Don’t wait, second guess, or think.
Don’t wait, second guess, or think.
Walking into a room full of people can be hard. A party isn’t just a party, especially if you’re an introvert like me. They are work.
But it’s summer in the city, and people want to barbecue. And I got invited to one in Brooklyn.
Usually, I would have stayed safely at home, giving an excuse about needing to take care of our newborn (children are always the perfect leave-me-alone-I’m-an-introvert card). But this day I felt like it would be good to put myself out there and connect.
When I arrived at the beautiful rooftop, a breeze was blowing, and the weather was unseasonably cool for an evening in August; but the crisp air was magical in the midst of the canvas of twinkling city lights surrounding us like the stars in the night.
About fifteen guys broken into smaller groups of two to four were drinking beer, talking, and getting ready to devour meat. They were friendly, but not all were my friends. Not because they weren’t good guys, I just didn’t know them well enough yet.
There were some I knew better than others and would even call them friends. But I didn’t expect them to treat me the way they did. They ignored me.
At one point, one of them reached around me to throw something away but didn’t even bother to say hello. I had to remind myself that I had been invited, even though it felt so uninviting.
The night wasn’t a complete disaster. There were two good conversations with a couple of people I didn’t know well, and hearing their stories was a privilege. It felt as though I might have made two new friends.
As the hours wore on, my bed’s call to me transformed from gentle wooing to shouting; resisting was too hard, so I left.
And as I walked home, I reflected on the time, the interactions, and the lack of them. Gratitude filled me as I thought about the conversations had, but I couldn’t help thinking about the friends who seemingly ignored me. It was hard not to blame them. It was what they did to me.
But then an unsettling thought occurred to me: I didn’t greet them either. I didn’t walk up to them and say hello. I wasn’t inviting; I wasn’t friendly.
Furthermore, I said to myself, “Maybe they are introverts like me, where a party isn’t just a party but an inner battle. Maybe they were working through their own issues, and none of it had anything to do with me; and it was just me being self-absorbed and petty. Maybe. Probably.”
A new voice filled my mind. It was a mentor’s. “Those who extend friendship have friends; those who don’t won’t,” he told me once when I was a college student.
Two decades later, I’m still learning this lesson:
To have friends, you must be one.
Sometimes who we are and who we want to be feel too far apart to do anything about. But that’s not true in many cases.
You can reach your potential.
It starts with these words.
That simple phrase is the key to going further than we ever thought we could.
And yet many of us find it difficult to say.
I know I do.Continue reading “One thing that helps you reach your potential”
But what if we could improve our practice by improving the things we are grateful for? Could we be happier and healthier and more abundant?
I think so. Let me explain.Continue reading “Live a better life by improving this simple practice”
My birthday breakfast extravaganza was going just as I planned.
Then with one twist, everything changed.
Here’s the story.Continue reading “The birthday gift I never wanted but needed”
Pizza is one of my favorite foods to eat.
So I love it when I find another great place to get a delicious slice.
There is this proper Roman pizza shop on the Upper East Side that I discovered, and I am so thankful that I did.Continue reading “This pizza will make your life better”
We all want to get better, reach our goals, live better lives.
But getting there is so freaking hard.
When we think about growing a business, getting healthy, getting a promotion, saving for retirement, etc. it can feel daunting, overwhelming. And no matter how much we don’t want to, we can end up quitting.
But we can change that by doing this.
Focus on today.
Have you ever wondered if you should do something else for work? You can. Of course you can find work that you enjoy.
I’ve made my fair share of career changes, working at a church, a bank, and an interior design company before starting my company, a website design and development agency, specializing in Drupal and e-commerce.
Change isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be too painful either. You can find a way that is best for you. But you will need to seek it out, putting one foot in front of the other.
Saying that I love bagels, pizza, donuts, and ice cream just doesn’t do it justice. I think about them all of the time, every day. I’m obsessed. I’m thinking about them right now. And I crave them, want them, yearn for them. And they seem to love me too. I can hear them calling to me as I type. Right now, a toasted sesame bagel smothered with scallion cream cheese is shouting my name over and over and over, “John Pa! Get over here, now. You need me!” And the others are always in the background, clambered for my attention, too. And I want to yield. Oh, I do.Continue reading “How I fight my cravings everyday”
Loneliness is an unseen wound many of us carry, buried in us, festering and hard to heal.
Loneliness and I know each other well.