Archive | August 2016

Emotional Availability is a Scarce Resource

In short, I find the most meaningful friendships are ones that result in you taking on their emotional baggage. This doesn’t stem from values or obligations held by everyone – I can only attest to this for myself.

By the sheer number of people I’ve met these past two months, it was inevitable that a handful of these would end up being deep connections. Drunken talks until 5am on someone’s patio/balcony; Brunch sessions that were cut short after four and a half hours only because the cafe needed to close; Two and a half hour frisbee-tossing one-on-one sessions in the sun*. Being suddenly entrusted with mental health baggage by someone you’ve known for a long time. And so on.

* This happened today. I wanted to embrace my inner introvert and avoid all humans, but she was hinting at really wanting to get together, despite the others being unable to join. The great thing about tossing one-on-one is we’re far enough to play, but close enough to talk. And so we did. She’s a few years younger, but had been seeing an older woman for a few weeks. I found it easy to relate to her in that not only was she a babydyke (came out in July), but she also primed herself on her career – whereas most queer women we’ve met were louder about their sexuality than their careers. I’m taking her to a queer women’s networking event on Tuesday. 

I’m delighted that my connections have all been with queer women, although I’m not sure if there’s a correlation to the experience being richer. I’ve never been able to make such connections before and that in itself may have a wealth of possible explanations, including not being a good storyteller and/or having a new sense of confidence that allows me to be vulnerable. I have found that I’m more comfortable showing people my vulnerabilities because I don’t believe them to be weaknesses – if anything, they make me stronger and the stories accompanying are often gems.

An externality of showing your vulnerability and presenting yourself as a safe space is other people feel comfortable opening up. This is great, but brings me back to my opening point – I empathize and feel inclined to take on everyone’s baggage as my own.

I’m feeling burnt out.

It’s my own fault for letting myself be emotionally invested in someone else’s problems. I simply feel inclined to help them – sometimes when I don’t need to.

I was telling the person I had brunch with something along these lines, prior to feeling this. I told her we have limited time (and energy) to have too vast a social network. Specifically, we were talking about “best friends” and why we can’t be “best friends” with everyone – we simply don’t have the time to spread ourselves out so richly. Think peanut butter on toast out of a one-time-use-sized packet. Peanut butter is your time; Toast is your social network.

You simply cannot grow your social network at the same depth as you’ve had your existing network; you’d do so at the expense of your existing connections. Using myself as an example, since meeting and connecting with these great folks, I’ve spent less time with my original confidantes. I’m not even talking about time spent in-person; I’ve just been texting them less because I’m using this time to bond with my new friends. And once I’ve let out whatever’s on my mind, it occupies a smaller space in my mind, and the urge to tell someone (i.e. from my original network) dwindles.

There’s nothing intentional about it – it’s simply that maintaining a plethora of deep connections is not feasible. There’s only so much baggage you can take. It’s simply the anatomy of human socialization.

And I’m feeling burnt out.


I feel like this may be contradicting my men vs women post. Perhaps I should revisit this another day, when it’s a.) not 3am and b.) I’m not starting to drift into unconsciousness.

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BYOQ

I hosted a massive queer party last night and it was probably the greatest event I’ve ever held.

What started off as a small “lez night out” of five queer women quickly escalated to a huge if-they’re-queer-invite-them party of 25+. “Why not meet more gays”, I thought, and my apartment was flooded with gays. There were several gay cliques: the gaysian party crew (from last Saturday), “fandom” gaysians, Twitter gays, and normal white gays with 9-to-5 jobs.

I’m rather sad I didn’t get to bond with the normal white gays – I feel I’d get along with them fairly well. Too bad I was too drunk.

Regardless, I partied hard (so hard) with the gaysians – boy, could they drink and dance. I had such a good time and thank god for friends’ Snapchats or I wouldn’t remember any of it.

We never made it out to the bar – well, we made it out to bar, just not one where we could dance. No cover, we used the washroom and sat outside on the patio, until we decided it was time to grab a burger (and accidentally leave a drunk friend who I didn’t know was with us. Oops. I was wasted. :/ ).

