Saturday, September 01, 2012

Interaction

The loneliest time I've ever been in my life was in 2006, when I just moved to KL from KK. I chose the Master Bedroom in the hostel, which I presumed would help me a little better with mingling with the other two roomates, since you know there'll be two. 

I stepped into the room, and met both of which were Architecture Students, of Chinese race.The first girl that greeted me was from Penang and another was from Kelantan. The first girl, greeted me with a very, what I would call it a 'necessary' smile, the other just nodded at me. It didn't felt like they were REALLY excited to see me, maybe because they've been welcoming different girls every now and then now, I mean who could blame them, the tenants change so frequent. So instead of thinking about it so much, I allowed more time for unpacking trying to avoid whatever communication I had to do with them. 

I was young, in a new place, and I was awkward but I was determined to fix our estranged introduction to friendship.

The first lady moved out the next month though. And the second moved out the following month. And I can't even remember their names now, I remembered coming back from school early just to catch them so that I can "accidentally stumbled upon them" and ask about their day. I was really trying to be friendly. I don't know why. I was a curious kid, everything was new and they could probably be my first few friends. Could.

But it seemed to me, we could never really form a friendship like they do with their friends. I can't just join them for lunch, in fact, I've never even seen them anywhere in college so I dealt with a lot of things alone,  they were always out, and by the time I knew it they were already moving out. I was alone, and the room felt like just another Master Bedroom with one inhabitant, me.

I was the loneliest at that time. My assignments were my friends, I preferred staying back real late, and I began to hang out with all the peoples who were just so different from me. Again, I was awkward. I was determined to believe, that I was the strange one, and I needed the fixing. 

And then, came KY. 

She was a very timid (but tall) lady from Perak. She too was Chinese, she spoke very little English, and there were ripple of grammar mistakes coming out from her mouth (the first I noticed). As little confident as she had with her English, she tried. I broke the ice on her first day and, I asked her what subject she took, and she told me 'Mass Comm'. 

I don't know about you, but EVERYONE thinks people in Mass Comm are 'cool and glamorous', some call it the field the easy way out, there's nothing scientific about it, nothing too information heavy. We are "supposed" to be able to talk in public like it's innate or something, and that we are supposed to be spontaneous and relaxed with whatever situations. We're supposed to be tacky with our words, cool with people and basically, like the life of a party. We're just suppose to be "cool". While I don't have problems with all that plastered on my head, I wish people would know the amount of reading and credibility we go through to say half of the things we said, to convey half the things we are supposed to. I for one, spend a lot on reading, and listening to people, I picked up a moderator like attitude, and I learn a lot of basic interactions, I analysed, learned, and I think I became a social scientist. I don't know about other field, but having people to think you have ABSOLUTELY no problems with all kinds of people and social situations can be really intimidating at times.

And it is not true, do you know the amount of work that goes through in editing and writing, advertising and promotions? Every cent needs justification and the competition in this industry is insane, you either drown yourself by the waves or be a hundred times more creative. And creative, is NOT a walk in a park. Creativity is a subjective study of the people. And we never leave at 5pm.

Because KY (my new housemate) was NOTHING a "Mass Comm" kid was, she couldn't even really looked me in the eyes the first time I talked to her, and she was always so calculative with her words. I saw a very low confident awkward kid. And maybe I saw the first semester me.

And it was true, her first semester was a flunk. She was in culture shock, couldn't adapt to the whole 'college' lifestyle and because everything was in English, she was kind of shy to try either. She failed some subjects.   

Me being me, feeling like I could do something about the situation, eventually walked into the situation. I  had to be subtle, she would be scared of drastic helps. I started giving her all my previous books, told her she didn't have to pay a single cent for any of it, even asked her if she ever wanted to have lunch with me, and even gave all the examples of my previous works to her. Maybe it was me "trying" that made her realise there was someone there who didn't want her to fail anymore. And I didn't, I am sure her parents have paid so much for it, I tried to help her wherever way possible. Go out of my way to help her with some of the things that she was unsure of. I was determined. I never had a good lead when I first reached KL by my housemates, and I wanted to break that "bad lead" chain to my other housemates. I wanted to assist this new girl.

Like her, I moved from a small town to the big city. While I too had trouble adapting, I had one effective thing that pulled me back to earth and it's my family. Mum would call me everyday. Every, single day. Incept me with things like prayers, tell me about all the negative things that were happening around her, like a pre-warning, and I know it is only right to be a good daughter, be a good person and try harder in everything. 

What I'm really trying to say is, everyone, everyone of us needs interaction. May it be human, or with the nature, we strive on interaction, we move on interactions and we hang onto interaction because it is what makes us and living in the world feel real. We need people to tell people that they're loved, we need people to tell us they're there, we need people to tell us that we'd be okay, we even needed plants and human nature to tell us that they can help us as a source of food, as a source of happiness. No one is an island. Or no one should be an island at least. 

I thought about interactions mainly because I just met this dude who has a bit of a speech problem. I was talking to my friends about how little by little, just maybe, JUST MAYBE, he could slowly fix his speech impairment after much practice with other people, and WE can be the "other" people. While I'm not particularly sure about how he got the stuttering, how huge his other "social circle" is, brother told me for a fact, it is actually very common among kids and it can be fixed. And now that he crossed my path, maybe I should talk more with him, give a bit of interaction, a little bit of confidence. I mean IT IS caused by muscle movements controlled by the Brain.

So people, I'm not suggesting you to talk to every single person, in fact don't do that. You want quality conversations. You want to ask people what makes them happy, what makes them sad, what makes them cringe, or what makes them passionate. Interact with people who've crossed your paths, let them influence you, let you influence them. And even if you want to interact with everyone, let it be in any form. A smile, a nod, a handshake, a tap, a hug. I'm trying to meet new people, do new things, interact with both nature and people myself, now that I'm back in KK, most of my close friends are either settling down or working far from KK. So I'm trying to catch myself. Meet new people, do new things, learn new things, constantly say yes to everything. Just interacting with everything and anything.

Interaction. There's about 7 billion people in the world, and we are different, we are meant to be explored and discovered, we are meant to help other people, we are meant to be in this world.

If all these form of interaction doesn't "really" make you happy, think about making other people happy. Your mum might rather you go out and play sports with other people, rather than keeping it to yourself in the room. Your friends might rather you comment on their Facebook Photos rather than getting an SMS from you. Or your pets might want you to talk to them once in a while, instead of just, feeding them.

Interact. You'd be surprised at the wonders it can make you feel :) 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.