Alone in a Crowded Room

I always heard the phrase “sometimes you feel most alone in a crowded room” but never really understood what it meant. I mean, how could it be lonelier than spending time isolated from the rest of the world? I had spent a good portion of my life alone and I hated it because it made me feel left out while everyone else was doing something.

When I first graduated high school, I’d visit it quite often after school because I have attachment issues and because I still had ties there. Once, I visited one of my high school teachers because she was pretty much my mentor. She was running late, so I went to visit another teacher who happened to be there to create the yearbook club. We chatted about life and school as we waited for students to enter his class and join the club.

A group of friends (they were all girls because females are the superior gender, in my humble [and likely correct] opinion) came in and all signed up. I mentioned how that it was great to have a group of friends because it ensured that the club would have enough people. They’d have fun working together and convince their other friends to join.

My old high school teacher said: “Yeah, it’s great to have a group of friends. But I hope it doesn’t limit the club just to their group of friends. You know the saying ‘sometimes you feel most alone in a crowded room?’ It could be really intimidating for shy people who see that everyone else has friends and they don’t, so even though they really want to be a part of the club, they walk away. It’s my job to find those people before they get away.”

He was right. From that day, I learned what it meant to be alone in a crowded room. And I find myself feeling that more and more often.

Close and Far Away

Today, I attended an orientation session for my internship as a part of my program requirement. Since it’s a big organization (a hospital), a good number of my classmates were there, and it’s been 2 weeks since I last saw them. We used to see each other every day and some of us were pretty close, so it felt like a long time. It was great to see them.

But this orientation also allowed me to realize that some of them are still close, kept in touch, and hung out over the break. No one tried talking to me. No one asked me to hang out. When they had conversations about things, there was a sense of intimacy that I was no longer a part of (or maybe never a part of). It made me feel alone despite being in a crowded room with people I know. It reminds me of the song: Rihanna – California King Bed, but on a friendship level. (Yes, I’m a guy who likes this song in case you were wondering or surprised, haha.)

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame them and they were nice to me today. Sometimes, I just wish I was a part of it. I know it’s a 2-way street – I could’ve talked to them or asked them to hang out, but I wanted to see if they really valued me. Well, I found out my answer and that was something I risked when I took the wait-and-see approach. While I wish I didn’t feel this way, at least it gives me something to write about.

My friend once said to me: “Don’t test people. They’ll fail you 99% of the time.”

I’m still waiting on the 1%.

 

Yours truly,

 

PLIGC

This or That: Fate vs. Free Will

Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny? It’s an interesting question and the prompt for yesterday from the Daily Post. As someone who has spent the last few years studying people and social groups, I learned a few things about what people believe in that help determine which side you’d fall on.

It Depends on Culture

In the land of snow, maple syrup, polar bears, poutine, and ice hockey, we’re raised to believe in free will. We have complete control over where we’re heading in life based on the decisions we make and the actions we take. It’s considered the Western world view. On the other hand, the Eastern world view believes in fate. They believe that it’s set out for them and they have no control over their destiny.

These are the 2 extremes and there is probably a middle ground somewhere. But if I had to pick one, I’d be going against the whole culture argument.

Fate Over Free Will

I can’t say I totally believe in fate. I don’t believe in soulmates, nor do I think I have a specific purpose on this earth. I sort of just figure things out as I go along in life and try to look at the positives. But I see the benefits of believing in fate, whereas free will can be more disheartening.

I’ll use myself as an example. I dream of becoming a creative writer, which isn’t the most practical or easiest profession to pursue. By believing in fate, I work towards it because it’s my destiny and it’s what I need in order to be happy. When things get rough, I may question my fate or continue to follow my dreams because it’s my destiny.

Now, let’s say I believe in free will. I work towards being a writer because it’s up to me to get my destiny and make myself happy. When things get rough, I question my decisions and who I am as a person or my lack of success motivates me to work harder.

The major difference is that when someone questions fate, they’re not questioning themselves as a person, but what they believe in, which I believe is far less damaging. Questioning what someone believes doesn’t diminish the person. It may make them feel lost and change how they view the world, but it doesn’t leave them feeling inadequate. Questioning who you are as a person will lead you to believe you’re not good enough as you currently are. Some will beat themselves up about it because they’re the reason they’re not good enough. In some cases, it may be true, but that’s not always the case. We need to learn to be better to ourselves, and that’s really difficult when we always believe we’re the solution and the cause of the problem.

Sometimes We Have to Believe in Crazy Things

In a world where most of the dreams people pursue are against all odds, sometimes we have to believe in crazy things. If we didn’t, how would we keep ourselves positive when there is little to be positive about? If we looked at everything practically, most of us would have to give up our dreams, but there’s a reason we don’t. That’s why there’s fate, religion, superstition, karma, fairy tales, horoscopes, or whatever else people believe in. They keep us going, despite what the statistics or people say.

That’s how the unthinkable is done – it starts with imagining something that doesn’t make total sense, and then believing in it when little reason to.

