My friends and I decided to hit the computer lab during our free period. (It was 2nd period.) They were talking while I was playing around with Microsoft Paint on the PC. We were in our own bubble. Then the bell rang. And they looked at my computer screen for the first time.
I never liked school. I graduated high school in 2005. And I graduated from college in 2017. A huge gap of 12 years. Because I switched majors from Civil Engineering to Environmental Studies. And I never went to see a counselor. I assumed I took the correct classes. I was always a C-average student. Homework was my priority. It saved me from passing. I hated reading and writing at the time.
I can say this or that. But I wouldn't be where or who I'm at right now. I like reading, writing, and blogging.
This is my communication to you. And this blog is too.
I used to say yes to everyone. Because I wanted to fit in. And I wasn't able to communicate well. I also had difficulty in saying no. I assumed it was a weakness.
For instance, I was one of the first to get a driver's license in my high school. It was a privilege. It was my outer-confidence too.
People came to me for free rides. It was great in the beginning. Then it was exhausting. I was afraid to speak up. I continued going along with the same routine until I graduated from high school.
My elementary school taught me to say no to strangers. And to never talk to them.
If I don't talk to strangers, I'm not able to meet people.
For instance, I met locals and travelers during my solo travel from last year. I met a 40-year-old architect from Belgium, a 67-year-old woman from London, a 55-year-old teacher from France, a 23-year-old student from China, and more.
Everyone is different in their own way. I learned something new from each of them.
We built a bond together. And we accepted our farewells when we parted ways. We communicate each other here and there. It's understanding too. Because we live far away from each other. And we respect our schedules.
My younger-self would only prefer to communicate with women. Because I didn't want to waste my time with anybody else. I was aiming for a girlfriend. I thought I would find one. And I had enough male friends too.
I explain about it in one of my previous blog entries, My Experience with Picking Up Women.
My younger-self believed I must communicate with you 24/7 to show how much I care for you. I was being insecure and needy.
A man escapes from communication.
For instance, his cousin from the Philippines was asking him for money. It's difficult for him to be upfront. And to say no. He believes he won't hurt his cousin if he runs away.
My younger-self would feel pressured in this situation. I would run away from her too. I wouldn't even give her a straight-forward answer.
His cousin sent me a friend request on FaceBook. (It was my first time to meet her.) Because she wanted to contact me.
I'm carrying the man's burden. I told the man I can't lie for you. I'm neutral.
The man decided to contact his cousin. And he told her I can't help you.
Then his cousin begged me for money.
"I'm sorry. I won't be able to help you," I told her.
And I messaged her my blog entry, My Relationship with Money. Then his cousin stopped liking my posts on FaceBook.
My younger-self would be humble to others. Because I wanted something in return.
I continue to be humble to others. And I remind myself to not assume something in return.
Body and sign language is a means of communication. And facial expressions.
For instance, I was waiting at a red stop light until it turned green. A car stopped next to me. I looked at the driver. Low and behold. She was attractive.
Her music was on. Because her head was shaking.
We exchanged looks. I smiled at her. My younger-self would assume this could be love at first sight.
I decided to try to get her number. But her window was closed.
I used my right hand to disguise it as a phone. Right thumb up. And right pinky out.
She smiled. Until someone appeared from seat. It was her man. His seat was inclined. He came out of nowhere. I was surprised and entertained.
My younger-self would be scared. And I would regret it.
He stared at me as he was displeased. I gave him a head nod with a smile. I acknowledged him. He was still annoyed.
Then the light turned green.
Communication can come from observing and scoping others.
For instance, my mom and I were sitting on a wooden bench. We witnessed a blind man walking alone with his white cane as we waited for the ramen restaurant to open.
It was my first time to see a blind person in front of my own eyes. He was able to detect and press the crosswalk button. And he crossed the intersection with ease. I was shocked and amazed.
I was a harsh kid. I wanted everything to be right according to my plan. But it never happened. I would be disappointed and frustrated. It was me against the world.
The blindman never whined and complained. He knew his limits. And he made his adjustments. His blindness didn't stop him from walking alone outside.
It's me and the world. We are in this together. No more comparisons. No more enemies. No more grudges. Because there's more to observe than myself. It's not always about me. And I want to learn more from you.
Communication is the key.