Painful Encounters For The Socially Awkward

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Just a public service announcement on behalf of all socially awkward people:

If I know you well, little, or even not at all, and we are walking past each other, please know that it is 100% A-Okay to just say “hi”, or smile, or maybe not even acknowledge me at all as we pass by. Why? To avoid the unnecessary two-second conversations I always find to be painfully awkward.

1: “Hi.”
2: “Hi! How are you?”
1: “Good! How are you?”
2: “I’m good.”

Now that is how these two-second conversations are normally supposed to go. For me, they usually go like this:
Me: [Smiles]
Other: “Hi, how are you?”
Me: “I’m good.”
Other: “That’s… good.”

Look, it’s not that I don’t want to know how you are, but we are literally just passing by each other and I never feel like there is even enough time to ask you how you are also doing because by then you will have already passed by me and let’s face it, you are probably going to say something along the lines of being “good” or “fine”.
Again, it’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I feel like I’ve missed the window to ask it back to you out of politeness. And then after we’ve passed by each other, I always end up feeling rude for not asking it back, because that is how these social interactions go. There are cues.

But often I find this to be even more painful:
Me: [Smiles]
Other: “Hi, how are you?”
Me: “Good, how are you?”
Other: “Good!”
Me: [What do I say now?! Do I just leave it there? Was that the end?]

And for whatever reason there are also times where we’ve both asked how the other is doing and we still have not yet passed by each other. What then?!
I most definitely know that I am overthinking this (I am writing a blog post about it for crying out loud), but let’s be real; the least awkward way of passing by a little known acquaintance when you have no time for a chat is to each just say hi to each other and leave it at that.

Recently I had quite the embarrassing encounter that I’m sure will make me cringe for several days. You see, like many people, I work in a big building for a big company that has a LOT of employees milling around. Often there is this one quiet hallway that I frequently walk through in the back of house area where people who are fellow employees – who I’ve usually never seen or met before – will sometimes pass by. If I pass by someone I don’t know, I usually either just smile or just look busy if they look busy.
But recently this one guy passed by me who I decided I would look down and not acknowledge as I pass by, simply because I had never seen him before and he looked to be in a rush. But at the very last second, literally as he passed by right next to me he said, “Wazzuuuuup!”
And because I am by no means witty in any shape or form and I have strange reactions, my instinct was just to say, “wazzuuuup!” right back at him in the exact same high-pitched tone as him.
Just imagine that. A one-second encounter where two strangers are just going, “Wazzuuuuuppp!” to each other. Yeah. I immediately cringed as soon as I said it and vowed to bury myself in a hole afterwards.

Also another interesting encounter was by a coworker who is now a good friend and thank goodness we’ve passed that weird stage. He’s from the UK and when I first met him I didn’t know that asking “are you okay?” is the UK equivalent of asking “how are you?” in Australia. So every time he saw me he would say, “Are you okay?” And I’d ask, “Why…? Do I look tired or something?” and he would reply with something like, “Oh, just wanted to know how you’re doing.”
You would think my brain would connect the dots but honestly this same conversation happened a few times until I had an epiphany of sorts. There was one girl who also used to work with me who was also from the UK and she always asked me, “are you okay?” but I always replied with a simple “yeah”. Because I guess she always used to ask me this when we were busy. I assumed she thought I always looked flustered or overwhelmed.

Let’s just hope that the encounters I classify as socially awkward are really just in my head and that the other person doesn’t feel the awkward eternally emanating from me.

August 2016 playlist

Long time, no talk! Here are the tracks I’m digging at the moment.
Spoiler alert: there is no Frank Ocean on account of not having his album just yet!

  1. “Oceans” by Seafret
  2. “Cold Water” by Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MO
  3. “Twice” by Catfish and The Bottlemen
  4. “Body Say” by Demi Lovato
  5. “Drive” by Oh Wonder
  6. “West Coast” by Coconut Records
  7. “Papercuts” by Illy feat. Vera Blue
  8. “Boom” by Major Lazer feat. Too Many People
  9. “Toothbrush” by DNCE
  10. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey
  11. “Ease” by Troye Sivan feat. Broods

Small end note: I saw Troye Sivan live not too long ago and his performance and engagement with the audience just shows how REAL you can be on stage, no matter how big you get! He pulled a lot of things out from the crowd, including a cut out of himself stolen from an Optus store, and lettuce, which he also tasted. Lol. Also took someone’s phone from the crowd and took a ton of crowd selfies! That has only been a dream of mine.

