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I'm having my first "library" day.

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I don't have the words to fill this page tonight. I feel like I want to say something, to acknowledge my existence through words... to say "here I am, this is me," but my thoughts escape me.

I guess even just this is ok. "I was here tonight. I was lonely and seeking answers, but didn't find anything. And then I left."

Charisma

It was a busy week again. Today I had to get laser eye surgery because a blood vessel inside my eye was bleeding slightly. After the surgery, I had to make my way home by bus, but it was so hard to see outside that I could barely see which bus route I had to take.

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During the weekend with my friends, I noticed something really weird. I made a silly comment to the group and NOBODY responded to what I said. I felt really awkward after that, and I laughed nervously and looked away. A few minutes later, another one of my friends said the SAME EXACT thing and the whole group laughed like it was the funniest thing they heard. It was a very surreal moment when I finally understood how invisible I was, or rather also perhaps, how charismatic my other friend was. I can say ANYTHING, even the smartest thing possible, but nobody would listen to me. On the other hand, my friend could talk about anything, and everyone would be so amazed by him. Honestly, he even started talking about how he pooped in the toilet that morning, and everyone laughed, feeling like they could relate to him.

I've always known his charismatic nature, but this was the first time it actually hit me hard. In the world of social interaction, charisma truly is the key to things. I realize now that I may have a lot of smart or important things to say... it's just that I don't have that same charisma to make an impact.

I don't really want to be that charismatic person with all the attention... I guess I just want to be with people who actually care enough to listen to me. I know I won't always be lucky enough to have that though. I've been to enough social events where I basically become ignored and invisible, and it HURTS. I think I now understand my personality enough to see why that is. Maybe I am a little boring, I don't have entertaining stories to tell, and I'm not open enough to share personal parts about myself in comparison to the social butterflies out there. However, I know now that I'm NOT socially inept. I'm not a terrible person.

It's just simply who I am, and how the world reacts to me.

Realizing this makes me want to quit social life. Charisma accounts for way too many things in relationships. It's a skill I don't really want to deal with it. I guess that's why it's always been easier for me to have academic, professional, or serious relationships. I don't need too much charisma for that, I just need information and evidence to back up my thoughts.

It still hurts to be ignored, but at least I'm strong enough now to face that.

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Jun. 4th, 2017

I actually really enjoyed Governor's Ball. There were tons of people and it was packed, but I guess that didn't bother me too much. As expected, I liked indie rock and electronic, but I couldn't get into hip-hop or rap. I also couldn't get into Childish Gambino's type of music, but I respect it and gave it a shot.

The place was packed with teenagers and people in their early 20s. I felt extremely old.

After that, I went with my two elementary school friends to go bar-hopping. Funny thing was that I was totally pushed out of the conversation. By the end of the night, I was practically invisible. It's to be expected, considering one of my friends is really charismatic when there's a girl... and the two of them just talked all evening with me as a third wheel.

We all slept at the same hotel room for the night. Right now they're both talking and I'm completely ignored again. Feels frickin awkward, and I just want to go home for the day. Reminds me of why my self-esteem was so crappy back in elementary school.

I'll have to think of some excuse where I have to go back home early today.

TIRED

I AM SO TIRED. My phone says I walked 16 miles yesterday. I went up and down between 6th St. and 23rd St., not to mention crossing across avenues and meandering through parks... After that long day, I also met up with a friend who is visiting from LA. We walked around searching for a place to eat.. Today, I walked even more around Brooklyn... so my legs are now officially dead. Dead dead dead.

Anyway, my friend had an extra ticket to the Governor's Ball music festival for tomorrow... so he invited me to go. I anticipate I'll be walking a lot again.. and my legs haven't had a chance to recover yet. Also, I'm not a big fan of modern music, R&B, or hip-hop, but I figure I should give it a shot. I do like electronic though, so I hope I can experience some of that. My friend says we'll be partying like millennials, whatever that implies. I'll also sleep over at his hotel for the night so we can also hang out on Sunday. On that day, we're planning to have brunch with an old elementary school friend of ours. Apparently she lived in New Jersey all this time, and I had no clue. I'm not ready for all that incoming awkwardness. I use the term "friend" lightly because I wasn't really that close to her. Apparently, they keep in close touch by Facebook. I guess everyone keeps in touch by Facebook these days, but I deleted mine ages ago. Basically, I just got annoyed with social media that I decided to drop off the grid. People tend to be amazed that I don't have a Facebook.