I can confidently cross one thing off my bucket list though. It wasn’t at The Abbey, but I did partake in gay (hungover) brunch at Hair of the Dog. A couple of them stayed over at my place and I bonded so well with them. It’s definitely been a while since the last time I laughed so hard that I cried – these guys were woke af and we shot tumblr-meme jokes at one another like we were at war. It was amazing finding other people who could keep up and I had met one of them only the night before! Bless up.

Anywho, it was an amazing night and definitely one of the greatest parties I’ve ever hosted / been to, queer or not. I’m not sure when I’ll get to host another like this again (we were definitely way too loud and got noise complaints from the neighbours), but this was definitely one for the books. I met and bonded with a buncha queer ladies. Life is good.


<gushing>

There’s a cute girl and I don’t think we’d get along for too long but it’s just so annoying that she’s queer and cute at the same time (latter, specifically to me, cuz all girls are cute) and it’s annoying cuz there’s hope because I think she’s slightly interested in me except she’s sorta seeing someone and I am just…. hnnngghhh.

</gushing>

Confiding over CSBs.

I was out with a friend last night. We’d grown up playing badminton together but were never close because it was “taboo” to be friends with someone from another club. Over the past year or so, we’d talk every now and then and bonded over our love for dry, witty comedy – uncommon amongst the Asians in the badminton community.

On Monday, she shot me a message asking to go for drinks. I enthusiastically agreed and we met up last night at at R&D. I wasn’t sure at that point what the nature of our meeting was, but I went open-minded. And hey, she has great taste in food and I’ve always wanted to try out this Master Chef-owned place*.

* Traditional Chinese plates were hipsterfied at this joint and re-delivered to us Chinese folks (Exhibit A: the “CSB“: BBQ pork buns (“char siu bao”). To their credit, it was delicately delicious and different from the fast-paced dishes served at traditional Chinese restaurants). Of note: we were the only Asians in the entire place, minus one of the chefs. #bamboozled? Nah.

Unsure of what she really wanted to talk about, I played around a little:

She works at a start-up, so I started our conversation talking about the big data industry. I tested the waters, but although she received it well, it wasn’t it. I moved on.

I told her a few of the stories I’d accumulated in the past year, and how they’d started with a YOLO pact, doubled with coming out. She was drawn in and fascinated, reciprocated with questions… but still, it was just me regaling her. Moving on.

I told her about the situational anxiety I had in July, packaged with stories from that month. She bit: “anxiety” was the word. She said she was looking to get help.

All ears, I let her open up and tried to be as safe a space as I could for her. She told me I was the third person outside of her family she’d told. I was slightly taken back, but also honoured. It was a mix of depression and anxiety – she’d yet to figure it out – understandable as these two are often intertwined. Because it was relatively early on, I emphasized how little it’s talked about, especially in the Asian community, pointing to how depression (and stigma) had led our mutual friend’s mother to commit suicide. I encouraged her to get help and counselling – she was waiting for her benefits to kick in.

She also identified with me in overthinking things – although I made sure to point out the danger of doing so and the importance of recognizing the line past which overthinking becomes pernicious.

We talked for holy shit three and a half hours I just did the math.


While with my friend, I texted Liv last night. I was going to send a nice “hey I’m having a queer party as a pre to Crews and you’re welcome to come”, but my friend made me shoot over a more playful text, which may have scared her away. Or she may be playing the “don’t text back right away” game. Either way, if she doesn’t show, that just frees me up for fooling around on Friday.

I’m a catch. And

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The Gaysian Party and the Tall Blonde

“I gotta leave early – I have a gaysian party to go to” is not something I thought I’d ever say. But here we are.

This weekend was a nonstop whirlwind of gayness. It started with brunch with a newfound friend  – one whom I knew from the get-go that I’ll eventually become good friends with, and boy did our brunch sesh affirm that. I suspect she’ll be a recurring character in my life for the next while, so I’ll refer to her as C. Our supposedly hour-long brunch (I had frisbee practice in the park nearby after) started at 11:30am and before we knew it, the cafe was closing up at 4pm. C and I had chatted for four and a half hours, one-on-one, and I wasn’t even the slightest bit bored – which, in complete honesty, is a rarity. I felt no sense to go home, spend my time better… I suspect it may have been because I knew spending time with her was making me better.

