If a Project Could Change My Life

Photo by Emily Valletta on Unsplash

I’ve done a whole lot of things in my 21 years of life, from learning different sports and different instruments, to trying new classes and new hobbies. 

But I think somewhere within the last year of my life, I got involved in something that is changing the course of where I want to go and who I want to be. It’s undeniable just how much. 

We call it The Awareness Gallery.

You see, a lot of the things I have done or tried are things I’ve planned to do or wanted to try. I’m not a huge fan of surprises; that, and I like to be in control change. Ironic, I know. But like a lot of people, I don’t like walking into things without knowing what’s going to happen next. 

In my junior year of college, I decided to spend the year doing it anyway.

Getting involved with Cal Poly Orientation is something that I threw myself into without letting myself back out, for a few reasons. The biggest one: because I knew it would change me.

And it has. Immensely.

This last year has introduced me to just a few things that I think I will love for the rest of my life. One of them is influencing and interacting with people, people who have an insurmountable amount of potential and want to see if they can reach it with my help.

Photo by Da Kraplak on Unsplash

The other thing is speaking up, in whatever way I can.

I’ve said this in the past and you should know it by now—I adore the art of storytelling. The way it draws us in, introduces us to lives and people and places that we do not know in our own realities… Sometimes I wonder if there is just a little bit of magic in that.

This time, I wanted to be a part of that magic and I have been chasing it for almost a decade now, long enough to learn how to tell my own stories. Poetry, short stories, novels, these are all pieces of what I find beauty in, what I have learned to define as storytelling.

It took me until last year to fully understand just how many other ways someone can tell a story.

That Awareness Gallery I mentioned? It’s a special project in Cal Poly’s orientation program that students like me and the handful of others I am working with get to put together.

We take a look at mental health, sexual assault, relationships, diversity & inclusivity, and drugs & alcohol as areas of our lives that have a heavy impact on college students. As one of the students working on it, I have found, researched, and fact checked statistics we display in the room, along with finding new ways to introduce students to topics that will be surrounding them sooner than later.

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Because students need to know, it needs to be something we can talk about. So why not start the moment they step onto our campus?

The gallery eases them into it.

We each have our own sections to focus on and a partner to work with up until now when we put the galleries together as a whole. Up until now, what we have created and improved upon for this year was all just an idea. They were imagined depictions and hopeful outcomes, things I’ve wanted to see happen but known may not be feasible. Nothing was concrete.

Not until this week. On Tuesday, we started putting the gallery together and let me tell you something: storytelling will never be limited to our words.

It is the things you say, the way you say it, they medium you introduce information with, how quickly you deliver it, what you add to it, and so much more. And this week, I have gotten to literally have my hands on chapters of the stories we have decided to tell. These are the stories students need to understand and hear and know that exist in their world.

They need to know that when they see themselves reflected back at them through the statistics and lives of others, they are not the only ones. And they never will be.

The work I am doing on this gallery with my talented and incredible friends is something priceless; we signed up for this on a volunteer basis because we care about it. Enough to put in hours of our time to adjust and brainstorm and research and measure out just how to put these galleries together in the best way possible.

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As much as I like getting paid for the work I put into things, there is something to say for the work we do simply because we know that we care enough to do it and are passionate enough to do it well.

These galleries will be finished, walked through, understood, witnessed, and taken down all within the next month. Yet, the impact it has on Cal Poly’s next class of students will last much longer than that. And the experience I have gotten, the time I’ve spent around the people who care about these things and discovering what it can mean to tell the stories untold, it is intangible.


So I wanted to share it with you. Happy Friday, see you next week.

Making a Lesson out of a Hot Mess

Photo by Akshay Paatil on Unsplash

I don’t like asking for help… It makes me feel weak, as if I’m giving up my independence, and I don’t like showing people that if I don’t trust/know them. Maybe you can relate to that. 

