face it or be the loser

I’ve joined Meetup. No it’s not a dating site. But yes, it’s one of those social networking sites that classify its members according to their interests and then suggests Meetup groups best suited to them. I have recently become a member and have joined one Meetup group.

A few months ago, a performer came up to me and threw the idea of Meetup while we were washing hands in the ladies room. The scene went something like this:

She: Hey, Kai! Have you heard of Meetup.com?
Me: No.
She: Oh my gosh! You should totally check it out. (And then she begins to explain the whole concept of the site)
Me: Oh… (a little lost why this had anything to do with me)
She: I’ve been to a vegetarian dinner and I’ve joined this running group too. I don’t know, I just thought about you the other day and how you are always on work mode every time I see you. I thought maybe you’re just like me who doesn’t really have much time to socialize or what-not.
Me: I see… (laughing with her at this point) Did you say Meetup.com?

And that was that. Regretfully, I can’t tell you my social life overturned that day. I returned to my work mode self and had completely forgotten about that conversation until my friend Herne reminded me about it. If you know Herne, she is the kind that prods, nudges, demands, and even drives you there (if you’re really that stubborn). And so with grave hesitation, I visited the website, signed up, and joined a Meetup called The Singapore Writers Group. My first visit was exhilarating. Writers from different cultures, races, and nationalities sat in a cozy living room—some read their work, the rest listened and shared their thoughts of each piece. It is utterly terrifying to me to share my work with over 20 strangers, much less reading it aloud in front of them. But I do see a great advantage in doing it (one that may possibly outweigh my fears). The keyword is: feedback. As petrified as I am to hear random people dissect my writing right in front of me, I feel it will greatly benefit my work. I chose a piece that I recently wrote; a piece that is fresh from the oven (and may open spectators to see through me). But never mind that. Tonight is the night. And it is time to face my fears.

face_your_fears_by_t_jo-d3d4ao1 (1)
photo by ~T-JO

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