Being gay, Asian, and whitewashed (read: constantly feeling diasporic), we had much in common. We learned a lot from each others experiences and views and I really feel like we made each other better. She ranted to me about her troubles, and I, her. The first time I’d checked my watch, it was 2pm – past when I was supposed to be at frisbee – but this was a far more enriching experience and so I decided to stay.

We talked about my growth in July, our goals in life, our social circles and family,… Man, it was refreshing. It was as good as my drunken shit-shooting sessions this past month (maybe better), but sober and in broad daylight (with great food, too). An important part was her building upon my stories with poignant points and a fresh perspective. I semi-reluctantly compared her conversational style to Ghomeshi. She laughed at that.

She’d also brought upon my first case of lesbian incest: this girl that I had met on Tinder whom I’d been hanging out with for five months (!!!) turned out to be hooking up with my new friend… and our timelines overlapped. In fact, my friend considered her an ex-girlfriend, despite only dating for two months. I know we were only platonic and hanging out, but it’s questionable that she never thought to mention either of us to one another. Tinder girl never brought her up and only counted two exes – she didn’t consider C one.

In hindsight, I’d love to say I knew there was a reason why my gut told me I couldn’t trust Tinder Girl #3 completely. But as I told C, she never had much of a personality – she built what she said, based off what I had told her – she knew what to say and how to say it to get someone to like her. For example, she mentioned that she wanted to get a bike and bike downtown when she moved here. At this point, I felt like she was only saying it because she knew I’d be into it. She’s a very agreeable person, but in a way that makes her manipulative. Thanks to this case of lesbian incest and informed cross-analysis, I most definitely know that I cannot trust Tinder Girl #3 from hereon. 

That aside, needless to say, C and I got deep and vulnerable quite fast – whether it’s her being comfortable with me or her being confidant, I’m unsure, but her telling me she’d often feel like something was wrong with herself for always being the one getting dumped. Read with her strong belief that nobody is boring and everyone is interesting at their core (which she unabashedly exhibited with all these deeper conversational inquisitions), I told her it was because she saw complexities in people and was fascinated by them, whereas others, in a society where Tinder and “limitless dating options” are in the back of everyone’s minds, have no patience, ability, nor curiosity to pick deeper into people. I share the belief that people are interesting but only when you get into their core, their knitty gritty, past their guard to their baggage. These words came out of my mouth unfiltered, and I was unaware that she would take it as a compliment. She was delighted to hear them. I’m glad, mostly because I felt I’d been objective.

As we let the cafe close, we hugged goodbye as I had to head down over to the islands to meet up with the planners. I would be seeing her that night anyways for a gaysian party she was hosting.


I had another nude beach day with the planners, but it was with the greater group, including those without bikes… and not including my favourite man-bike-riding, fuck-me-with-your-eyes, bisexual girl. It was great for bonding, and for working on my vampiric stomach skintone, but I was secretly looking forward mostly to the gaysian party that night, as I’d never been to one, nor known one to exist.

And also my frame of reference for nude beach hangouts had been set a pretty high standard after the last time.

I hugged everyone goodbye after sunset and biked home with huge wet stains where my underwear was. Once again I had failed to bring any sort of swimwear to the beach but luckily had matching underwear to go swimming in.


As signal returned to my phone, a friend texted me, asking to go to Cherry Bomb (a monthly queer women dance party) together as her friends were too tired. I told her about C’s pre-party and she said she’ll meet us at the bar in Kensington.

After getting primped up for the night and being careful to only bring one tallboy so as to avoid any sort of hangover the next day (badminton tournament), I walked over to C’s place – just five minutes from me. It was packed with queer Asian women and snap backs – about fifteen of them.

I kept my eye on my phone as my friend told me she was already at the bar, but the night escalated as music got louder and the “board game” we were playing got more intense. Because of this board game, I gave my first lap dance ever, and it happened to be to the birthday girl (it was a half-birthday, half-queer night event). I heard I nailed it. Just sayin’.

