Meeting People Is Easy - 01.24.00

Although I don't think that I'm going to make resolutions this year as I have in years past, I am going to push myself at about the same rate that I have been to get as much output and input (intellectually speaking) as I have been over the course of the past year. In terms of getting things done in my life and becoming more well-informed, it was probably the best year ever for me. As sort of a side bonus, I'm probably even in the best shape of my life right now due to a change of diet several months back and crazy amounts of physical activity nearly every day. It's a good way to offset all the damn computer time.

Getting back to the point, instead of setting a bunch of guidelines for myself at the beginning of the year, I'm just going to make things up as I go along and try my best to accomplish those. I'll be picking out little things about myself that I feel I need to change or make different and then motivate myself to make the appropriate changes to meet them. I have a little quote on a piece of paper stuck to the door of my apartment that says, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self." It's one of the least-silly, straightforward motivational quotes that I've ever read (I really have no idea where it came from originally), and I really do believe it. Really, it's something that I not only believe for myself, but think that if everyone else sort of abided by it as well (and spent a lot less time worrying about others), things would be a lot better off.

Now that I've gotten off-course again (which I somehow manage to do a lot in my writings), I must get back to my original point in that I did come up with a little thing about myself that I wanted to change, and set a small (fairly achievable) goal for myself in hopes of enacting a bit of change in my social skills.

More specifically, I don't like how often times am far too shy to start conversation with people. Many times, I see people a couple times over the course of one week in my town, but instead of introducing myself, I usually end up putting my head down and continuing with my activities. I figure, if I end up seeing someone (in a town of going on 200,000 people) a couple different times in the course of only a few days, we must have at least a few things in common.

The idea that I came up to remedy this whole situation is that I'm going to introduce myself to at least one new person every week. I don't have to start a deep, life-affirming chat with them or much of anything else, but my goal is that I actuallly single out one person that I've never talked to before in my life and exchange names and enough words that I feel like I could talk to them again given the situation. It's not that I'm trying to force myself out of being somewhat shy or even that I feel like not talking to people is something bad that I do. The main reason behind it is that there really are a lot of interesting people out there, and over the course of years of ducking my head and not saying anything, I've probably missed out on some interesting conversations and possibly even someone that would become a friend.

The one stipulation that I set for myself is that it has to be a person that I've seen at least two or three times within a fairly reasonable amount of time and the assumption that they've seen me at least one of those two times. I'm not going to force an introduction on someone that I've never met, knowing that it would not only be far too uncomfortable for myself, but for them as well. I also want to make sure it's been a fairly short amount of time in between times I've seen them as the words, "Hey, I'm so-and-so, I saw you about 7 months ago at that one music store" might seem kind of stalker-ish.

It's been two weeks since I came up with this plan and I've managed to keep up my goal so far. With one person, the discussion was really nothing more than the exchange of names and them asking me whether I was homosexual or not, while the other person that I talked to discussed a bit of music with me. Although nothing too deep was discussed and I doubt that I'll talk to either person much in the future, I do know two more persons names and won't feel so inclined to keep walking if I see them.

Now, if I can just introduce myself to the girl that I've been seeing around quite often.