So imagine my horror yesterday, sitting in an African hair salon getting my hair done when I find myself in the position of needing to ask for help. From strangers. Strangers that I just met. And not only strangers I had just met who were handling my hair, but also the first black people outside my family I had spent hours with all summer.

It was a hot mess. And yes, I do mean hot because you should have seen me sweat. 

Here’s what happened.

I’ve been looking to do something different with my hair, we all need change every once in a while, and I realized that I haven’t done braids since my sophomore year of high school. Plus, I need to protect my edges because they’ve been breaking lately and hair breakage is no good. So why not go for braids?

Once I knew what I wanted to do, I had to figure out who I was going to have do it for me. As much as I wish I was skilled enough to do my own braids, it would probably look terrible and that isn’t quite ideal either.

So I took to Google, looking for a braiding salon with good ratings and not too many nightmare reviews—they’re all bound to have a few if we’re all being honest with ourselves. But I found one, picked it, called them, and made my appointment. Cool, so that was that.

Except that this was the first time I have ever gotten my hair done in braids and I’ve 1, gone my myself while 2, paid someone neither my mom nor I actually knew personally to do it. I was a little nervous to say the least. But as they say, I guess this is the time for adulting or whatever that’s supposed to look like.

Alas, there I was. Thursday morning, I got my things together, ate a sandwich as I drove (bad habit, I know), and I parked terribly in front of the salon just in time. That is, after missing my turn the first time and having to make two U-Turns just to get back to the right place… But I mean, I made it.

That’s when things started falling apart.

The moment I walked in the door, my nose started to bleed. A lot. And this is as another braider is directing me to their nice white couch to wait for my braider to arrive. Excuse me while I go be embarrassed and hold toilet paper to my nose for the next twenty minutes, fixing my park one handed because, well that was the most crooked park I’ve made all summer and I was embarrassed by that too. 

If you haven’t noticed, embarrassment and nosebleeds happen a lot in my life. Idk, I’ve learned to live with it.

In a half hour, my nose finally decided to chill, my braider showed up, and she started doing my hair. Easy process to start. But then she began slipping in between french and english while she braided and I really hope she wasn’t talking to me because I would not have known. I took Spanish in high school and college… I didn’t understand half of what was said in that salon yesterday.

But wait, there’s more. 

Photo by Max Winkler on Unsplash

Because about two and a half hours in, I started sweating profusely and could not seem to sit still. My hands started shaking endlessly, chills were running up and down my spine like a track practice, and the sweating would not stop. Considering my braider was right next to my forehead, she noticed about 15 minutes after it started and I tried to tough it out but in another 15 minutes, I was ready to pass out, puke, or both. If you’ve never gotten your hair braided or seen the process, just know that these things are not supposed to and do not usually happen. 

Yesterday was rough.

But back to me and my sweating nausea; if you know me, you may also know that I sometimes forget to control my facial expressions. Both braiders in the salon could tell I was getting increasingly more uncomfortable and didn’t know what was going on. So in a few minutes, my braider asked me if I needed anything. I told her it was cramps but it would go away—there was me and my pride, getting in the way as usual. 

Minutes later, that pride had nothing on my pain because she offered to go to a convenience store next door to buy me motrin since I had none on me. Reluctantly, I said yes…  I had to, there was no winning in this situation but there was a possibility of relief. I had to reach for it.

While I tried to understand how I just let a stranger go out of her way for me, as if that wasn’t hard enough for me to do, the other braider offered to make me cup noodles, saying she had some and it would probably help ease my stomach… While attending to another customer, the other braider who wasn’t even assigned to be working on me or my hair offered to make me food free of charge and I had no clue how to react to this overwhelming show of hospitality.

It reminded my of my 10 aunts on my dad’s side—always trying to feed and take care of people, it’s a part of the culture. In that salon though, it was honestly really overwhelming to be surrounded by a culture you’re told that belongs to you even while spending so little time around it, and I was at their mercy because ultimately, they were the ones who could help me not feel so awful in those moments.