 

Yours truly,

 

PLIGC

I’m Writing Posts that Nobody Reads

Maybe I have a twisted sense of reality, but I thought it’d be easier than this. I’ve had 2 previous blogs before, and while they weren’t successful by any means, I remembered more people reading my posts than this. My blog says I have 56 followers, but probably only 6 of them are real, and they don’t even read all my posts.

I want to say I deserve better, but I’m not sure if I do. I just thought it’d be different because I’m working so much harder this time, though I know hard work doesn’t exactly equal success. I’m sure there are bloggers out there who have written most posts than me and been blogging for longer that don’t get any readers either. But it honestly sucks to put your heart, time, and energy into a blog post, return to your blog, and see that no one even read it. It’s become so bad that I’ve reposted two of my blog posts because no one read them. That’s a new all-time low for me, and the worst part is, still no one read it after reposting them.

The Negative Feelings

I feel a mixture of disheartenment, sadness, shock, and jealousy. My lack of success makes me feel unmotivated and upset. I know it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m an awful writer or boring blogger, though it could be true. It could also mean I haven’t been discovered yet. But what’s a hidden treasure if no one even knows about it? Nothing; it might as well not exist. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll always be invisible.

I’m surprised and jealous because I’ve seen so many other people reach greater success, and I honestly don’t understand why. Don’t get me wrong, there are those that deserve their success. But some of them lack personality, ideas, and writing ability. I know it sounds cocky, but I feel like I can offer more than some of them. I don’t like hating on other peoples’ success because I know everyone has a story, but I’m just being honest. I don’t understand it. I’d never wish them less success; I just wish I had even a fraction of what they have. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but I’m jealous, and I’m not sure how to get over it.

Never Forget Where You’re Coming From

My old life motto used to be: “Never forget where you’re coming from.” It’s about always remembering that my past helped make me the person I am today, and I shouldn’t forget that, regardless of whether it was good or bad. It helps me see how far I’ve come and realize that if I’ve made it through all the bad times before, I’ll find a way now too.

I wrote this post for myself and whoever reads it (if anyone even reads it) because I want to remember feeling this way. I want to remember the pain of no one reading my blog posts after I’ve put in an hour or two writing them. I want to remember the jealousy I have of others who have more views, comments, likes, and followers. I want to remember my thoughts of giving up and the doubts I have about my blog, my writing, and who I am.

I want to remember everything because I want to look back one day when I (hopefully) reach greater success and never forget that, at one point, I had nothing but posts that gone unread.

Never forget where you’re coming from.

 

Yours truly,

 

PLIGC, Society’s Used Condom

 

P.S. I’m still grateful for the 6 or so real followers that I do have, and I don’t want this post to make it seem like they don’t matter to me! I just want to be honest and say that sometimes I get discouraged and I put how I feel in my posts, so expect emo stuff occasionally, haha. I still plan on posting!

Funerals Aren’t Such a Bad Thing

Two years ago, my sister and I sat at the dinner table while my brother told us about a recent motorcycle crash that took the life of one of his close co-workers. It came as a shock to him as his co-worker was quite young (in his mid-30s) with a son and a wife, and it never felt that the time they spoke the other day would be the last time they spoke. My brother struggled with it and became depressed.

After asking if he was okay, the next thing I asked was: “When is the funeral? I’ll go with you if you want me to. I like attending funerals.”

My brother told me it already passed, and my sister asked: “Why would you like attending funerals? That’s awful.”

That’s when I gave my sister a long explanation.

Why I Like Attending Funerals

I believe funerals are the beginning of the healing process. I don’t think death is a good thing by any means, but funerals bring people together. It’s where people generally put things aside and gather together for that one special person, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. It may not necessarily be a permanent fix, but from what I’ve experienced, funerals seem to bring out the best in people because they think less about themselves and more about others. I know people say the same thing about holidays, but I don’t think it even compares to how a funeral unites people.

Continue reading

My Perfect Day

I like long walks on the beach, long conversations, watching the sunset, and candlelight dinners. No, I’m not talking about “my perfect date,” and this isn’t supposed to be my cliché dating profile (or yours, if you really lack originality).  This blog post is about “my perfect day,” and I’m sure for some of us, it’d include a date and all those awesome things, but that’s not exactly what I was aiming for.

Borrowing from The Daily Post’s prompt from yesterday, they asked us to think about what we’d do for a day if we could do whatever we wanted, no duties or obligations holding us back. So, I thought: “How would you describe your perfect day?”, which is actually one of my favourite questions to ask others.

Cottage Life

My perfect day starts at a cottage, away from the people and big buildings in the city. I’d be with a group of my best friends, because I couldn’t celebrate a perfect day without my favourite people. It’d probably start with a trip to Costco so we could stock up on snacks and food for the day (preferably weekend or week!), and then stop at the liquor store because we like getting drunk. On the drive there, we’d stop by a random restaurant or diner in the middle of nowhere (that we’ll likely never return to) to have brunch. After brunch, we continue our drive to the cottage and unpack everything we brought.

