Monthly Archives: April 2013

Accepting your niche


These days i have such vivid dreams, i just dreamt about Congo Brazaville though I’ve not yet been there. I was at the back of a lorry, and it was full of boxes. The boxes had small packs of lollipops, the ones shaped like a walking stick. In Brazaville, I met a pretty girl, she said her name is Gail (seriously, that almost woke me up, who is called Gail outside TV). I told Gail to take me out dancing because I wanted to see Brazaville at night. I met Gail ’cause she and her friends were trying to dandia on the lorry…these Congolese girls, smh.  At some point, I was walking through Brazaville, and I met some kids dozing off as they took care of their cows. They were sleeping by the river, a huge clear snake of water, with huge rocks on the banks. The rocks were shaky, and I was scared to get closer to the water, but I did ’cause I really wanted to touch it, and write about it later. The rocks started to move, and the kids woke up and started to laugh. They kept drawing circles in the water, perfectly round circles that grew as they were drawn, they called them ‘love circles’ then I woke up. I tried to get back to sleep, but all the stuff that I have been thinking about kept me awake, that was over an hour ago. It’s 6.30am, and I am having coffee now.

A couple of weeks back, I used my blog to rant,  bloggers, my friend says are often a whiny bunch. I was complaining about the social dynamics of my class, and I went on and on about why I haven’t created bonds.  I have since realized why, or maybe it only came to me this morning when Gail woke me up, so I will get to it if you’d like to read on.

I have a theory, about ‘accepting your niche’, which just means that we all are a certain kind of person, and we should all work at making that person work for us. You may be antisocial for example, but rather than change, find a way to make it work for you, because it is who you are and you’ll be much more productive for it. I realized that the reason I have/ was having a hard time in class is that I am social AND antisocial. I talk to everyone, but I don’t have a unique group of friends. Naturally, it’s how I often find myself interacting, I thought it’s cause I hate clique mentality, but I realized it’s not about the cliques, I just find it boring to stay still (socially). It explains why I have approaching 1000 friends on Facebook, all of whom I actually know. In fact, I noticed  that most of my close friends are close because they are the kind of people who are especially adept at maintaining consistent relationships, because I’m not.

If you’ve read the ‘Tipping Point’, it touches on 3 different kinds of people – based on how they socialize. It mentions  connectors – people who naturally collect acquaintances, but as a consequence don’t often build long-lasting friendships. I think this is the kind of person I am, and so I decided to make it work for me. It’s not always a good thing, the few parties that I have tried to throw end up in tiny groups of people who I can’t bring together because they are all so different and were met in such different ways so that they have nothing in common. Case in point are the parties that happened in Kenya before I left for Pakistan, AND in Pakistan as I left. They were disastrous in that way – with people at both parties feeling ignored/left-out, not the way I’d have liked to say goodbye.

However, I decided make it work for me, i.e. ‘accepting my niche’ because trying to change is too much effort, and trying to change will also mean that the other parts that this trait feeds into will lose balance.

For example, I love to travel and dream about the places I will see. Google maps helps me find these places, but being a connector helps me meet people from these places or people who have been to these places and explore them through their eyes.

For example,  I went to an acquaintance’s birthday dinner, and met 4 Maltese women and now Malta is on  the map. The only thing I knew about Malta before was the Maltese cross (cause I once wanted a tattoo of it- YAWN) and Malta Guinness- I wonder if the 2 are even connected. But going back to the women, if they were anything to go by, Malta is full of  super-intelligent women, who eat life with a big spoon. They talk when they chew, and they drink wine because it’s good, not because they’re trying to be classy. They talk about Maltese politics, and openly talk about what their fathers opinions are of them- awkward. They talk about Kenyan politics, and shrimp at Maltese weddings. They talk as they chew, and they don’t give a shit ’cause they are so damn HOT. Well, to be fair, these 4 had been friends a long while, so they were probably hot birds of a feather, but still, it was exciting meeting and exploring Malta through them.  But you see how being a connector worked for me? I made an acquaintance, went for his birthday gig, met people from Malta, and left happy. Simple pleasures.

Switzerland on the other hand is off the map, because another of my acquaintance’s boss was followed for like 1km to be fined for throwing his trash in the wrong place – he threw it in the wrong trashcan. Who can function with such rules…I’m a firm believer that chaos is where life is, and that’s how a lot of Western Europe is getting struck off the map, except where the people there are worth making the trip to see. Shush about the museums and castles, I can tell you from being in the UK, that shit is overrated and not for me. hehe.

But this is not about misinformed judgments, stereotypes and tourist destinations. That was just showing you how being a connector makes me happy by feeding into my other aspects.

However, even as I ‘accept my niche’, and maybe you feel me and also decide to accept your niche, a balance is necessary. In my case, a balance between being a connector and making friendships that will sustain me is important. That’s why I have hang out with Vince 3 times this week, a shocking record, and today we will hang out again at night at a pub with some girls we met on Thursday. That’s where the balance is, building a friendship with Vince and also feeding my natural inclination to connect with new people (who are all very cool anyway) and listen to the Deejay at the pub who is also an acquaintance.

And now I leave you with sights from 2 people, who I met in typical random fashion. Between them they’ve seen probably over 100 countries and they’re around 22-24.

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