Posted in Being Vulnerable

Book Review #2 of “Sorry I’m Late I didn’t want to come” by Jessica Pan

The second thing Jess did that I have also practiced before is “talking to strangers”. How she describes this is “disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.”

Just her description alone makes me laugh because I can 100% relate. Every time I have spoken to a stranger I feel a huge resistance inside me. The kind of resistance that wants to cringe in the corner because the task at hand is likely to be too awkward. And many times I have had to buck up and tell that resistance to quiet down or else I wouldn’t be able to socialize with my co-workers. However, now at the age of 27 I do feel more practiced with this endeavor, but the road hasn’t been easy. It has been full of extremely cringy moments that led to nothing except a lack of pride and a bottle of wine.

Scratch the wine. What am I talking about? I was broke as fuck in college. There was no wine!

Anyways, when I went to college or university, as Aussie’s like to call it, I was alone. None of my high school friends went to my college. They traveled to L.A. or New York whereas I stayed in Sacramento. And as I said before, I am an introvert so college parties did not tempt me. I hate crowds. I hate small talk and I hate talking over music. So what I was left with was the library and the gym. And you can’t really make friends in a library since you can’t talk…so I decided to try and make friends at the gym.

What I would do is run around the indoor track and look for other girls running. If they didn’t have ear phones in, I would ask if they wanted to run with me. This sounds innocent, like a child, but trust me I still cringe at the memories. It was so hard for me to ask this question! The fear of rejection was very real for me. And I also felt like a weird stalker in a way because I was looking for girls to talk to. It just didn’t feel natural and it didn’t work so I would advise not doing this. But! It did break down some of my fear because it was practice. AND PRACTICE IS KEY! In those moments, I was practicing being confident, but most importantly I was practicing being vulnerable. And though no one wanted to run with me, I survived. And I was okay. The cringyness didn’t break me.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Book Review of “Sorry I’m Late I didn’t want to come” by Jessica Pan

This is my first time writing a book review and I thought I would do it differently since this story creepily resembles pieces of my own introvert journey. How I will do it differently is by breaking it up into a series as I would like to share a few stories that are just as embarrassing as Jessica’s and since I have a few, why not spread them out?

Alright! So the book is similar to “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, where the author has a mid-life type crisis and wants to do something way over the top to solve it. Except instead of traveling to Italy, India and Indonesia to solve her crisis, Jessica solves it in her own backyard, also known as London. Jessica’s crisis is her lack of ability to make friends around the age of 32. I believe she is 32 in the story, but if not it doesn’t really matter as everyone knows you can have a crisis at any stage in life, let’s be real.

Now, Jessica realizes her crisis when she quits her job in London and notices she has no one to talk to except her husband. Her friends are spread around the world and she realizes all of her friends came to her through external circumstances such as: sitting next to them in university or working together as colleagues. She never went out of her way to become friends with them. They just naturally came together. But now without a job she realizes she needs to spread her introvert wings a bit if she doesn’t want to fight loneliness forever. And thus the story begins as she dedicates one year to extroverting in order to make friends.


Okay, now how does her story resemble mine? Well if you don’t know this about me, I am also an introvert, but not the typical shy kind. Instead, I am the bubbly, goofy and openly speak mind kind, but at the end of the day people exhaust the shit out of me which is how I know I am still an introvert. Also, living alone doesn’t scare me. Ask any extrovert if they like being alone because I have found most of them hate it. Of course there are other signs as well, but those are the main factors.

So what did Jess do during her year of extroverting for friends, which I have also done?

Well, she joined Bumble, which I have also done.

The swipe swipin for friends? Yeah. It’s weird, but lends to a good story.

I joined it when I moved across the United States from California to North Carolina in 2016. I was 23 and living alone. I knew zero people in North Carolina and the only person I talked to was my mom on the phone everyday at lunch. So you could say, I didn’t know what else to do.

The girls I would match with were also new to Charlotte, North Carolina, which made sense. I soon found out that most people who lived in Charlotte were not from there, which made meeting people a little easier as they were looking for friends too. However as most dating apps go, the people on there were half ass. I believe I only met up with one girl, which is funny because so did Jess.

