Since high school, which was around 10 years ago, I found myself embracing solitude. I’ve only hung out with “friends” a maximum of 6-7 times in those past 10 years. Now, I’m 24 (not in contact with any classmates or friends from the past) and have never had/made calls to any friends except for a very few family members and fellow Toastmasters. All my written communications involve Toastmasters members and my online friends I’ve met on Reddit. What about family? Very little.
Come to think of it, I wished I would receive texts such as “Hey. What’s up?” or “What are you doing this weekend?” from friends as we see on TV or movies. But, now I feel like that’s meaningless because I’ve found places and people online with whom I can share my life, my story and my experiences.
One of these places is Toastmasters. What it has done for me is incredible. Normally, I have never been able to communicate openly with any of my family members because they either don’t care, think whatever I write is useless or don’t even try to listen to my side of my story. Since joining Toastmasters, I’ve given a couple of speeches so far, which reflect my true self and I’m glad to have shared it with such an amazing group. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to contribute my story and my very soul to those who actually care. Each meeting everyone learns something new and we are a group who works well together, knows how to have fun and also knows how to remain professional. We are serious in what we do, but the key is meeting people. Toastmasters allowed me to meet people of all ages with their own strengths, weaknesses and stories. That’s what I love about it and will cherish those memories forever. The strength to go on, even during many stressful work days, cane not from family but from Toastmasters. I practically owe my growth to Toastmasters. I’ve been an introvert all my life and I feel like I’ve become a little more sociable. I’m interacting more often with people, be it verbally or through writing. I’m seen as more loud and confident, not quiet and fearful. I show my true colors to those who deserve it and my Toastmasters group certainly deserves the best. A huge thank you to them!
I’ve found a few friends on Reddit. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, Reddit allows you to be heard and people actually comment on your posts or message you directly. Let me step back a bit and get to Reddit later. On Facebook, I’ve felt lonelier than before. I am glad I’m out of the “Facebook” zone as it has done nothing to improve my behavior, lifestyle or skills. I dislike seeing people posting how wonderful their lives are. It is all a mess for those who don’t have all that joyous activity constantly surround them. To avoid the issue altogether, I decided it’s best to just get to the root and stop visiting the site. Ok, LinkedIn, I am surprised. I thought I was going to see articles on growing professionally, yet I see people showing off themselves and how they helped a homeless person. Why share the story in the first place? If you did a good deed, why do you feel you need to share it? That ruins the purpose of the deed. Seriously that pisses me off. I want to avoid LinkedIn altogether as well. Fortunately, you just need to stop seeing certain posts so I have gradually gotten into the habit of doing that.
Back to Reddit. Reddit has a place for everyone. You won’t feel left behind. I wish I had joined the community earlier as you get to discuss hot topics in society, connect at a more personal level with people who actively post and read up on interesting thoughts you never knew about. You may even find someone who is just like you. Now, you think someone is popular? Well, they won’t be on Reddit. Everyone’s treated as an equal. Facebook or LinkedIn? Get out. Yes, they are sucking the life out of you. Don’t read certain posts but just move on.
If you ever feel like you need family and real friends to make you feel happy, remember that is not the case. You can find happiness elsewhere. Everyone says you need those people in life. But, in the end, it’s you who needs to lead a fulfilling life. You live your life for yourself and not for others. You find that person who loves you, supports you and cares for you. Don’t be blinded by others. Don’t let others intervene with your goals, hobbies and anything else you’d like to accomplish.
The funny thing is, we have leaders in our community who think they are great. Yet, they can’t even properly respect or support the person next to them. Why don’t they ever learn? Perhaps you may know of these people. Just a thought I thought I’d add to this post.
It’s been a long day and another one awaits us tomorrow! Until then, take care and be awesome! Thank you for reading. 🙂
Cover image credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/stefanstefancik/