Anyway, zzzzzzz
I guess things worked out. I was sent on search duty for all of Friday. He was eventually found in the afternoon and was taken to a hospital to be checked up on. I haven't heard anything since then though. I wish I could talk more about it, but there's tons of privacy issues with my job.

I was tired from searching all day, so I decided to watch "Alien Covenant" to relax a bit after work. I liked the movie, and it has a fairly downer ending that everyone probably saw a mile away. It's like a mix between Alien and Prometheus, where it keeps the curiosity of Prometheus but throws in horror/action elements of Alien. The big difference between Alien and this new series though, is that Alien was very much focused on Ripley. In the new series, the female leads aren't nearly as big of a focus.

I played "Emily is Away" on Steam. It's a cool concept, but the game is short so it doesn't go much into character depth. You get enough background to know just enough of what's going on. It definitely reminded me of my own adventures on AOL Instant Messenger. I feel like perhaps too many people experienced love and heartbreak online that way. Overall though, it's frustrating because any option you choose leads to the main character and Emily to drift apart, but I kinda figured that would happen. I'm sure everyone has had an online friend that has faded away in their own lives. Playing the game reminded me of who I used to be. I'd spend all night chatting online about everything, and I do kinda miss that.

I guess if I were to really look at my life, I would say that I'm happy, but not exactly content. There are things in my life that still feel missing. At every step in my life, there's always been something missing, and it may be my greatest challenge in figuring out how to come to terms with that, more so than dealing with loneliness. I used to think they were one in the same, but I've come to learn that it's not. I don't think it's such a bad thing to feel like something's missing though. If I were to feel completely content, I wouldn't have a need to improve my life, or help other people, or to get out of bed in the morning. I just need to control that feeling enough so that it doesn't cause me too much anxiety, and at the same time to not feel completely content that I feel like I have no purpose. It's another balancing act, I guess. "Always have a reachable goal in sight." Something like that. Something that fulfills me enough on a daily basis to keep me going. Every human being is different in that way, I guess? Everyone has their own things going on that get them through the day. We all have to deal with that in some way or another.

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So what's my goal now? Socially.. just learning how to share more of myself with others. I've been a closed book too long. Maybe it's time to open up.
One of the only things I hate about my job are the call outs. When a call out happens, schedules can get hectic. First of all, although my job is primarily working at a college mentoring people with disabilities, my official job is a bit broader. That official job is to take the individuals we work with out into the community and provide them with experiences that enrich their lives. Most of the time, it's volunteering or attending a community/life skills class. This becomes my default job when my primary job gets cancelled for the day, so instead of working in a school, I get sent out in the field.

The problem with call outs is that I end up doing something I don't know anything about. They place me with individuals I've never worked with before and take them to a place I've never been to. This can be very tough, especially when I'm not familiar with their personality and behavior. I've had people take off running down the street before, and I constantly worry about getting lost in crowded subways. Stuff like that. I know it's part of the job, and everyone at work knows the drill with call outs, but it's definitely -not- my favorite part.

I also primarily work one-on-one with individuals, but out in the field they usually work with two or three people at a time. I can handle this, but getting to know three new people while trying to figure out their schedule is not easy. Perhaps the worst part about this is that once I'm done working with them for the day, I probably won't work with them again the future. It's not enough to build a working relationship, and I'm pretty much there to take them from point A to point B.

Today, the guy I normally work with at school called out, so I'll most likely have to support some people I've never worked with before. It's raining heavily outside too. Ugh ok, need to push myself out that door and get to work.

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8:00 AM
Scratch that. Plans didn't go through, so I just used a sick day.

Problem solved.

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8:55 AM
Problem not solved. The office called and said they had someone I could work with. I said ok, so it looks like I'm going to work after all.

And here I was, planning to go on a Breaking Bad binge watching marathon.

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3:51 PM
The day actually went pretty well... almost. The person I had was very pleasant and it was cool talking to her.

After that though, I got a message about a missing person in the program, so I spent the last part of the day running around the Manhattan subway lines trying to find him. I asked the MTA workers and showed the missing person flyer around, but no luck. I actually know the missing person so I'm a little worried about him.

He still hasn't been found, even though most of the team is out looking for him.