By 11pm, we were still at C’s and my friend had been at the bar by herself for almost an hour. I was getting anxious, leaving her alone there (although in my defense, I told her we’d be at C’s for a while) but despite my best efforts, the group decided last minute to go to Crews instead. I felt terrible for being unable to reroute them to Cherry Bomb… so I ditched the group and went to meet up with her in Kensington.

And it was such a good decision.

We ended up dancing the night away. I recall looking around on the dance floor as I danced, eagerly wishing I had the gumption to make a move on the girls I was dancing with. I danced fairly closely with many of them, but I just could not bring myself to make out with them.

As I was giving up and ready to call it quits at 2am (I had to wake up in time for my tournament the next day), I had just started dancing with a tall blonde chick in a skirt and she was killing it. We danced and chatted a little but I couldn’t bring myself to make a move. I looked over at my friend, who was occupied with her own girl – I couldn’t leave now.

I gave her a little longer with that girl, before I decided I couldn’t go on for too much longer. I was certain I’d already be breaking my promise to my doubles partner not to be hungover and the least I could do was send myself off to bed. Reluctantly, I told the blonde I was dancing with that I had fun with her but I had to leave… but that I also wanted to kiss her. I went in for the cheek, but she turned her head real quick and we locked lips. I pulled away shortly, a little surprised, smiled, and went to get my friend.

My friend didn’t end up staying and came with me. For whatever reason, the blonde grabbed her friend and left, tailing us, but we parted ways at the bottom. As she walked away, I stared after her, smiling to myself.

She turned and looked at me, smiling back.

I must’ve yelled “come to Crews next Friday” or something because we made half-assed plans dangerously hinging on serendipity and chance. My friend said “we should’ve gotten their numbers” and something in me snapped.

YOLO.

Carpe diem (noctum). 

Just do it. 

“Fuck it.”

And before I knew it, my feet were running in the blonde’s direction. Reaching them, I blabbered, “probably the biggest regret in life is not getting a girl’s number”.

And bam, we exchanged numbers. My friend caught up and she got the other girl’s number.

I can’t believe I had the balls to do it. But I’m happy with my YOLOing and gumption. Because, really, life is too short to be left wondering “what if”.

Her name is [-].


I’m hosting an open-invite queer party/pre-drink at my place this coming Friday, and I’m planning on inviting Liv and her friend. C and Tinder Girl #3 are also invited, as are July and the French girl. It’s going to be one big queer fest.

I’m excited and slightly nervous. But I feel so goddamn vorfreude‘d.

Beer Olympics, New Queer friends, Getting Set-Up, and a Gay Night Out

This past weekend was the third annual Muskoka Weekend with the planners. Forecast called for thunderstorms, but that didn’t deter us from coming up to our buddy’s home and continuing the tradition. Boy, were we prepared, tarps and all.

Myself and a good friend of mine (whom I’d made a YOLO pact with last year) were stuck waiting for our friend who was in a meeting in Simcoe for two hours. He’s one of a few who I connect well with but he’s been a little MIA recently because he’s wrapping up his Masters. We spent the two hours catching up at an outdoor gym-park, chatting about how much we’ve grown and stepped outside of our introverted comfort zones. We’ve both made progress in our own ways – him, with more hookups/relationships and learning to be more detached from his strict African parents; Myself, well, if you’re reading this… y’know. T’was a nice beginning to the start of a fantastic weekend.

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Beauty of a tarp set-up to shield us from the rain.

Because of Rio 2016, a couple of geniuses in our group came up with the theme of this year’s getaway being The Beer Olympics. We even had the costumes and outfits for Team Bostwana, Tonga, Barbados, and Refugee.

We also kept beer tabs on our improvised beer necklaces. I tabbed seven over roughly half a day – the MVP clocked 13. Nobody knows how he’s still alive.

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Beer Golf – get the golf ball into the Red Solo cup!