Photo by Max Winkler on Unsplash

Politely declining the noodles—reluctantly, there’s only so much pride hospitality a girl can take—my braider came back and handed me the motrin, reminding me to drink some of my water with it. Then, instead of continuing my hair, she sat down for a break and told me to let her know when I was ready.

If I knew how to cry thankful tears, I probably would have done it then because I’m not used to this kind of kindness from strangers, even when I recognize that nature in my family or aunties and uncles from my parents’ college days.

So I’m trying to gather myself and munching on a protein bar I had in my bag, attempting to ignore my embarrassment, and somehow I was feeling a whole lot better in another 20 minutes. After an hour, my braider finished my hair and, in my opinion, I was looking pretty great. Before my body could make anything else go awry, I said a few more red faced and apologetic thank yous to both braiders, before tipping them a bit extra, and hightailing it out of there. I just needed to get out of there at that point.

Finally finished, I was happy to get back into my now well-parked car and do just that. 

After all that, do you see what I mean about the hot mess part? If not, just go back to the last time I mentioned sweating.

 The thing is, I had no choice but to swallow my pride and ask for help from people I didn’t know. Yet, I was rewarded with kindness and somehow, I realized what it meant to have grace in the face of something you can’t see coming. I mean, I definitely wasn’t planning for a bloody nose before getting sick like that. Otherwise I would have planned better. 

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

It just happened, the way a whole lot of things in our lives do, things you can’t control nor can you see them coming. All any of us can do is handle it with grace—sweaty or not—and find a way to be okay with asking for help when we need it. I won’t say that it was easy, clearly it wasn’t, but I can tell you that I was surprised by the outcome after I did.

I hope that you give that a try next time you need it; trust me, sometimes it’s a whole lot better than suffering in silence. 


Good luck and thanks for sticking with me through that story. Was it worth it? I would love to hear any of your embarrassing or humbling stories if you’ve got them; I’d like to think we all do. 

I’ll see you all soon. Happy Friday.

What You Think You Know

Once of the first mistakes you can make in 2019 is to assume anything; unfortunately, we are all guilty of doing so. 

And it makes us overlook people far too often. We cross the street when someone potentially dangerous walks our way, we think we know gender when we see it, and if someone looks like you can’t depend on them, maybe you’re right.

But maybe you aren’t.

Because stereotypes and assumptions only help us see what we think we know. It doesn’t mean it’s actually true.

I am a woman. 

And also black.

And a liberal arts major.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

So I guess there are plenty of assumptions probably made about me. Some people tend to ask if I’m good at basketball or because I’m tall, I might be in modeling. If someone sees me walking with my twin on campus, they will probably assume we’re dating.

But none of those are true.

I mention this, not because these assumptions bother me because that last one definitely does, but because people things like this cause us to overlook people.

Just because I’m an English major doesn’t mean I can’t crush a Cal 2 final. Because I did. Just because I’m almost notoriously single in all my friend groups, that doesn’t mean I know nothing about relationships–trust me, you learn a lot on the sidelines. And just because I can be a sometimes detrimentally nice person, trust that I know when people are underestimating or taking advantage of me. 

Ignorance isn’t always bliss.  

One person with all the right merits in all the right places on a beautiful resume may be completely unqualified for the job. Instead, the single mom going back to school or the kid who never graduated high school may be just what a company is looking for. If we keep making assumptions for what we think is best for us rather than what we know will be beneficial, we may actually sabotage our own success in the process.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

We end up getting in our own way. 

I know that this week, I did.

When we look at schools and jobs and cities, we take a list of criteria and compare what each of those things have to offer us versus what we want. The thing is, if you know me then you know that I love my lists. That’s how I chose Cal Poly or how I figure out what tasks to do first every day.

And every time I’ve overlooked something. On paper, the school looked great and well, crossing things off on a to-do list feels pretty great. It just doesn’t account for the people, environments, or even what the commute might look like.