Just another day on the job.
If I had a chance to tell a story, what would it be about?

I don't know why this is such a hard question for me to answer. I've always wanted to write a story of my own, but when I think about it, I have a hard time honing in on something specific that I would want to say.

I like thinking about different worlds and characters, and interactions between people. But a whole story? I can only think of moments.

I figure I'll start there. Maybe with enough short moments, in time I'll find my story.

So from today, I'm going to challenge myself to write more and to share a moment of my day everyday. Honestly, I don't know how long I can keep this up. Writing on my cell phone isn't too convenient either.... but I'll try.

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Met an exchange student from Brazil today. He told me he was a doctorate student in sociology. I told him I majored in psychology and we both agreed that our fields had a lot of similarities. We started talking about social mobility, and he started telling me about the political climate in Brazil. I sheepishly admitted I knew nothing about the situation there, but he seemed to accept my ignorance. I found the topic fascinating, and we both found ourselves talking deeply about our respective fields. I would have liked to talk with him more about it but we didn't have time. As he left, he waved goodbye to me and I realized I should have asked if he wanted to hang out again.

I laughed to myself because for some reason, it's been really hard for me to connect with other guys here in NY. I think this is the first time in a long time where that's happened.

May. 19th, 2017

You know, I realized last night that I have a very weird funny situation going on. I went out with a bunch coworkers for karaoke, about 8 or us. Funny thing was that 7 of them were women and I was the only guy in the group. During karaoke, one of the girls started twerking, just having fun, and another guy passed by the room and saw that. He saw her and and gave her the thumbs up. Later on, I left the room and I bumped into him and he told me, "man, you have all the girls in there. How do you do that?" I laughed it off and didn't say anything, but that was actually the third time someone's asked me that.

Ever since I came to New York, my group of friends has been solely female. I feel like I've been unconditionally accepted by the female community as a whole or something, but it's so hilarious and weird. They talk to me about all the crazy stuff in their lives, about men, sex, and how hard it is to find a clean pair of underwear.

I feel like I'm in that stereotype that I have to be either gay or super attractive to be with a group of girls. I'm obviously not one of those... so I'm in this funny gray zone.

Oh well, I don't want to think to much on this. It's just a funny realization I guess.
I've been sick for the past weekend with strep throat... or tonsillitis. I'm not sure, but I had to take the past two days off work because of it. I was pretty much stuck in bed for 4 days.

I hated being sick, but it actually gave me a chance to watch a few movies on Netflix. All of them are kind of in the horror category...

"The Invitation"
This is a great, smart movie, but it is really slow to build up. It's basically a dinner-party from hell scenario, and I don't think it really does much to change that genre. However, it does play a lot on unspoken social rules with close friends, and I think that's pretty cool. It also plays upon your expectations, as most of the time you probably think you know what's going to happen... or do you?

"Under the Shadows"
This movie has a lot of similarities to "The Babadook," so it's very easy to want to compare the two. It's about a mother and her daughter during the middle of the Iran/Iraq war. Her husband is sent off to war and she has to take care her daughter alone. Then her daughter starts seeing the djinn in their home, and it goes from there. It was interesting to see Iran lifestyle back then. It slowly builds up to a feeling of isolation and anxiety.

"The Wailing"
This is my personal favorite out of the four movies. This is about a police officer trying to discover the source of the mysterious killings/plague around town. His own daughter gets infected and the search gets personal. This movie really plays on who you believe is right or wrong/good or bad, and it's finely acted out. It even throws in a lot of funny parts, despite all the heavy stuff happening. It has a lot of religious themes, and it pretty much asks if we would know good and evil if we stared it in the face. The movie is also two and a half hours long, but I think that was the perfect time to do the whole story justice.

"Tag"
It's hard to talk about this without actually spoiling anything. One review called it "grindhouse meets arthouse." It's very bloody, gratuitous, and has a lot of fanboy moments, but it also pulls it together in such a way that is important to its message. Basically, it follows a girl trying to run away from these strange surreal forces trying to kill her. The end is pretty amazing because you realize that the conclusion it makes is pretty much against everything the movie is about. It also has a strong feminist message. The story is pretty surreal and absurd though, so it might be hard for someone looking for a more grounded movie.

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I feel a lot better now after resting these four days, so I'll go back to work tomorrow. I still have a sore throat, but it should go away soon.

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