Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram
Last night, like every night before it these last few weeks, was one of the most glorious of my life. It was midnight, and I was walking through the woods, alone. The trees blocked most of the moonlight and starlight, but above and below and all around me, I was surrounded by fireflies.
All at once, I felt secluded in nature, and like I was scuba diving, and like I was riding Space Mountain, and like I was on some kind of drug that just makes you love everything around more than you thought possible.
When people ask me what my blog is about, I want to tell them, "Playfulness." Playfulness is why I started this blog. It's on my About page; it's discussed on some of my most popular posts...
Yet one recurring theme has been assertiveness. Assertiveness seems at odds with playfulness... but, in fact, I've found assertiveness to be a crucial skill that enables my playfulness.
And it's probably one of the most important possible social skills you can learn and use during the current lockdown/quarantine/social distancing protocols.
I recently had the good fortune of meeting Rich Gosse, chairman of The Society of Single Professionals and author of The Donald Trump Syndrome: Why Women Choose the Wrong Men to Love.
He told me something none of you millennials are going to believe:
"Even though I founded the second ever online dating site back in the 1990s, I still think meeting face-to-face is best.”
And I agree.
You know I have a thick skin -- I love making fun of virtue signaling, regressive feminism, whiny little babies, and social justice warriors.
But I canNOT stand the disgusting rape song that is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." When it comes on, I literally wait outside until the song is over.
A recent article in The Harvard Crimson complained that scholarship recipients felt "uncomfortable" and "out of place" at an annual Scholarship Dinner, where students had the opportunity to network with billionaires and millionaires (many of whom were, themselves, scholarship recipients in their days at Harvard) while eating delicious food.
While traveling in Malaysia this year, I met the most amazing woman. Vivacious, brilliant, and adventurous, this girl and I kayaked several miles of open sea in search of fish species we'd never seen before. We lay on the beach all night, watching the stars and eating watermelon infused with duty-free vodka. We trekked the python- and cobra-filled jungle in search of the elusive Penis Plant.
"All disease," some antivaxxing dumbass who, apparently, is writing a book about his amazing perspective and incredible life experiences, "comes from a toxic mindset and bad lifestyle choices."
"Right," I replied. "And the woman who runs marathons and does yoga every day and eats kale who still gets cancer...?"
"There is something wrong in her mind. Maybe she has a bad marriage or something."
Angkor Wat. Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram.
On June 4, 2019, I was in Hong Kong, honoring the victims of Tiananmen Square alongside tens of thousands of Hongkongers whose freedom is in peril, and mainland Chinese citizens who aren't allowed to discuss June 4 in their hometowns.
Then I hopped on a plane, traveled back in time to San Francisco, and lived June 4 all over again, this time commemorating the travesty by singing "Ohio" by Crosby Stills and Nash. Angrily repeating the refrain, "Four dead in Ohio! Four dead in Ohio! Four dead in Ohio!" I kept thinking about two things:
"Expats are expats for a reason," I recently wrote in one of my original songs, "And there's a reason I travel alone."
I won't get into the reason expats are expats (but I will say that it's not racist to call expats expats and immigrants immigrants -- it's not about skin color, but passports). But here's the main reason I travel alone: I basically designed my life around being able to travel several months a year, and most people have not.
People often say it's brave and rare for a woman to travel alone, but, empirically, it's really not.
I travel alone. A lot. It's super fun. It's never lonely. You're free to do whatever you want without worrying about other people's fears or physical limitations.
People say it must be "empowering" to travel alone as a woman. But, honestly, I've always found it way more empowering to backpack alone with my dog.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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