I’m currently out east with friends. Sappy Fest just ended, but I’ll be heading to friend’s cottages and continuing the vacation out here for the next few days. I’m not sure what the internet situation is going to be like, but I’ll keep trying to do my daily posts!
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!”
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.
Last night, my friends and I had board game night. It was a fun way to unwind and do something that has nothing to do with work. My hobbies (blogging, concert photography etc) tend to align a lot with work (as I work in the music industry), so it is nice to once in a while to do something that has nothing to do with that.
Today as our team building exercise with co-workers we went to a baseball game and had some beers. Taking people out of context allowed them to relax and have time to bond with each other.
It’s always important to include time to do something different. You’re brain & creativity will thank you for it.
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.
Ever since transitioning into adulthood – the strange world after univeristy/college – my social life has noticeably changed. People have become busier because of their careers or because they have started families. The only times I’ve hung out with people are at concerts (but those are a different kind of people) or while having a meal.
It’s like I don’t know what to do with people if we are not eating (or having the drink which I put under the same category). I don’t think it’s entirely my fault either. I think meal plans are more concrete, everybody has to eat and they can easily be booked in your calendar. Want to meet me at the restaurant for 6pm? sounds like a better plan that Want to come over and play board games? One sounds a lot easier to cancel than the other. Plus, who knows if the other person wants to play games with you, but again.. everybody has to eat.
Food also helps with any awkward silences. You can have the excuse “too busy eating to talk”. Also when it’s over, you are not obligated to continue the night. This is different when you invite someone over to your house and you want to go to bed but you still have to kick the person out.
I seriously don’t know what adults do with each other between meals. I can amuse myself fine: with blogging, cleaning, art and various hobbies but it’s hard to invite someone else into those situations (unless hey, you really want to help me clean my apartment).
What do you do with your friends?
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.
If you don’t know already, Draw Something is the new mobile game sensation. It’s basically a set of Pictionary that you can play with your friends who have Apple and Android devices. I have been playing it for a couple of weeks now and through observation I have realized and learnt many things.
Celebrities are really hard to draw. I try my hardest not to use words when I am drawing clues. I think it’s cheating. However, when you get hit with a celebrity, it can become hard.
People draw people that look like themselves. Whenever the drawing requires the use of a person to describe something, they always seem to look like the person who drew the picture. I’m guilty of this too. My people always look like the doodles of me that I do on My Life In Drawings. Other people do this too though. My friends who have blonde hair draw blonde people. Those that have curly hair draw curly haired people. Even if it takes an extra step to do these things.
It can be used as a genius marketing plan. Companies should insert their names into this game. Subliminal advertising after all. And hey, if your logo isn’t recognizable for anybody to want to draw it, maybe you should do something about that.
I turned 24 on Friday and am rather indifferent to it, or at least I like to think I am. Am I turning old? I certainly don’t feel it, or look it, I’d hope. However, on my birthday I went to purchase some liquor at the LCBO and did not get carded. I always get carded. I had wanted to get carded on my birthday so I could be like Hah! I am actually turning 24 today! Maybe it was the fact I was taking out my Air Miles card. Who under 19 has an Air Miles card?
While I ponder turning 24, it certainly doesn’t feel that much different. Maybe I’m sleeping earlier than I used to, eating less candy. Actually, no I’m not. I didn’t have a party this year though. I spent my day of birth having dinner with my best friends and then attended a concert. I found it far more exciting than a drunken bender that I wouldn’t remember and would be still recovering from. I had many of those in my early 20s but the appeal has kind of disappeared.
As I ponder the future, I don’t actually want to grow up that fast. People around me are getting married, starting families but I still have dreams to fulfill and goals to meet before then. I’m not ready to know where my story ends, as I’m still adventuring in it.