The weekend comprised a lot of drinking, eating, swimming, and smoking (I tried a cigarillo for the first time and learned that these things were surprisingly hard to find!). I smoked a bit too much weed and realized this when I went to grab something from my tent and had an existential crisis for five minutes. But when I came back out, myself and another friend couldn’t stop laughing for a good hour. Midnight skinny-dipping sobered us right up.

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Beer necklaces – crushed seven tall boys in six hours.

The best part was it being a much-needed mental detox from the city. I’m ecstatic to be back in my home and to shower, but being away from social media and the responsibilities of everyday life was healthy break.

On the car ride home, I couldn’t help but feel an intense appreciation for the friends I’ve made and stuck with. I made them prior to confronting and challenging my introversion, so I’m definitely lucky to have been included from early on. I can’t imagine a life without such a supportive, well-rounded group.


 

The Thursday before I left for Muskoka had been a very rushed day – I don’t recall sitting down for more than 15 minutes that day. But some things are worth mentioning as I sense they’re seeds for future occurrences. First:

Without putting too much faith into it, I sense a strong friendship with a new friend beginning.

I was supposed to go to a queer film fest reception with her after my ultimate frisbee game that night. After biking back from Sunnybrooke Park in the rain, I noticed she’d stopped texting me and hadn’t confirmed meeting up. She ended up having to call it off as she had things going on in her family. I initially suspected (without malice) that it was maybe an excuse as meet-ups without confirmed details are more prone to flopping, per my experience. But it was the complete opposite of it.

Family shit is happening.
I’m a total mess right now.
I don’t think I’ll be able to pull myself together for this

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed to talk. The empathy (and I suspect the guilt from bailing last minute) opened her up to confiding in me about her sibling who was transitioning and the strain that that was putting on her family. Her family also being Chinese, I could empathize with how hard it must be.

I stood around for the following 45 mins, in half-finished make-up, texting with her. I hadn’t texted in such a back-and-forth and consistent fashion with anyone like that in a while – it seems we just don’t have the time or attention span. She lives just down the street from me and it did cross my mind that perhaps I should’ve asked her to meet up for fro-yo or drinks. I ended up deciding against it as this was an opportunity to start packing for the weekend getaway I was leaving for in less than eight hours – yup, that’s the silver lining in not going to the reception. It was a bit of a push anyway, but I knew then that this was someone I could connect with and potentially be good friends with.


Second:

On the same night, a friend of mine texted me:

Hay. Want me to set you up with my hot friend

Laughing, I (carefully) let my curiosity show. It was almost 11pm after all and there was a good chance she was drunk. She’s the type where at any given moment, there is a 40% chance that she is hungover. It increases to 85% on weekends.

But she was sober and sent me pictures. Yes, physically, she is a bombshell, but my attraction is overwhelmingly weighted towards emotional beauty (TM) – I can’t be attracted to someone without knowing their backstory, their passions, their personality. She said she’d tell me more about her in person on the weekend.

What I got out of it (we were discussing this while drunk/high) was that she was new to girls and that she wanted to try it out. My friend showed her pics of me, she said I was cute, and that’s when she texted me.

At this point in my life, I don’t think I’d go out of my way to date. I have other things I can be working on and dating just doesn’t seem like a priority. By other things I mean working with the Mayor’s office on a revitalization project, working with TVO on an upcoming documentary, on my big data career… I have several passion projects going on and I just don’t know if I can handle having someone in my life right now.

I’m open to it, should She come along, but I wouldn’t seek Her out deliberately.


I was off my phone for the whole weekend (okay, I might’ve checked Twitter once or twice), but was happy to come back to a new group convo chat with a queer friend whom I’d met at an LGBT volunteer fest. She’d sent out a call for a gay night out. For what it’s worth, the girl whom I’d asked out on a nondate (let’s call her July in posts from hereon) was also in the chat – our mutual friend doesn’t know what happened between us – but it didn’t affect me one bit. If anything, I was glad to have someone in addition to the mutual whom I knew.

I took the opportunity to put out a call to recruit queer women on my queer ultimate frisbee team – hook, line, and sinker, I managed to entice two to join.

Oh right, I’m also on a queer co-ed ultimate frisbee team this fall. My gay is levelling up.

