Meet someone new. Meet them because they are interesting. Meet them because they have an enticing smile, an interesting tattoo, or stomped in a puddle with more vigor than you've ever seen. Meet them because you wouldn’t normally talk to them.
Simply have a conversation with someone you’ve not met before.
Why:This is as much for the people you're meeting as it is for you. We're starting The Brave New with a simple challenge that may be the most important of the entire project, as it involves breaking down social walls for you and, to some extent, the people around you. Why, as a society, haven't we made a habit out of knowing the people around us? Nothing bad will happen, to put it simplistically.
Bonus points!Make a friend. Make three friends! Make five friends! Don't make four friends. Four's a terrible number. In China, they don't have a fourth floor on most elevators, because the word for "four" sounds a lot like the word for "die". True story.
How many people that you meet can extend into actual relationships? Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook adds, and home address if you're so inclined, and don't if you're not. Remember, the world's not always a safe place, so use your discretion here.
Right, anyway, I’m in New Zealand.
and that’s a kiwi
I know I’ve been away for awhile, and I’m a bit sorry about that. But only a bit. Y’see, a weekend ago, I packed up everything I’ve got in LA into a storage unit, stuffed a bunch of it into a framepack, and trucked off across the Pacific. It is has been alternatively exciting and terrifying, and then I arrived.
Alright, so, it’s not really a “meeting new people everyday” kind of month anymore, although that happens, pretty much by necessity – but is very much a Brave and New kind of month. What with never having done anything like this before.
People are very friendly here, and life’s got a good seasoning of serendipity, but for now, I’m bloody exhausted from all that I’ve done in the past week and a half (first shower since last Tuesday today! and a real bed with a roof!), so this is the unexpected end.
Alright Brave Newbies, I owe ya. It’s been a busy, busy weekend – so busy, in point of recollection, that I fail to remember it all, but I’ll pay you in stories so awesome there ain’t no debt.
This past long weekend has been an intense endeavor for me – working all day, every day, and sometimes all night – on this music video. I’ve worked as art department, set engineer, special effects technician, and body double. Days started in the wee barely-past-dawn hours, and went late into the night. I have loved every second of it, despite occasional miserable appearance, and would do it again next week in a heartbeat.
When last we left this intrepid adventurer, it was Wednesday, when I met Eddie. The days since then have kind of blurred together, although when I pry, they start falling into chronologies and timelines; discrete bits of life. This on that day; that on this – and quite a fair bit of apparent repetition. Build set, move set, panic; rinse, repeat.
Thursday (I think it was thursday) was a lot of painting and hoisting and moving large panels of wood about – and it’s when I met a man on the stairwell by complimenting his hat. Friday we actually filmed; a girl in a box, a man on a wire. In post-shoot shenanigans, I braved myself and talked to a random girl at a bar, out of the blue. A milestone, to be sure, although I failed to truly engage her in conversation. Saturday – I don’t remember Saturday. I’ve bits and pieces, people and places, but the stranger I met? Gone to mists of time.
Sunday was a big day, and will get a post to itself.
Daniel introduced us to a game he named MESP – Motion Effort Sex Pain – You make up dares, by flipping a coins to see if each of MESP is in or out, then spin a bottle to decide who does it. It’s about pushing boundaries
You have to understand that once upon a time, I didn’t believe this stuff. Observations are giving credence to the contrary.
Alright. I’m incredibly exhausted. It’s late. I haven’t met anyone new, in large part because I hadn’t yet gone anywhere knew. I need to meet someone new, not just for this blog, but for the Awesome. I tried (and failed) to convince friends to come with me to Asia Town*, as I want to push my comfort zone as much as I can and still do things like (get) drive(n) home safely.
First having failed, second having not eaten dinner, third having no vittles with which to cook, and fourth – having a shiny new chemistry cooking kit – I head to the grocery store, filled with dread over meeting someone new in a way that meets my Brave and New.
Grocery stores, and the people in them, and particularly the produce section, aren’t a problem for me.
You don’t see where this is going, because it’s going someplace ridiculous and amazing.
I decide to buy a kiwi. I pretty rarely eat kiwis, and have never bought one, so I’ve no idea how to tell which are ripe or not. This being the produce section, I ask a nearby stranger, who more or less gets his verbal shrug interrupted by the other guy next to me, who says, I am not making this up, “None of these are ripe, you can trust me, my name’s Calvin and I’m a kiwi.” (A ‘Kiwi’, by the way, is slang for someone from New Zealand.)
At first this seems merely an odd, interesting and unexpected occurence. But what you don’t know, dear reader, is that in two week’s time I’m flying to New Zealand. I tell this random fellow about these travel plans, at which point, he – with no prompting on my part, none at all - enthusiastically gives me his number saying we should meet up and talk, then runs off to go buy some cookies and return from whence he came.
So yes. That did just happen.
* Yes, yes, I know it’s China Town and Little Tokyo, but they’re right gorram next to each other so frell it, it’s Asia Town.
I am Nick, a friend Phil made in his pursuit of the Brave and the New. I’m one part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.
Alternate universes always have more zeppelins.
Per this self-imposed ultimately arbitrary format, here’s my personal take on this month’s theme of “Meet a New Person Every Day”:
- I don’t generally have a problem meeting new people – unless, that is, I have no apparent reason for entering their reality. Networking event? Dating site? Walking up and talking to Speaker #3 at Event Where You Learn Something? Not an issue. Random stranger at the grocery store? Meeting people at a party before the person who’s invited me has introduced us? That’s frightening. Random people in the world, by and large, might disagree with me. Might not like me. While my worldly evidence indicates the contrary as the likely, I’m still afraid of that outcome. It’s a silly fear, and one I’d like to do without.
