In less than 2 months, I'll be turning 23. I have not keep an eye out for my birthday since I was 10. Why am I anticipating my turning 23? Partly because a couple of days before that would be the end of my american work permit. I would have a 60 day grace period to pack my bags and leave. So, I fully intend to make my possibly last chapter in Seattle (or America) a good one. Writing "last chapter" feels like a strong closed gate, but it's not. It's just the end of a season in my life.
I want to start listing down the things I've learned in this city. If I'm lucky, I'll get to list #23 when I turned 23. So, let's start.
1. Be welcoming.
Say "Hi," smile, speak your mind, be funny, get stupid, don't be afraid to show it. Be welcoming to people, and their responds. If there's any culture shock that I've gone through, it would be the friendliness of most Seattleites. I was smiled to by people I don't even know, and it's not the "hey lady, ya wanna get some of deez" creepy kind, but it's the welcoming kind. It was weird and confusing at first, but after a while I understood it's just a way of being nice.
2. "How you doing?" and get real.
To people who's just being nice, say something encouraging. Your smile might just lift up their muted day. To people who actually cares about you, it's a must to be real and answer this question honestly. For me, I can't answer this loaded question as fast as other people. You see, I'm not quite reflective about my life. Moreover, I've trained myself to ask this question before I answered anything, "Do you actually care?" Mostly in my life, the answer was no, thus the impact was me not being quite reflective. Yet, the older I get, the more I realize that some stories are meant to be shared. For my sanity, and also for others' connections to me.
3. It's OK to ask for help
For the love of God, this pride thing, and this "i owe you" feeling just gotta go. We're social creatures people, when you allow others to help you out, you lot will only benefit from it.