Friday, October 28, 2011

5 Kinds of Friends That We All Need

We all experience in the world differently and each of us has our individual microcosms based on our surroundings. The strongest of these surroundings are the people who we interact on a daily basis, family and friends. While we can't choose our family (for the most part), we do have the choice of the friends to be around. (I'm worried if you don't)

We all need friends to at least keep us sane and not feel lonely. For the most part, most of our friends fall into the social category. I have come up with this list to explain the friends that influence me and those that I depend on for specific roles. I use the word 'need' because I would feel lost without a particular friend filling that role.

Social Friends
Your circle of anyone you've met
Most friends fall into the social category. This is anyone you socialize with. Everyone you meet generally falls into this specification. Social friends are your social life, who you go out with to hang out, have fun, and generally just have a good time.

The Rock
The supportive friend
This type of friend will carry you through your ups and your downs and someone you rely on just to tell you that even when everything falls apart, that it'll be alright. As the term 'rock' implies, this person anchors you down to make sure you don't get washed away in currents of emotion.

The Pragmatist
Hardline realist and general cynic
When your head is in the clouds and thinking you are invincible, it's necessary to get perspective from someone who will shoot your ego (or your morale) down. You will need someone who's honest (optionally: brutal) who isn't afraid to tell you when you're doing something stupid. My friend who fits this role is cynical to a fault, I make sure I don't take what they say too close to heart on everything. You just want a little reality check, not the doom and gloom of the universe.

The Dreamer
Optimist who believes in you
In contrast to the pragmatist, the dreamer believes in you as a person and will support everything you do. This person helps you believe in yourself that no matter how insurmountable something is, they urge you to try it. For me, without my dreamer, I would have given up on a lot of things before I even tried them.

The Catalyst
Someone who transforms you
Catalysts are friends that initiate a change in you to be a different person when you are around them. (Hopefully for the better). Some of the catalysts in my life push me to strive to be more driven and competitive such as classmates and peers who show amazing work. There are friends who are more shy and quiet and that changes me into someone who's more sociable than I normally would with other people. The most important type of catalyst for me is someone who challenges me to try new things everyday and be adventurous.

Although I have split these into categories, this isn't to say that you can't have a friend who fills in more than one of these roles, or even all of them. My point is that you should have at least someone to represent each role in your life. You will need to rely on someone who can fill in each role when certain situations arise when life hits you hard. And it will.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The lost art of conversation

Photo by Carolyn Ryan

I miss the 90s. The days when there were no smartphones/cellphones, tablets, PDAs, etc when electronics weren't so pervasive everywhere in our lives.

As someone who works with computers, technology, and media, I am hard pressed to find respite from the daily maelstrom of technology. I had a realization though as I left my phone somewhere, and was able to enjoy a meal with people, and not being constantly tethered to the internet and the electronic ether. The art of the conversation is sadly a dying art though still an integral skill to daily life. But I can't remember when the last time I've had people fully immersed in reality where there is no crutch (of checking their phone) when they feel like the conversation is dying. I have respect for the awkward pause and lulls in conversation. It is only as awkward as you make it out to be. I'd rather have a lull and pause than have one of the people in the conversation suddenly check their phone for e-mail or whatnot (though I fully admit to having done this before), to avoid gazes or to avoid being in that situation. It's both lazy and i
irrespectful, though I will give the credit that most just use it as an exit strategy.

Sometimes it's good to just be unplugged. To be free from electronic chains and be uncomfortable in trying to talk. I can only choose for myself to unplug myself when I am out with friends, though I hope other people feel the same way and be able to experience just being connected to each other, immersed and fully engaged, and not being connected to somewhere else.

Yearning to connect with people at a deeper level, and yet it seems every day forward it gets harder and harder to do.

Creative work

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Creative work is not for the fainthearted. For every success, there are many more failures. In order to make it out with any semblance of confidence, perseverance is of utmost importance and the single driving factor that will allow a creative be able to weather the onslaught of demoralization.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Living on 9$/hour: The Game

This game was a real eye-opener. It's an interesting approach on teaching (and learning) about the situations that people go through everyday when they're not earning enough. I encourage you to try it, even if you don't learn anything, it's a good experience in seeing a fresh approach to educational games.

Wishing for family

My parents left a few days ago back to Manila and now I'm home alone. I am missing my family especially my sisters and my nephews and nieces.
I made a realization today. It's hard for me to express my feelings to people because I'm used to just hiding them away and not showing it. But when I'm with my sister's kids, even though I'm not always cheerful around them, they still somehow come and make me smile. (They are hilarious. Allen always gives me a WAZAAAAAAAAAP!)

I especially miss my niece Erin. She's still young enough that I can pinch her cheeks. haha. She's also the one who's spunky enough to slap me when I'm asleep and runs away right after she does it.