Having things to look forward to really tickles my vorfreude.

Being funemployed has blessed me with a lot of much-needed freedom, but this coming week feels very unstructured. Instead of planning for it, I’m going to spend the rest of tonight prioritizing things for the coming week.


Note: I bought a men’s Jack and Jones vintage plaid shirt from the thrift store on Thursday – I finally own flannel like a real lesboon. Paired with sweats and a snapback, I’d never felt gayer than I did in my outfit today. 

An Unexpected Bond 

Three Friday nights ago, I received a notification from Twitter that a friend of mine had replied to a tweet I’d sent earlier. I was at a bar with a friend, wasted, and I’d completely forgotten Twitter existed. So naturally, my drunken self scrolled through briefly before coming across a French artist’s tweet about a party in her neighbourhood, which I was in at that time – she’s a “tumblr-famous” artist whom I’d met during Pride – and I decided to mash together words on my keyboard, which translated to asking her to hang out over a couple of beers. I was four shots and four pints and  the concept of a “bad idea” did not compute. I threw my phone number into the twittersphere, and quickly got a text from her suggesting I should probably take it down. And I recall admiring how right and smart she was about that – I was that drunk.

Somehow, I managed to meet up with her after drunkenly skidding around with my friends on our bikes in Kensington Market. After a bit of a kerfuffle as it was post-last call, we ended up chilling at the park. Boy, did we connect. I know I was spewing stories at her, but despite being drunk, I had a pretty good sense of balance when it came to listening vs talking and she gave me her fair share of stories. We ended up staying there til 5am, well after my friends took their leave.

I don’t remember much, but I had fun. I wasn’t sure how she felt about it until a week after when she tweeted at me out of the blue about how we should do it again.


Last Friday night, I drunkenly tweeted at her once again, and she, by whatever miracle, came out once again. As per usual, it was post-last call and we ended up going back to her place and sat on her rooftop drinking her beer and shooting the shit about life. The biggest difference between our initial hangout and this one was that the nondate had happened in between and I’d had time to collect my thoughts. I bounced my ideas off her (or at least I think I did? It got a bit blurry after we sat down) and I also vaguely recall going deeper this time – I recall her telling me her own stories and upbringing, and me elaborating on why I thought she was a good person, my trust issues,  our introversion, and my insatiable desire to not be seen as a “Successful Lesbian“, but rather, a Successful Person who Happens to be a Lesbian. Words make a huge difference – I refuse to be defined by my sexuality. I also told her about my public seating project, wherein my group got tapped by the Mayor of Toronto to work on an upcoming project – she found that impressive and recalled her own experiences with the lack of public seating in this city, compared to that of France.

I also remember emphasizing that I didn’t follow her “tumblr-famous” online group of queer women as closely and fanatically as most people – I was very conscious of not mixing myself in as an obsessive fan. I mean, right off the bat, I did confess to her that I wasn’t a fan of Carmilla (and it appears every lesbian with a Twitter account is obsessed with it). In hindsight, I don’t know why it was so important to me that she knew I wasn’t a tumblr-intensive person. I wanted her to understand where I was coming from – somewhere different, not from the internets, but from the real world. I don’t know.

It’s a bit of a blurred line; On one hand, I feel that I most certainly connected with her – I’m quite good at connecting with fellow introverts and she’s very fun to talk to. On the other, perhaps I also enjoyed her company this much from a combination of 1.) being absolutely wasted and 2.) her knowing the girl I’d asked out and being able to console/understand/validate my hypotheses of July’s occurrences and where I was coming from.

Alcohol blurs my memory but whatever we discussed lasted three hours and the sun was once again rising by the time I entered the door to my own home.

…Regardless, all I know is that she’s a great person to talk to. It’s nice connecting and having an emotionally rich bond with a queer woman over beer. It’s very nice. And it’s not something I take for granted.

So it’s a damn shame that her work visa is expiring and she has to leave the country soon. I’ve been owing her a beer since I met her so I plan on doing this again at least once, before she leaves. Beer is not a currency to fuck wit.