 

Square

Ironically written just a minute ago while I have a research report due tomorrow and have not started!

Get me out of here,
My eyes don’t see anything.
When I said I wanted to create
this is not what I meant.

The amount of time guiltily wasted
yet still goes more enjoyed.
Doing all the things I didn’t want to do,
to avoid the thing I hate most.

You judge us on this ability
that you force us to spit out.

How can this be a true sign of talent or skill
If it’s done
so unwillingly?

September 2014

1. “My Number” Foals
2. “The Ghost Inside” Broken Bells
3. “Oceans” Coasts
4. “Evil” Interpol
5. “Ruby” Kaiser Chiefs
6. “Golden Skans” Klaxons
7. “Out of Mind” Magic Man
8. “Kids” Mikky Ekko
9. “Get Free” Yves Klein Blue
10. “The Dynamo of Volition” Jason Mraz
11. “Neon” John Mayer
12. “Cinema” Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go
13. “She’s My Winona” Fall Out Boy
14. “Piledriver Waltz” Alex Turner
15. “Ghost Story” Coldplay
16. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” Death Cab For Cutie
17. “Yamaha” Delta Spirit
18. “This Old Love” Lior
19. “Jive Babe” Mikhael Paskalev
20. “Magic” Coldplay

Live and Mobile

The strangers you walk past everyday
are all complex human beings.
With pasts and futures,
life experiences and places to go,
internal battles
and wondrous triumphs.

But you walk past them everyday
without realizing.

You glance at them
momentarily
and forget them forever.
Someone you now hold close
was one of them,
just like you are
to a million other people;
– a stranger.

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She looks past her desktop screensaver
to a better life –
Last night’s rain
clinging lumpy brown mud to her fading red gumboots,
the guilty pleasure of hearing the sludge,
squishing and squirming
at every step.
Still squinting through her sunglasses
from the glaring sun reflecting tenfold off the metal poles
that held up the shade for the Mix Up tent stage.

Music-lovers,
chasing the sound of sweet melodies and tuning guitars,
Like curious dogs
following the waft of barbecued meat.
The gathering of sweaty bodies,
Jumping in unison,
the odd accidental elbowing
or landing on someone else’s foot.
Craning her neck above the flower crowns
to watch the lead singer bound off the stage,
And lose his shoe to a crowd surf.

People ambling closer as their sound catches wind
and drifts toward strangers hundreds of metres away.
Gradually losing personal space,
but quickly gaining friends.

She didn’t care
about the zero left in her account,
or her rain-soaked duffel bag
with stale clothes inside.
She didn’t care
for her lack of sleep
or the due dates
awaiting her return.

All she cared about was
the live music,
the atmosphere,
the exotic food,
this carefree music festival
that was the most convenient getaway
from her so-called ‘life’.
She didn’t know until then
that that was not her life.

This, here –
This is living.

September playlist

1. “Pull Me Down” Mikky Ekko (Ridiculously obsessed with this song right now, I’ve had it on repeat for days!)
2. “I Got” Young The Giant
3. “Heavenfaced” The National
4. “Elephant” Tame Impala

5. “Global Concepts” Robert DeLong
6. “Stubborn Love” The Lumineers
7. “Yet Again” Grizzly Bear

8. “Resolution” Matt Corby
9. “Riptide” Vance Joy
10. “Heart It Races” Dr. Dog
11. “Obstacle 1” Interpol
12. “Best Day Of My Life” American Authors
13. “Heavy Feet” Local Natives
14. “Short Skirt Long Jacket” Cake (Yes, Chuck’s opening theme!)

15. “Back Seat” Atlas Genius

August playlist!

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these! But I went to the Splendour in the Grass music festival, and I’m just in a permanent musical mood, and I’m also procrastinating, so… why not?! Here’s a playlist, one song from each artist I saw at Splendour.

