Monday, November 28, 2011


Sometimes it's difficult to be an individualist. Wait...let me rephrase that. Sometimes it's difficult to just be yourself.


One of my eccentricities is actively losing interest in anything that becomes too popular or too this day I don't know much about Harry Potter, Twilight, Jersey Shore, and the like, and I don't like wearing clothing brands common in my circle of friends, the same gadgets (sans Apple...I am a recent convert,) websites like Grooveshark, and so on. It's preposterous. It's somewhat related to how if someone says you can't do something, it makes you want to do it...or if someone tells you to do something or else and instead you do the total opposite to spite them. Or maybe that's just me..

The only thing I know about this guy is that he is gay and dies somehow.

Anyway, due to this eccentricity and a whole plethora of others I won't get into, I find myself floating around a lot within groups. A lot of it is my fault and I don't really have anyone to blame but myself. I don't like crossing groups...I'm a little too good at compartmentalisation and I like retaining my sense of identity; where I'm defined on my terms on who I am and not the things I do. I'm Asian but decidedly un-Asian...if that makes sense. I dislike FOB culture, as much as I am about Asian empowerment I don't want that to be my "thing," Greek Asians typically only listen to hip hop/r&b and house, and "whitewashed" Asians listen to indie and the like...I listen to both. I find this is a common thread even amongst Aussie Asians. I could go on and on but it's probably an exercise in futility to explain myself...yeah.

When you grow up in the same general area with the same people or end up in the same area as people you went to college with, you don't usually have to concern yourself with making new friends unless there's a fallout of some sort...or if you didn't make friends in the first place. So when you move somewhere where you don't really know anyone, the onus is on you to make friends. Depending on the type of friendship you're looking for, easier said than done.

I don't really talk to any of my high school friends on a consistent basis, but it's easy to pick up where we left off whenever we do. I feel like that's the same for many people. It's part of life I suppose...people go in and out of your life and at some point you find ones who stay. They say college is where you make friendships that last a lifetime. I'm inclined to agree, since it's when you're on your own and you start to really discover who you are...and you have people there every step of the way that can relate. That being said, I hung out with two distinctly different groups in college: TAFers and Lambdas.

Each has served as my family away from home in different aspects and taught me different lessons about myself. With TAF I was able to relate to others going through the same Taiwanese American experience I was experiencing, and with Lambdas I was able to satisfy the craving for brotherhood I desired, seeing as I am pretty much the only boy in the family. TAF and Lambdas each have their own similar shortcomings easy as it is to say you'll keep in touch after an intense week at camp or that brotherhood is eternal, you'll most likely end up only speaking to the people you click with or see on a frequent basis.

In terms of true friendships, they, just like many other friendships are few and far in between. You'll find more often than not many of these are friendships of convenience or out of a feeling of obligation. Let's face it, like a long distance relationship it's hard to keep the fire going when you don't see each other often and have shared experiences.

(I think a lot. A little too much. I fear I may be too self-aware.)

It's always fun to consider whether or not someone you consider a close friend considers you in the same regard. I've come to accept that I'm someone with a lot of different friends/acquaintances, but few close ones. By close I mean life or death situations...this would be like 3 people. Making friends is something you learn to do when you're a part of several organisations...recruiting members, hosting events, networking and so on...but a lot of it is superficial...or I'm just full of crap and over-thinking things.

I've been here over a year now and I can't say I have a group that I hang out with...I'm still floating around. I keep pretty busy and my weekends are generally planned in advance...but the people I hang out with are generally not the same each weekend. When I hang out with people here I don't see or talk to them that frequently, which is a major part of building relationships. Another hindrance is that the majority of people I talk to online are still in the US, because I use Gchat. Australians use MSN. Crazy, I know.

Outside of two people (who are seriously awesome,) I don't really hang out with ex-pats because I'm trying to avoid the ex-pat trap in order to expand my horizons. I consider it to be similar to how Chinese/Korean/etc. people only hang out with their own kind when they're in the US. Ironically they're the two people I see the most and am closest with...and they're also in separate groups. Funny. Maybe it's fruitless to try to expand my horizons.

There are benefits to being on the fringe since you can observe group dynamics and if you were to get involved with anyone it wouldn't be too messy since you're not a really big part of the group. The downside is it's easy to get dismissed because you're not a frequent member of the group. I went to a BBQ today where I knew the host well and only met some of the other attendees once or twice. With those people, talking to them was fine, but for several others you can try to make conversation but end up getting ignored or curt happens. You can't mesh with everyone.

My biggest gripe with trying to make friends as an adult is trying to do it without alcohol. I'm not big on drinking because I have the tolerance of a 10 year old, I become a narcoleptic, and I get beet red which causes people to ask me if I'm okay a little too often. These things are generally unpleasant by themselves, but combined they are not conducive to a good time. I'm not against drinking and enjoy it every now and then, but some people never grow up and think non-drinkers are judging them or that alcohol is required for a good time.

Anyway...I can't really complain about my predicament as a lot of it seems to be self-inflicted as said before. I really enjoy my me time, I love to travel so I can be out of town frequently, I compartmentalise circles of friends and don't mix them (like Google+,) I don't like things that get too popular, I'm not a big drinker, and I don't like to burden others with my problems and prefer to resolve them myself (this post notwithstanding.) It's the problem with being too independent...some people like to feel needed and if you don't let them feel that way around you then you better make sure the time you spend together is a blast. Or maybe I just have issues.

If something were to happen to me here, I'm not sure if there's anyone I would call locally for help.

Scary thought. Maybe it will change soon.

The search continues.


At November 29, 2011 at 9:07 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Does this mean you're not interested in playing Modern Warfare 3? I mean, $775 million in 5 days makes it extremely popular. Mail it back to me, yea?

BTW, giving the first Harry Potter book a shot has to be low-hanging reading fruit for someone who reads as often as you do.

At November 29, 2011 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Howard said...

Yeah I'm pretty ambivalent about MW3...I still have BF3 and I've only played MP once...

I refuse...


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