Men vs. Women

Women generally form tight bonds with a consistent group of people. Friends they’ll always call, someone they’ll always rely on, the same group of ladies they’ll meet for brunch at least twice a month. Their social network is small but strong, and the connection is deep.

Men, on the other hand, have much larger social networks. Acquaintances made from networking, a game of pickup basketball, etc. They’re quick to become beer buddies with a dude they’d met at a baseball game the other week. Their networks are much wider, but less deep.

Because of this, men are better equipped to receive career opportunities and referrals. This article (although not my original source, which I do not recall) explains it well, but essentially, the conclusion is that professional referrals are more dependent on shallow networks – by count, you are more likely to draw from a long list of people you know just well enough who won’t harm your reputation. It doesn’t take a lot to be forwarded an internal posting, believe me, especially in the private sector. Beyond reading articles on excelling as a woman in the workplace, I can anecdotally attest to this from my own set of friends.

Now, as for me, I’m a great networker. Not “for a woman”. I’m a great networker. Period.

I spoke to this a lot in my earlier posts when I first started this blog. I wasn’t always this way – I was an introvert deep in my comfort zone but forced myself into the uncomfortable process of becoming a professional networker out of necessity.

My success in becoming one is certainly somehow linked to being fine with having a wide but sparse network. Like men, I cast my net far and wide, but only have a few core people (“confidantes”, I’ve been calling them here) who I can personally trust. I’m fine with having many, weak relationships (I got comfortable with it as I began rapidly developing my professional network) but never invested too much time in building a consistent circle of friends. I’m lucky to have the planners.

To make things more complicated, my interests are all over the place – I’ve never met anyone with the same collective set of interests and tastes as me. Take my music taste for example: my favourite bands are Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, the Zolas, and I’ve been getting into some Carly Rae Jepsen recently. I’m also always down for Ace of Base and Venga Boys (mostly when I’m drunk), but I also know every lyric to Dance by Nicki Minaj and Big Sean (I’m not proud).

What I’m trying to say is that I don’t have a typically-female social network, nor a social network that encompasses my own interests.

Anyway, this was a long, roundabout way of explaining why I feel like I don’t fit in any one place.

 

She’s in my nude beach bike gang.

I ended up going on an impromptu trip to the island with the planners today. I didn’t realize when I set out as I was too hungover and must’ve skipped over that detail in the text, but a crush of mine came out too.

We hadn’t seen each other since that last time I almost made out with her I puked and she took care of me late last year. I was a walking disaster. She’d gone backpacking for a few months, during which I had some pretty good, in-depth conversations on Messenger with her, so I was fairly excited to see her today. We’d all brought our bikes and it felt real rad speeding through the islands with my friends. She rides a men’s road bike and I find that so endearing.

We ended up going to a nude beach and I hadn’t brought my bathing suit, so off my shirt and pants went. I had an amazing time with the planners (although, as I am, there were certain times when I longed to be at home. I had to remind myself during these times that yes, being social is emotionally taxing, but very much worth it in the long run).

It wasn’t until around the fifth hour when I was finally left alone with her and we were able to talk one on one. Lately, I’ve had a heightened sense and desire to connect with people on a deeper level. It’s far more fulfilling for me, gets my blood running, and my soul excited. She is someone I’ve felt I’ve been able to connect with – she’s also a social-justicey type and they are my kryptonite I connect particularly well with these people.

Despite our solid conversations, I was a little heartbroken that she wasn’t as perfect a listener as I had remembered. Yes – perfect. But it does get a little blurry, as with most people you don’t see too often, whether this detail was from memory or an ideal. I think of myself as a perfect listener – I rarely interrupt and when I do, it’s to add on or to press people in a direction that would make them think and deepen the conversation – I like to draw things out of people that they otherwise would not tap into. I’m also highly observant of mannerisms – where your eyes are when I’m talking, if you seem distracted, if you’re into what I’m saying. Anyhow, she seemed a little on edge while we were together. Perhaps it was because of the weed and booze. I didn’t get to finish all my stories and often the ends were left dangling as she thought of a relevant experience or she let herself be absorbed by something else happening in our surroundings. That being said, I felt I shared a sufficient amount with her, and her, with me. I told her about my personal struggles and growth in July, and she confided in me her struggles as a pansexual person who passes as straight and has a boyfriend. We talked about the importance of having a queer group of friends, how unfit we felt in our straight circles, and the ridiculousness of the gender binary.

