A new way of doing things

I was talking with my sister last night, and it made me realize something about my social life. Now, usually, when you think about going out with friends and hanging out, it’s usually a very relaxed get-together sort of ordeal, but for us, especially growing up under our mom and dad, getting to see our friends was more like an event in our lives. We were sheltered growing up, and every time we wanted to hang out with our friends, our parents were less than enthusiastic to take us there. My parents are quite judgmental, and they minded the fact that they have to spend gas to take us to the destinations. So growing up, we were given the impression that asking for a social life was just too much to ask for. Most of the people that I know think about hanging out, and it’s really no big deal, but for us, it is more of a big deal.

I tried to explain this situation to a friend of mine, but my friend just couldn’t comprehend what the issue was. Now, of course, my friend was raised in a different environment, so the outlook is obviously bound to be different and biased. When you’re denied of a social life for a big portion of your formative years, that sort of mentality sticks with you every time you go out. It’s almost like a feeling of guilt; by socializing, it feels like you’re doing something that’s inordinately wrong. And that’s something that I’ve had to live with. So when I say that hanging out for me isn’t a normal thing, it’s my experiences from the past that are speaking as well as the situation I’m in right now living at home in what feels like Forbidden City, China. I did have the pleasure of driving out to see my friend Stephanie a couple of times recently, as well as my friend Lai participate in a billiards regional tournament, but every time didn’t just feel like it was something natural. It was definitely more extraordinary in my lifestyle, since I’m usually closer to home.

So when I went on that cruise with my friends last August, that was part of a doctrine I established for myself. During that whole trip, and even the trip itself, I wanted to do things differently in my life than I had done historically, which was the reason I was much more willing and excited to see all of the sights and sounds and (most importantly) the cuisine of the Bahamas. Everything about that trip, I wanted to do things atypical of the way I would do them if I was just being “me”. So when I went snorkeling on the most beautiful beaches, jetskiing in Paradise Island, playing poker at stakes much higher than normal and consequently losing, it was the part of me that wanted to break free from the routine way of thinking – that what I was doing wasn’t inordinately wrong, but something I earned and worked for a long time to enjoy. And I enjoyed it all immensely; even when I lost at the poker table, it was all in good fun, and for that, I didn’t have any regrets. Granted, some aspects of the trip could have been better, but I got to spend time in a place of the world I had never seen, far from anything familiar, with people I absolutely love being with. And that for me was the best part.

So, my social life is much more episodic, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. If anything, it makes me appreciate my friends a whole lot more. And when you see me constantly on facebook, it isn’t the website I’m addicted to. I just miss you guys! Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be able to reconnect with you all again. Until then, leave some love on my wall =]

– Danny

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