Like they say, don’t judge a book by its cover.

The cover might tell you a few lies if you do.

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You never know what something might be like until you try it. I used to have a friend that I are afraid to ask to brunch because they intimidated me—turns out it was just their face. I chose a self-publisher based on their name and the company they were attached to while a little more research would have been smart. And a summer in SLO with new friends and the beach sounded pretty great, until I ended up spending more time with dogs than actual human beings and as much fun as that can be, it’s not quite the ideal. Plus, of course, I missed my parents.

Fact is not quite fact until you know it for sure and until you do, don’t pigeonhole your options. Maybe things aren’t quite what they seem or someone isn’t who you think they are.


We don’t always know what we think we know and I guess I’m starting to understand that. Even moreso, I’m trying to apply it to my life. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be one of my best learning curves yet. 

The Art of Doing Nothing

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I’ve got to be honest, we live in a society that doesn’t know how to stop moving. And I’m a part of it. We all are. 

Even though this is my last summer of rejecting adulthood, I’m also gearing up portfolios and plans and applications for graduate schools because something has to come next and I need options. It just so happens that some of those grad schools are in New York and if I remember correctly, there was something about that place that was so bright and so blurry…

Part of what drew me into the city was the fact that it never felt like anything could stop moving. Our minds, creativity, business, photography, entertainment, tourism… None of it was allowed to ever stop otherwise the whole city wouldn’t quite be what it was anymore.

I thought everything just might fall apart without it.

Sometimes, that’s what it feels like to be growing up right now. On the cusp of the 2000s and right in between the defining factors for two very different generations, I find myself being pushed more and more to keep moving. Forward, up, sideways, it doesn’t really matter. As long as I keep doing something

Something productive, of course.

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That’s the culture that surrounds us, no matter what generation you are or what your life looks like right now, people constantly feel the need to keep up with one another. As much as Nike would love to tell you that rivals are the best motivation, it only goes so far. 

There is a fine line between being super productive or the best worker you can be and well, a burnout. Because burnout will come if you never stop, and that’s not a choice but a fact.

Knowing that, feeling the pressure of sports or writing or future industries and accomplishing as much as I could to be the best before I get to my future, it’s a lot.

Maybe at some points, it was for me and at others, it wasn’t about me—we might be the priority of our own lives but that doesn’t mean we don’t put other people first sometimes. That’s what I’ve done for years now, especially my junior year of college when so much of it was working to support or be better for others so they had everything they needed to be the best.

After moving so so much, I am just realizing that I started moving forward in 2017 in an effort to fix all the things I felt I was doing and being wrong. I joined clubs, was offered a high starting position at work, and I hit 300+ plus pages in my novel. 

Photo by Kendal James on Unsplash

It’s just that, I know these are past accomplishments but this was only the beginning and I didn’t stop working or thinking or trying until I hit July of this year. This is the first time I’ve stopped moving.

And I’m tired.

If I’m being honest, I’m not as healthy as I should be. I am not sleeping the way I should be. I am not eating the way I should be. I do not feel the way I should, the way I want to. 

Even after all this work and time and accomplishing that has truly been incredible, none of it has changed what I lost in the process. And I really needed to recharge.

So I stopped—sort of by choice and sort of by my body making me. Instead, I’ve taken two online classes I wanted, spent a lot of time with dogs (dog sitting is a surprisingly lucrative job), and taken a break. In the past two weeks, I have read three average length novels and right now I’m on my fourth. I’ve spent time with my family and watched shows for no reason but the mindless distraction they bring.

For a little while, I’ve done nothing. And honestly, I don’t quite look forward to the structure of 16 units on quarter system again, but I’ll be starting better than it ended.

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

That counts for a whole lot.

Maybe if you remember to truly take a break, from social media and influence and work, you’ll give yourself something you truly need in the process.