1. “Pool!” Cub Scouts
2. “Youth” Daughter
3. “Bad Day” Darwin Deez
4. “Resolution” Matt Corby
5. “Babel” Mumford & Sons
6. “Man I Need” Jagwar Ma
7. “I’m Into You” Chet Faker
8. “Deja Vu” Something For Kate
9. “Hang Me Up To Dry” Cold War Kids

10. “Lanterns” Birds Of Tokyo
11. “Alive” Empire Of The Sun (Okay, I HAD to mention this, I was front row and he fricking came down to the audience and stood right next to me, [so close I could touch his butt, what no did i say that no i did not] and he stood there for a pretttty long time, and he was making some really meaningful eye contact with someone near me and very steadily pUT HIS HEADPIECE ON TOP OF HER LITTLE HOMEMADE HEADPIECE AND THEN WENT BACK ON STAGE WHUT. I was on the big screen and everything haha!)
12. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” The National
13. “Mr. Polite” The Jungle Giants
14. “Gasoline” Alpine
15. “Air” Snakadaktal
16. “My Gun” The Rubens

17. “Royals” Lorde (Replaced Frank Ocean who cancelled!)
18. “Breezeblocks” Alt-J
19. “Little Talks” Of Monsters And Men

20. “Carried Away” Passion Pit

New life update

I don’t know how or why this happened, but things are happening for me.

I turned nineteen years old less than three weeks ago, and I feel like a completely different person to the one who was having a nap on the afternoon of her eighteenth birthday, wishing she didn’t have to entertain guests because all she wanted to do was curl up in her bed and sleep.
I simply figured, nothing new has been happening in my life and it’s because I’m not letting anything happen. I’m saying no to any opportunities thrown my way, and I’m not throwing myself into anything new and out of my comfort zone.

So that’s what I’ve been doing these last few weeks. And I didn’t even go into this intentionally, saying yes to everything; it all just fell into place. It all just happened.
My first week back to uni, I was already jam-packed with work to do because my friends encouraged me to write and direct a short film I had on my mind. Basically, I had a week to turn nothing into a written screenplay and pitch in a week.
In that same week, I was given a job interview, and that job.
On a slightly smaller and sillier scale, I think something is progressing romantically. :O
And socially. Because I’ll be going on a trip with friends up north to my very first music festival – Splendour In The Grass!

That was all just last week. Now I’ve come to the end of this week and I am a completely different person. Mostly because of my new job, I think. I seem to feel much more independent and more approachable. Having to deal with customers and tourists all day and being encouraged to approach people and ask if they need help has made me feel less anxious/weird about approaching strangers to talk or ask for something. Even when I was on my break, I was waiting in line at a cafe, and just striked up a conversation with the couple in front of me. You have to understand – this is something I never do. Usually if a stranger randomly talks to me, I just give them a smile and a bit of a laugh. But this time I was actually the one to start the conversation. What? I also find myself just smiling at strangers for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s creepy, but finally having a job is just making me feel independent, and useful.

I’m mostly terrified at the thought of writing and directing a short film, especially because this will be our major work that spans across two trimesters. I could either make or break this, and also make or break my close friendships with the people in my group (I’ve seen it happen to another director). But I’m also excited about this. I always seem to forget about that part. That I’m excited. Mostly because it’s like a dripping tap in the back of my mind, always reminding me that there’s something I need to be working on to do with this short film, and it makes me anxious because I don’t want to screw it up. I’m just really nervous about it because it’s such a big thing, but I just find it crazy how I ended up doing this.

I basically just threw myself in the deep end for pretty much all aspects of my life, and let me tell you, I am exhausted. Yes, it’s only been two weeks, but it feels like it has been two months. All this work to do with the screenplay and presentation, plus working 9 to 5 on all my previously free days…
I’m not going to have a day off for three weeks and then I’ll be going straight to Splendour.

Just to think, two weeks ago going from being unemployed, unambitious, with 4-day weekends every week spent entirely at home, to having a very time-demanding job, being a director-in-the-works, with no days spent entirely at home for at least a month…

IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF MY ADULTHOOD ? :O

07: Favorite cover of your favorite song

As if I even have a favourite song! Just choosing my favourite covers of any song in general.

MGMT – Electric Feel (Katy Perry Cover)

I don’t know why so many people think Katy Perry is a terrible singer. Maybe there’s something completely different about her voice when she sings live, but I think she’s amazing. Having said that, this is actually the only song I have of her, and it sounds nothing like any of her usual songs. What I LOVE about this cover is that it really is a cover – not just another artist playing the same song. That’s what I like about all covers, really.

 

Architecture In Helsinki – Heart It Races (Dr. Dog Cover)

Again, for completely altering the tone and musical arrangement of the song. So summer-y, so beachy, so chilling out on the balcony on a cold Sunday morning with a cup of tea and a good book and a good view. Psst, I like the cover better than the original!

 

Kimbra – Two Weeks/Head Over Heels

It’s a mash up cover of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” and Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Fears” on Triple J. Basically I just love everything Kimbra does. Even covers and arrangements of her own songs are just. Amazing.