I’ve been away from the blog for a bit because my sister just got married this weekend. Even though it wasn’t my own, there was still a lot of running around getting everything organized for her big day.
People like to talk to me about relationships. I don’t know why. Nash and I have been dating for almost five years so it’s not like I have anything valuable to add about what it’s like to date in 2016.
I don’t think I would know how to be single in 2016 with internet dating, especially Tinder being the norm.
I did read Aziz’s Modern Romance, as I wrote about earlier and I am observing a lot of the same trends. Everyone wants perfect right away. If there is something wrong with the person, even a minor insignificant thing, than it’s done with on the first date.
The funny thing is. If I only had to judge Nash on first impressions we would’ve never dated. In fact, we were in the same class for over a year without it even being a possibility in my mind. Don’t wait until you can picture some imaginary perfect future with someone before you take a chance and just wait to see what happens.
It wasn’t until the end of the year where everyone started hanging out together that I thought, “hey, this dude might be kind of cool.”
Then we spent more time together. We went to a movie together. We played video games together. We talked. We listened to each other. We are different people in a lot of ways but somehow we made it work. It wasn’t love at first sight, but we’re madly in love still after all these years.
If you are wondering why your life isn’t moving along the way you wish it did, that could be driven by the people you decide to surround yourself with. I love seeking positive, inspirational people to hang out with and learn from. I’m always willing to meet new people, have a coffee and discuss what makes them spark.
One of my favourite groups of people is the Toronto women in music group, where everyone has so many different backgrounds but always open to collaborating and helping each other navigate an industry that is often full of men. None of us treats each other as competition, and the environment is so loving and positive. I always walk out of a hangout super inspired.
I still get anxious in social situations that involve other people. It’s taken time for me to not feel self-conscious, like the entire world is judging my every move.
As I grew older, I started to care less about what people thought of me and more of what I wanted to be, for myself.
It wasn’t until I was 24 or 25 that I embraced my own quirkiness, personality and openly discussed my anxiety with friends (thank you Static Zine).
Being okay with myself includes the sometimes difficult task of ignoring negativity from people who don’t really have your best interests at heart. After all if they are so quick to react negatively, are they worth keeping around?
The Internet (twitter) made it easier to make new friends that share similar interests, anxieties and who somehow like the transparent person they see.
The people I choose to surround myself with are positive people. They are the ones that show up when I need them, the ones that splurge on food with me, unafraid to be silly or lend an ear.
My best friend and I talk about literally everything including our farts and poops. We can be idiots together or push ourselves to achieve our goals.
I can own my own Okayness because the people in my life are pretty okay too.
I recently celebrated my 4 year anniversary with this dude. Life has been amazing ever since he entered my life. We’ve gone on so many adventures (many food related). Looking back 5 years (you can do so on this blog even), I was a different person with stupider priorities. I’m confident being 100% me around him and that is the most important part.
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. 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.
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.
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.