask in the glory of its shininess. I gave it to him for Christmas and he was delighted. However, it stopped working after a week and a little while later we broke up. 14 year old me was devastated.

In college, I found the perfect gift for the vest-wearing guy I was with at the time. It was a pocket watch. The back had a hole that displayed the inner-workings of the ticking clock. The outside was a shiny silver with interesting carvings and the innards were gold. It was wind-up power so it never needed battery. I’m 88% I got it engraved. Anyways, I gave it to him, the spring broke and a week later he broke up with me for another girl. In hindsight, he was probably an asshole.

Now fast-forward and I am with somebody who appreciates me for me and I am the happiest I have been for years. Nash, you are stuck with me forever because I’m never buying you a watch.