A Grain of Salt
I consider myself an introvert. So sometimes, I don’t feel too comfortable at these networking events.
There’s the need to socialize. The need to make friends. The need to build connections and all that. Quite a concept.
It’s admirable. And the friends that invite me out to these events have good intentions. But sometimes, I just feel kind of tired coming out of these events.
And one question that I get quite often - when talking to strangers - is “where are you from?”
My spoken English is fine with no accent. So shouldn’t it be clear that I come from the United States?
It’s not their fault of course. And nowadays, I don’t really mind nor care about this question. It’s a perfectly understandable question.
My default response would be that I “actually” grew up in the United States and was raised right here in New York City.
I don’t know why I'd throw in the word “actually”. It seemed kind of weird on my part.
And usually after my response, the other party would seem a bit surprised.
They're probably thinking how could I possibly be from the USA? I don’t act American at all. At least, that’s the story that I weave inside my head.
I lean towards introversion. I’m somewhat quiet in groups. And when I speak, I tend not to be too loud. I guess you can say, it’s not the typical demeanor of a “typical” New Yorker.
In TV and movies these days, the New York icon is the one who is confident, brash, and most likely extroverted. The one who is not afraid to “speak their minds” and perhaps come off even a little bit aggressive.
Body-language wise, I generally don’t show too much outward emotion - whether it be negative or positive - compared with other Americans whom “wear their emotions on their sleeves.”
I’d like to re-iterate that being asked that question is not a big deal. I have no grudge nor ill-will towards the questioner (lol). I think it’s just a simple reminder that we have to take everything we are given - whether it be on TV or in social media - with a grain of salt.
Things are not always what they seem. What works for me might not work for somebody else. And what works for somebody else might not work for me.
Everybody wants to give you the next great tip and advice on how to “succeed”, how to be “wealthy”, how to be “happy”, and how to be at “peace”.
But at the end of the day, you should just experience life the way you want. These tips are great (and they usually come with good intentions), but (again) take them all with a grain of salt.
Experience life your way. And see things your way.
Sometimes, having a bit of hesitancy for the status quo can be a good thing. Throwing that small dose of salt into an otherwise picture-perfect norm can have wonderous effects. And foster a greater sense of appreciation for the world.
After all, the things we “know” collectively as a human race is minuscule, compared with the things we don’t know. So, question everything. And don’t take everything for granted.
Experience your life your way. And see the norms proposed by the masses today as just that - proposals to consider but not necessarily to follow.
And yes, take everything that I’ve written in this post (and in my entire blog) with a grain of salt as well.