I really enjoyed spending time with her. At one point, she announced that she felt very comfortable and at ease around me, and that she suspected I felt the same way around her. I smiled and nodded.

Oh, but she’s a flirt. She can be dangerous. As someone in a monogamous relationship with a straight dude, her advances and my consequent feelings can spell trouble.

Silly me – even knowing this, I couldn’t help but feel a bout of joy when she decided to lay her head on my legs.

And I noticed when we hugged goodbye, as her hands unwrapped from me, I felt them caress my upper stomach.

And her eyes. Her flirtatious demeanor. Good God.


Today was also a good day. None of us ended up going out to the dance party as we were exhausted from swimming and biking all day, but I’m not even mad. Today was a good day to be social.

It was also a bit of a mini-gayvictory for me when I realized not ten minutes before starting this post that straight people comprised a minority in our bike gang – two out of seven, to be precise! I love when the tables turn.

Today was a good day.

Today was a good day.

I stayed winning.

  1. I nailed my final exam while everyone else came out crying. I was one of three people who got to and worked out the final answer. Strong arm emoji.
  2. I hit a grand slam (???) at softball today. I was one of very few on our team who had ever done so. An impressive feat for anyone, and even more so for a girl. Strong arm emoji.
  3. I finally found and bought Albert Camus’ The Outsider (aka The Stranger) at a second hand bookstore, followed by a quick drop to the record store where I got Xenia Rubinos tickets. I plan on spending tomorrow in the sun reading this book. Sunglasses emoji.
  4. I had some micro-moments throughout the day whereupon I realized how dope I am. Strong arm emoji.

Today was simple, but it was a good day.

Vorfreude.


On that note, today was the last day of my summer course. I am free, until I begin my job hunt but I plan on taking my time with that.

For now, I plan on doing me. i.e. I plan on drinking away the next four days (nights). Thurs: ultimate frisbee followed by shooting the shit over a couple beers with a friend; Fri: End-of-course party at mine which will probably end up at the Maddie; Sat: Dance party at a friend’s (a friend’s girlfriend is hosting, so I’m hoping to meet new people here); Sun: A friend is having an EP release party.

I’m excited.

It will be a good weekend and an excellent bang to start August off with.

Strong arm emoji.

Stranger Things (and more).

At the behest of many, I began Netflix’s latest original series, Stranger Things. Essentially, it’s a sci-fi series set in the 80’s about a boy in a small town who goes missing and the mysterious, supernatural things that unravel soon after. It’s received praise left, right, and centre on Twitter.

I found it… alright. It wasn’t anything compelling.

But what stuck out to me this time around was how unrelateable it all was. Growing up in a small town in the woods… I can’t relate. I spent my childhood in Hong Kong. I also spent part of it in the the suburbs of Toronto, but for the most part, I couldn’t relate to these characters. I felt that, beyond the plot, there was an intentional nostalgic element to the cinematography in this series that pulled the average North American viewer closer. And it didn’t do it for me.

Or perhaps I’m just trying to figure out why I’m not head over heels about it. Perhaps I’m overthinking.


Side note: I do feel much better now. The past month of July has been a cloudy haze of emotions. I learned a lot about myself (I overthink and I need my friends more than I would’ve expected), what to be careful of (e.g. falling for an idealized version of someone vs. the actual person), and what I have to work on (I was going to write “letting my walls down” but nah b, I couldn’t let my walls down to that girl because we just didn’t click and my subconscious sensed that. I’m dope.). 

After being in a bad place for so long and rising back to my normal state, I’ve a renewed appreciation for the place and skin that I’m in. I’m an interesting person up to dope-ass things with dope-ass taste in music, art, and film and I make the world a better place, and I mean every word of that.

A variation of this came on my Twitter dashboard the other day:

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August, I am ready.