The girl I met with was petite, showy, insecure like me, and tried her best. We met over lunch in the middle of the city during work and it started out with the basic questions. Where are you from? What do you like to do for fun? How long have you been here? And it was awkward. There was no spark. No zazz. Just two lonely girls eating pasta trying to pretend like we weren’t lonely. The whole experience was kind of pathetic and she felt the same way too because when we passed each other on the street one day, she pretended like she didn’t know me. Or maybe she just forgot me because that’s how forgettable that friend date was. And yeah I would call it a friend date. We were literally at lunch scoping each other for spark. It was a date!

Stay tuned to next week’s blog as I continue this series of embarrassing stories of how I’ve tried to make friends.

Cheers!

Posted in Relationships

Road trip thoughts

The thing I like the most about being in a “long term” relationship. Haha “long term”. It has been 2.5 years. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s all I got so fuck off. Anyways, the thing I like the most about it is the reliability. I have tested this through and through and I know without a doubt that this relationship is reliable.

We are two people who can sit in a car for five hours and say nothing to each other.

We are completely content with the silence.

We don’t rely on each other for entertainment. We just float in our own thoughts and once in a while touch each other’s knee for a love check-in.

It is pretty bad ass.

It’s not awkward or weird.

It’s still.

And as introverts, we thrive in the stillness.

And to be able to rely on the stillness with him is probably the best gift he could give me.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

If it wasn’t for writing

If it wasn’t for writing,

I’d probably go insane.

It’s the only way I know

how to really feel.

My emotions come in forms of letters,

which magically get spun into words.

And I, the observer, sit back and watch as the pen takes me.

It’s as if the hand that moves the pen isn’t mine.

I can feel it moving,

but my mind is not the one thinking the words.

It’s almost spiritual, you could say.

It’s as if the universe knows I struggle with talking

and therefore graciously lets me share through writing.

Written words have always made more sense to me.

They’re intellectually raw and more difficult to produce,

which I tend to prefer.

I guess it’s because I have always lived in my head.

So for me,

writing comes naturally.

Yet, it may not always be pretty,

But neither are feelings.

In the end,

the value is in the effort

not in the display.

So please continue writing

I want to read all that you have to say.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Going natural

So I have been jobless for two months now, which has given me plenty to reflect on.

Such as, my hair.

I stopped shaving when quarantine hit in mid March because we were working from home, but after a month of not shaving I started questioning why I even do it.

Is it for me or for them?

I have been shaving since I was in middle school, like most girls in my class, I just did what everyone else did. But now when I think about it, I was just a kid when I was told hair is ugly on women.

But what enraged me more than that, was when I researched the origin of women shaving in the United States I found it started because of Gillette’s advertisements. They saw an untouched market and pounced at the idea of having a bigger market share. And I understand this is the essence of capitalism and profit and all that, but does that justify the means?

Now I am called a hippy if I decide to stop shaving.

But what I really am is normal and natural and being myself.

And you are god damn right, I am triggered by this topic.

I believe it is justified to get enraged when my insecurities are being exploited for profit.

I truly hate these fucking advertisements that tell me I have a problem when in reality there is no problem. They are simply creating a problem in order to sell me their solution.

It is that simple, yet we fall for the bait every time.

We love our insecurities being validated. I don’t know why. I assume because it feels good to have someone tell us our hate for ourselves is legitimate.

It almost makes us feel justified for the daily inner loathing.

But what if we advertised differently?

What if we advertised honestly?

What if we encouraged people to be vulnerable and feel safe in their skin?

Wouldn’t that be better for humanity?

Don’t we want humanity to evolve positively?

The only way I see us evolving is if we stop falling for the corporate bait that tells us “we are not enough”.

Because that is what they are actually selling us.

And it is fucking bullshit.

(Link to article about Gillette) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_removal_of_leg_and_underarm_hair_in_the_United_States

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

I escaped into your belonging

When I was a girl all I wanted to hear was, “I support you.”

I wanted to be trusted with my ideas.

I wanted to be heard.

Instead, I was silenced.

I was bullied.

He would talk over me.

Ignore me.

Mock me.

Then when I would start to crumble he would throw in a last jab,

“Why are you crying?”, he’d sneer.

The patronizing was the final straw.

