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.
When I started working in the industry, I assumed all professional socializing would be done in hot-tubs and involve 3 or more starlets. Much to my chagrin, this is not the case. At least, not so far. But maybe that’s because I don’t own enough hot-tubs. As part of this experiment, I will clearly need to install several hot-tubs in, on, and around my apartment.
For this challenge, I’ve tried to discourage meeting people on the job, because that’s hardly expanding your comfort bubble. However, whilst on set, the rigors of production (combined with an unfortunate headcold that has plagued me the entirety of the week) prevented me from doing much outside of work. Read more »
In this social experiment, I often wonder what’s the creepiest possible way one can meet another human being. In today’s adventure, I’m pretty sure I found it. Photographing them inside a dark cavern is a clear winner.
While exploring the Bronson caverns near the base of Mt. Lee, home of the Hollywood sign, I was photographing friends. I got overzealous with the camera, and accidentally photographed two girls in the caves. So, like any adventurer, I loudly proclaimed “I’M CREEPILY PHOTOGRAPHING STRANGERS!” and snapped another photo. Then I introduced myself, and, to my surprise, they didn’t mace me. The laughed and talked to me for a bit. Their names were, and probably still are, Jackie and Nicole.
Also, I got this photo!
The blind-date may be the world’s biggest joke, where the people on the date are the punchline. Well, typically, that is. However, a fellow Brave Newbie recently unveiled her plan to introduce me to someone new in just this fashion. Surprisingly, it was a wonderful experience that didn’t lead to anyone’s awkward admissions that they were secretly psychic, or sobbing anecdotes about ex’s. It was, in fact, a good date.
So, meet Angela. She’s a driven and passionate person who is, interestingly enough, running a project similar to mine. She just turned 28, and has a list of 28 things she wants to do in the next year. Her list will probably influence the growth of The Brave New, it was so closely aligned to my own pursuits! Curious as to what she’ll accomplish this year? Here it is:
“It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and boring. It is timidity before any sort of new and unforeseeable experience with which we don’t think we can deal with – but only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.“
When assessing meeting people academically, it’s interesting what you learn. I’ve noticed a pattern in my January adventure already. I’m not sure if you’ve picked this up, but I’ve yet to have a lasting connection forged when meeting someone while they are on the job.
Partially to explore this, and partially to prove myself wrong, I sat down at Hollywood’s famous Stout. Home of what I would consider to be the best burger in Los Angeles, Stout also has a friendly wait staff. I talked to our waitress, Lauren, and asked her if she’d ever developed meaningful interpersonal relationships with clients. The answer was hurried, but valid and informative.
Lauren let me know she had developed friendships with people she’d met on the job. These people are regulars, people who share their lives with her, and eventually she reciprocates.
So what does this mean for Brave Newbies? Depends on what you’re trying to take from the experience. If you’re wondering how to make friends, well, there ya go! If you’re wondering if random wait staff members will answer off-putting questions at random, the answer is yes! Read more »
Meet Ordo, the first person in January’s challenge to approach me, rather than vice versa. Without a doubt the most soft-spoken man I’ve ever met in my life, he had timidly approached my group of friends looking for a cigarette, and sadly we could not oblige.
Ordo was checking out Low End Theory, an underground club in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles oft credited with bringing dubstep to the west coast. Here a young crowd takes in what the event describes as “psychadelic, glitch, avant-rap, IDM [and] dubstep”. If you don’t know what these terms allude to, you’re not alone. We go to figure that out. Read more »
It seems the most difficult place one can possibly endeaver to meet another human being is the super market. This is problematic for me, because I’m a confirmed bachelor, and often have difficulties navigating the complexities of super markets. Buying groceries requires the kindness and direction of strangers, lest I cook myself up a nice big box of generic soap flakes which I thought to be grits.
Tonight, I found myself staring blankly at a selection of pears. I had no idea pears had so many variables. Apparently one must consider the variety of pear, the ripeness of the pear, and, furthermore, what you’re pairing the pear with. Once homonyms got involved, I just couldn’t cope. I went into a bachelor coma, hoping that someone would leap in and announce which pear I should buy, freeing me from my catatonic state.
I noticed a woman fondling pears next to me, so I issued a weak “Umm, excuse me.” The woman froze, eyes darting around in a panic. She set down her pears and quickly walked away. I can’t judge the woman, the world isn’t a safe place, but this particular Trader Joe’s is not in a hotspot for produce-related assault and battery. I was wearing pants at the time, and can’t imagine I looked like anything other than a well-dressed, albeit slightly pathetic, business man staring at fruit. Read more »
Meet a spiritual artist named Cassie and a published medical technician named Yvette, a dichotomy so marked that again I must write about two people at once. One sits cross-legged on a chair wearing a chic Indian kurta, and the other paces around the room, taking in every word of conversation before returning a carefully sculpted response.
These are two highly intelligent, interesting, and diametrically opposed ladies. Both make an impression immediately upon entering, and keep conversation deep and unpredictable.
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”