- I’ve been living in a little bubble of weird. I love it here, it is an amazing place, and it is filled with the fantastically awesome. But I’m not really leaving that bubble, which means there’s a lot of even this city I just haven’t seen, and a lot of awesome out there I have no idea exists. So I’m not just going to got out and meet someone new – I’m going to go out and meet someone I otherwise would never have met.
- I leap to conclusions about people more than a bit too quickly. One of my most favorite people in the world, when I first saw her, I thought, “Crazy hippie chick…!” Thing of it is, her, and all the people I’ve met through her, are the sanest (and amazingest) people I know. So when I see someone, and think this or that of them – well, that right there is the perfect time to go get some experimental data.
- Meeting people out of contexts where you’re supposed to meet new people is strange and frightening. Do it.
- Meeting the people you wouldn’t normally meet is how you find those people you wish you’d met earlier. Do it.
- Meeting the people you judge from afar is how you find out how bad you really are at judging people from afar. Do it.
A PERSON I MET TODAY
Today I was shaved by a stranger. My beard, a fixture on my face since senior year of high school, has gone the way of toilet paper, courtesy of one Trevor Redacted, a friend of Phil’s. I met this fellow when our collective celebrations of the new year (unanimously agreed to contain “something momentous and unknown”) had left us exhausted, able to do little more than throw chocolate and watch movies – all of which is my bad excuse for barely getting to know the fellow – but we summoned up the where-with-all to traverse to the commode; camera, electric razor, and beard, and one of those, we left behind.
Everybody knows that your facial hair is the opposite in the alternate reality
written by Nick
There’s a lot of things I learned about myself and about meeting new people. Thoughts were developed with friends on the psuedo-sciences of attitude in society, and how it factors in with making new friends. It’s truly astounding what happened by the end of January.
Unexpected Positive Consequences
Constant socialization and adventuring snowballed, and rapidly reshaped my attitude in day to day life.
- I was doing far more outside of work than usual, but to my surprise, I was getting far more done at the office. I was out almost every night meeting new people, but the quality of my work was at a caliber that led to many compliments from my boss. So, I’m proud to report my project has not gotten me fired.
- I’ve lost weight, oddly enough. I don’t know why that happened, I sure wasn’t trying for that, but it seems a healthy pattern of socialization is good for the body.
- I’ve picked up new books, new skills, and new information from the people I’ve met. I now know how to sew, can enjoy Alan Watts, and have eaten a wacky variety of vegetarian Indian food I would never have though to try, thanks to Renee, Matt, and Cassie, respectively.
- I’ve been able to find out about jobs, which I’ve been able to pass on to new and old friends alike.
- I’ve made more than a few PHENOMENAL friends. One I talk to almost every night, and several that I hang out with regularly. Read more »
I… I can’t believe it’s over. I have to admit, I feel like I lost some of the zeal near the end of the month, as pressures of the working world ate up more and more time, and my head cold continued to wear on me. I forged onward though, and let’s take a minute to review everyone met this week.
Monday - Louis sold me a taco at a local fast-food restaurant I am embarrassed to name. Surprisingly, he made conversation with me, which, after 12 hours in the office, was something that did not come as easily. We shook hands and made small talk, which may not have been meaningful, but was a good deal deeper than I was expecting.
Tuesday - I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of season 2 of my favorite cartoon, Archer, and was able to hobnob with celebrities and eat the finest of chedders at the reception afterwords. There I met a fellow named Alex, who was my guest’s friend from high school, and his girlfriend Beth. Beth was incredibly interesting, and lent me some valuable advice on success in life: Just keep moving! Says Beth:
You have to keep moving until you can see that tiniest pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. If you stop moving, then you’re in the darkness… lost.
As promised, I extended my comfort bubble to include a sewing circle. Seeing as I don’t, or rather didn’t, know how to sew, I found an incredible place that teaches classes on sewing, knitting, and various other crafty things. This shop, called Hands on 3rd, brings people together to teach them new skills and create a communal bond.
I met one of the three partners who own and operate the shop, Renee. She explained to me that she and her partners wanted to move away from the societal trend of learning things online. She firmly believes that part of the magic of learning a new skill is the connection you make with those you learn it with. I was touched, because her ideology is so close to that of The Brave New’s.
Firing up my Singer sewing machine, I spent 2 hours futzing about and trying to ignore every masculine instinct to stop sewing and go arc-weld something. Surprisingly, it proved to be a very enjoyable experience, and the girls I was sewing with were incredible. Most of them were about my age, and all were there for different reasons. Winnie had just purchased a house, and wanted to learn how to make drapes. Heather was a new mother, and wanted to be able to sew things for her daughter. Sue wanted to cross something off of her bucket list, and learning sewing was the next big thing for her to do. Read more »
So that’s Luke. He’s a stand-up comedian from Indianapolis, and he’s been doing this a month and a half. I learned I shouldn’t drink when I meet people, cause… that’s about all I retained.
Eat Henry’s Hat with Natalie
If you ever find yourself in Burbank, I’d urge you to eat at Henry’s Hat- the only restaurant I’ve ever been to that has found the perfect balance of liquor, gourmet burgers, and Nintendo Wii. I met with two friends to partake in beefy shenanigans after work, and we found ourselves seated in a room otherwise entirely dedicated to a birthday party. Read more »
What did I learn?
Brave Newbie Writers
- No Weekend Left Behind An adventure group dedicated to ensuring that when the work week is done, the weekend lives up to it’s potential.
- The Eskhaton The life and times of Cub, an adventurer I respect blossoming with energy who sucks the marrow out of life.
- This Tumblr Will Change Your Life Part instruction manual, part therapy, part religious cult, part sheer anarchy, this is a day-to-day quest very similar to “This Book Will Change Your Life”