I retreated.

I stopped trusting.

I stopped crying.

I built a wall around my heart because if I couldn’t trust family, who could I trust?

I couldn’t even trust me.

For years I was bullied along with my sister and mother.

I thought it was normal.

I even dated men who were bullies.

Because I thought that was all I was worth.

Until I met you.

And everything changed.

You were the light I needed.

You were this glimpse of another reality.

One full of joy and kindness.

Without insecurity.

Without pain.

So I jumped.

I escaped into your belonging.

But unfortunately, with my jump came my pain.

My trauma.

What I thought I escaped, I actually dragged with me.

And now you are seeing it unraveling and the girl who laughed at all your jokes is drowning with the sharks and you can’t throw a life raft.

I’m sorry, babe.

But these sharks are mine and I can’t keep being rescued.

I have to learn how to survive with them on my own.

I have to do the work.

And maybe one day, with enough love, my sharks can turn into dolphins.

Posted in Relationships

Pen pals

He has a way with me.
The raise of his eyebrow.
The slant of his smile.
Funny how random
It all began.
Just one pen pal
To another.
He sent me a joke
And I responded.
Back and forth
Back and forth.
Until we reached for more.
But still we kept our
Distance.
I didn’t know his name
Or what he looked like.
It was all just a game.
For a month straight
We played this game.
Waiting everyday
For that one email
From each other.
Both scared
That if we escalated the stakes
The other would leave.
You see, the fun
Was in the mystery.
We could say anything
To each other
Because we truly believed
It was all make believe.
But then he asked to see me.
“Do you want to skype?”,
He asked.
And I was petrified.
I wanted him to stay
Alive
Only in my dreams.
I didn’t want the game to end.
Yet, my curiosity said yes.
And that night
I finally saw what he looked like.
And you could say,
I was more than surprised.
Because there in front of me
Was a remarkably above average
Australian man
With a slanted smile
And a sparkle in his eye.

And you best believe
I was goddamn awkward
On that video call.

It was like meeting
My crush for the first time
And him telling me
He liked me too.

But he handled it
Like a gentleman.
As he always tends to do.

And now
Two years later,
I sit here with him.
As if how we met
Never happened.

Because it feels like
I’ve always known him.
And
I like to believe
That’s true.

Posted in My Poetry

Natural rebellion

I have a natural rebellion
To the status quo
People say,
You can’t redesign the wheel,
But I care to try.
Im inspired by outsiders.
Women with hair.
Men with makeup.
And everyone
Undefined.
I love this new renaissance period
We seem to be exploring.
Everything feels
Up for debate
And I’m game.
Let’s start asking
The tough questions.
And let’s have fun
Along the way.
For life is meant
For curiosity.
Without it,
Who are we?

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Holding space for other’s pain

My sister emailed.

She is still in pain.

My choice to block her on every platform broke her heart.

She feels betrayed.

I know the feeling.

Because that’s why I blocked her.

I felt she took his side instead of mine and I was enraged.

After all this time, how could she?

But maybe I am mistaken.

Maybe I assumed incorrectly.

I tend to do that when I’m angry.

Assume the worst.

Blame everything on you

Because of course it’s not me.

So her email.

Her pain.

Feeling alone.

Again, I know the feeling.

When I moved from California to North Carolina when I was 23, I felt alone.

The only people I knew was

Me, myself and I.

And to top it off, my friend Teddy, who I was very close to at the time, stopped talking to me because his new girlfriend didn’t trust our friendship.

I don’t think he realized how painful that decision was for me.

I cried immediately when he told me we couldn’t talk anymore.

I sobbed realizing I was alone.

I was so utterly alone.

I had just moved across the country and I had no one.

All I had was my work.

And my mom.

I would call her everyday

During lunch.

Just because I needed to hear a familiar voice.

So I do understand my sister’s pain.

And I do understand I acted rashly in my anger.

And I apologized for what I did.

But I don’t expect it to go back to normal.

I’m not that naive.

I understand I cut a deep wound in her heart.

And since I have my own wounds, I know they don’t heal quickly or even smoothly for that matter.

I feel all I can do is just wait and hold space for her pain.

Because isn’t that what I would want if I were in her shoes?