Since we have a full day still, we’ll do all our physical activity stuff during the day, like sports, swimming, fishing, and canoeing. If we still have time, we’ll drive by the nearest town and see what it’s like and probably receive the dirtiest looks because we’re outsiders. By then, hopefully it’s nighttime and we head back to the cottage because that’s when the real fun starts.

It’s nighttime and that means the BBQ is started because there’s nothing I love more than eating a good burger (though eating a good pizza is equally as awesome). We BBQ and stuff our faces with food, and the ones who don’t care about drinking on an empty stomach start drinking. After dinner and all our stomachs settle, it’s time to play drinking games to get drunk because it makes things more interesting and fun. My favourite drinking game is King’s Cup and Ride the Bus, though I don’t really care what we play as long as people are drinking and having a good time. This is probably where someone surprises others that they brought drugs. Some people participate, but I don’t because I’m not about that life unless it’s marijuana because it helps me sleep better at night!

We pretty much play games until it becomes darker at night and we have a craving for more food, which means it’s time to light the fire and sit around it. This is where everything went from crazy partying, loud music, and people yelling to deep conversations and bonding time. We roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Funny, embarrassing, heartwarming, and childhood stories are told, as well as reflections on life. We listen to music, or if there’s a guitar, play music and sing the songs extremely poorly (or maybe that’s just me), but no one cares because we’re having a great time on this beautiful night in a beautiful place.

It’s the perfect end to a perfect day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Yours truly,

 

PLIGC, Society’s Used Condom

So, my question to you is: “How would you describe your perfect day?” Leave a comment below and let a fellow yellow brother know.

The Time I Couldn’t Walk

It was February 2006 and I was in 10th grade. I wanted to try out for the baseball team so I went back to the community centre where I used to play as a kid. Unlike most sports, I was actually pretty good (provincial-level good, or state-level good if you’re American) in baseball because I didn’t have to be in shape – I played first base where movements were minimal and all I had to do was catch and hit the ball. My old coach invited me to attend a training session with his younger team (ages 9-13), and so I attended.

Being there made me feel like I was a grandpa (though in all honesty, I have no idea what that feels like, haha). I was at least 3 years older than everyone else, and it showed. In all technical aspects of the game, I was better than all the young ones. In all physical demands of the game, well, I was worse than all of them… by a wide margin. There was one particular exercise which killed me the most, and while it seemed easy at the time, it became the reason I had to leave practice early.

Lunges: My First and Last Time

According to Wikipedia, my second favourite source after Urban Dictionary, a lunge “can refer to any position of the human body where one leg is positioned forward with knee bent and foot flat on the ground while the other leg is positioned behind.” Essentially, you repeat the motion by lift yourself up from that position, and then switch back into that position using your other leg. You continue to repeat this, and while it sounds easy, the pain is real. It’s even worse when you’re overweight like I am, so it was pretty much a bodybuilding workout for someone who isn’t a bodybuilder.

Anyway, so my old coach told the whole group to do lunges for a few laps (after other cardio exercises). I pretty much completed the whole cardio part of it and I was okay. After, we did some drills to work on mechanics (which I was already good in) and I was okay. Then, we had a 10-minute break and I sat down. After 10 minutes, I couldn’t get up. I literally could not get up. God damn it. I felt like I needed to purchase a cane or a wheelchair to get home because my legs didn’t work anymore, and my old age probably didn’t help.

Continue reading

Be Better to Yourself

As a huge fan of The Humans of New York (HONY), I often dreamed about what I would say had I ever had the chance to be photographed for it. I’ve seen so many touching stories on it that made my day better when I was feeling low, and I’d want to try giving that feeling to others too. So, when this prompt by The Daily Post was posted, I already knew what to write if the whole community was to read my blog tomorrow. I already searched deep into my brain to find what was important and that people needed to hear, and while I may not be on HONY yet, I still think it’s worth spreading to the rest of the world.

Our Own Hardest Critic

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find people (including myself) are really hard on themselves to the point that it’s damaging. I mean, we can win the game and still beat ourselves up because we didn’t execute perfectly. I know I’m guilty of this, and sure, when things aren’t exactly flawless, it can raise concerns. But we shouldn’t kill ourselves over things that are insignificant.

We aren’t perfect (except Anna Kendrick <3), so we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be. If you’re trying to lose weight and you eat a chocolate bar, it isn’t the end of the world. People have cheat days for a reason, yet we’re hard on ourselves because we weren’t supposed to eat that chocolate bar. We could have lost 20 pounds, but eating that one chocolate bar can make us feel like losing 20 pounds doesn’t matter anymore because we messed up. This is the damaging attitude I’m referring to – the one that overlooks all that you’ve accomplished and/or going to accomplish, yet is faded into the background because of a small, insignificant mistake.

Don’t Add to the Number

The world is a cruel place. As much as I hate to say it, people will criticize us and hate on us even when we don’t necessarily deserve it. If a celebrity donates money to charity, some people will say they’re beautiful people, while others will criticize them for doing it only for attention. If a parent gives his/her children freedom, some will appreciate their approach to raising kids, and helicopter parents will call them irresponsible.

Continue reading