The two first themes of this series designed to allow you more exploration of topics of interest, with contextual information and real life discussions instead of the common grammar tip, are probably too familiar to make you embrace them as the chance to learn something new. Or you could say the opposite: we’re gonna learn if we can recognize, relate, and then rethink. Home, the place we’re spending our lives in, with little perspective of a change. Sucks. But right now, it’s reality. Let’s be patient. I could tell you I have been, you can choose to believe me or not. Cause I’ve had stuff I wanted to do in my life for a very long time, and the effect of not being able to made me a different person, and I just wanna go back to being who I am. But this isn’t about me. I’m talking about how we feel at home. And it’s obviously different for every person, though we have to do some cleaning and cooking, not exactly spend our day online with our favorite past time — and that’s another layer, categorizing that stuff. But I’m rambling, and maybe you wanted me to talk easy. Sorry about that. The second thing was our habits. What we do every day. From things we can’t go without to things we can’t get rid of. And here, at this point in this crazy plural perspective of all things digital, I really can’t say what I’m trying to get rid of or if I’ll make it to my comfort zone eventually. But then it’s personal. Then it’s me. If you’re here to learn, your comfort zone is shaped, maybe, by how you’ll deal in the future with getting a message from a complete stranger from another country and doing the mental processes in trying to understand and keep building or not on what they’re saying to you. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a stranger, just new content. I don’t know, the internet happened. Some people welcome change and crave it. A lot of us think new stuff is easy to manage cause it’s no big deal; for others, depending on what you’re talking about, it could really damage what you wanna keep and preserve. And here I’m talking about our public perception: we don’t share every moment of our lives, we don’t share every thought and every aspect of our personality, every mood, every look. But some of us do, to some extent, and when that becomes a habit, and more people start doing the same, the least we can do is think about who can approve or disapprove — if we remember that we’re supposed to be true to ourselves. That’s a long introduction. You’re either lost or asking yourself what the hell I’m trying to say with all this, when I have other profiles that don’t really get philosophical, analytical or whatever. But I’ll ask you to consider this when you think about foreign contact, because context matters a lot. Here’s the practical stuff:
“I like your taste in music!”
I’m a musician, but that doesn’t make my music good. Hard lesson in life, man. Also, that doesn’t mean people wanna listen to the stuff I’m into. It doesn’t mean I’ll start a connection with all the fans of all the artists, the second I click. But it does mean that music is important to me. And when you understand music, not at all in the technical aspect (whatever that means), but how it makes you feel and what message it sends, you can start to see it’s a sort of conversation, an exchange of ideas and emotions. Liking this or that isn’t just a click, you know. And by the way, the stuff you like doesn’t make your relationships better in a magic trick. Online, it’s about working on stuff together. Which includes saying what you don’t like — to see, to hear, to think about. I like thinking we can make the world better building collective movements for good. But what’s good or bad is really personal — and I’m just saying this cause I’m trying to be more logical and accurate, cause you probably know “for good” means “for good”: happiness, friendship, accomplishment, peace of mind, stuff like that.
“I think too much”
You’re not alone. We’re being fed with information all day, and who says it’s even relevant? Maybe you’ll have to look at some stuff eventually, but if you just go back to what you needed to know to pass a test and the importance of that in your life right now, you’ll agree that not everything we need to process is gonna stay there and be easily accessed. But thinking too much is more about being indecisive, insecure. Some people say you have to take the initiative; others will say you have to take the time. As long as your thoughts can manifest and be translated into good action, it’s for the better. If you think too much about what went wrong, how you’re not doing enough or people don’t appreciate who you are, maybe get rid of these thoughts. I have. It gets in the way. Self-criticism is important, just don’t become your own enemy. And by the way, we think about dumb stuff all the time, so maybe just chill for a while.
“I feel better when I’m being productive”
Everyone has to develop a capacity for boredom. You know, just not doing anything that takes up too much of your energy? But being bored is actually how you feel when you’re looking for something to do more than choosing not to do anything. That’s what they call chilling, I think. Productivity in the times of social media is being updated and responsive. And honestly, nobody can take it without a break, and we have to remember some people are not on social media. But when you talk about feelings, you want people to listen, understand and respect.
“I want a dog!”
Some people feel better when they have a pet. They learn to take care of their needs, they get attached and they feel more loved, they have good interactions and if you post them on the internet everyone’s gonna have a better day. But maybe you don’t have enough space for them. Maybe you don’t have the time. And maybe you’re a cold person who doesn’t love animals — just kidding, everyone loves animals. What you want is not always what you need or what you can have. Good to keep this in mind. You’re not gonna clean up the mess? Don’t have a dog.
“I heard you’re single and looking”
Fine. I really told people. But that doesn’t mean I’ll let you in my life, cause I can look but also look away. Let’s be honest: the internet is kinda wild. And some people are okay with certain things, some are not. It’s just the way it is: you don’t know what you wanna avoid until it happens to you, but that’s not a universal rule: if you just read about something, you know it’s not good — or you know it’s actually something you’d like. People aren’t open books. And I’m not here to give relationship advice. But people are looking for more things than potential relationships, so think about the stuff you could be looking up instead of counting on someone coming up in your life who’s looking for the same things. Cause people are different. And sometimes you’ve already found what you need.
“I can’t work if I don’t drink coffee”
That’s true for a lot of people. Maybe some orange juice works better. Maybe you just need to drink more water. But it’s part of our habits. Some people don’t drink alcohol. Some people drink a lot. We just know we have to do it, and it’s hard to think of something more essential than that. If you’re in a different country, you wanna know how to ask for that stuff. You also might wanna know what else is there to drink, and how that’s part of habit or culture.
“I can’t eat a lot of sugar”
There’s vegans, there’s people who love fried chicken, there’s people who don’t eat what they need for various reasons and there’s people who eat more than they can. Discovering things you can cook and how people eat in different places is amazing, and you can find a lot of stuff online or even on TV. One of the joys of travelling is eating food you wouldn’t eat anywhere else. We get used to eating some stuff, as well as buying some products we consume. It’s great when you learn how to make something to eat, and it’s even better when someone enjoys what you made, but there’s always something you wanna get on the way, what you can order and changes you can make in how you eat. And we hope people aren’t gonna have to struggle with that.
Well, alright. The verbs mentioned in those sentences all represent part of our habits. But do you see yourself having conversations about food? Do you see yourself talking about the stuff you want and having someone help you with it? Do you know how to navigate through these topics? Isn’t it hard to talk about your feelings, man? Have you ever read something in another language that describes what you feel more accurately? Or that only your language own can translate those feelings? If somebody asks what you’re looking for, do you know how to respond, do you want to, and can you find it somewhere else? Do you want people to understand how you think? That’s the kind of stuff we need to talk about, but that’s my view. If everyone who reads and understands this post writes down one thing that comes to mind for every verb, in a sentence, we’re making progress.
For everyone else reading the blog, I think a lot of teachers make things easier for a reason, but when you’re reading stuff, you’re more naturally inclined to explore and make associations. That’s my goal here.
Have a great day, wherever you are.