I would like to think that I did and for my own literary enjoyment and fun-starved soul, I needed that time to reconnect both to the world and myself in the process. If you need that, do it for yourself. Do whatever it takes.

Trust me, you’re worth it.

Happy Friday. 

Nature or Nurture… Both?

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Have any of you ever wondered why our environments matter so much to us? Why the “what if”s even come to question or the outcomes of what we do or why we do it always seem to come down to the details?

Well, it’s like they say: Nature and nurture. Some of the things we do are simply human nature. And some of it, well, it’s influenced by the world around us.

Think about it; have you ever done something without thinking, maybe say a word or pet a dog, and a child mirrored exactly as you had just done? It’s like finishing a test and waiting around while you pretend to work until someone else gets up and turns theirs in first—their actions are permission, affirmation, that it is what you’re supposed to do.

Sometimes our surroundings set the standards.

And I’ve been thinking about that because I am going into my senior year of college, and if you’ve followed me since the beginning, you would know that ending up at Cal Poly was a road with a lot of… details. Getting denied, appealing once Nick got in, Howard Orientation right before the call that I had been conditionally accepted here, etc. A lot changed really quickly and the moment I made the decision to stay in California or go, I may have also decided part of who I would become in college.

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Hear me out. With rising tuition fees and ever changing components to that, the in state student is very different from out of state. Howard would have meant I was a DC resident for 9 months out of the year, if not more. Our nation’s home base is very *very* different from San Luis Obispo.

One school is a PWI, a Primarily White Institution that may be considered adverse to diversity. The other is an HBCU, a historically black college/university. In just knowing that, I understand that my experience in college would be altered depending on which school I went to. In one, I would be the minority and probably never be able to forget it, whether or not it was a good thing in any situation. In the other, I would experience not being the minority for the first time in my life.

One is in DC, talk about a colder and much more political atmosphere than California. The other is in San Luis Obispo, California’s Central Coast where it’s never really warm nor cold and politics only matter in specific battles.

Do you get what I’m trying to say? I made the decision and as of now, I am happy with who I am becoming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about what it would have meant for this Karina Williams—for the me 2 years ago—to go to Howard.

Nurture defined by environment would have been almost complete opposites from one place to the other. I can’t ignore that.

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I bring it up now because I understand there are some big decisions and changes ahead of me. I am an English major going into my senior year of college and I know that I do not want to teach. That in itself means that my path will be non traditional, again within the minority. Not because I love being “different” or finding my own path, but simply because I can’t live outside what I love. If I did, that wouldn’t be living.

Here, I am in Orientation, Cultural clubs, journalistic clubs, and I surround myself with change makers; my closest friends are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Sure, involvements in these things had to do with my nature to care about people and what makes them who they are. It also had to do with what has been necessary to keep my head above water as a minority here.

Where I go from here, well that depends on what I plan to do. I think I know what I am headed towards and passionate about, let alone the logical decision, but I can’t help but find significance in what I’ve been through and how I’ve gotten through it.

I’m a creative. By nature and by nurture, I am not living without creating something. Even if I try, I can’t not do it. I feel that pull in my heartstrings and the gravitation of my bones to do something, make something, anything, and it’s almost always present. It’s become undeniable.

I don’t know if I would be who or where I am if I did not spend the last three years here. I am almost sure I wouldn’t be the Karina you know now, but I am also pretty positive creativity is something I wouldn’t be able to ignore.

I have to do it. It’s my oxygen.

If that’s the case, where does that mean I’m going next?

Well I can’t tell you everything, I’d need to figure out details first. But after so many dreams from the medical field to publishing, I think I’m heading toward neither.

You can’t take the creative out of the girl after all, so I’m taking that and I’m running with it—no, I’m living it. Fully.

I am going to create things. Whether they’re films or companies or logos or visions, trust me when I say, I am giving it my everything (even now) because part of me has no choice. My life is in the stories I tell and drawings I create or movies I fixate on. I breathe through poetry and music. I live for the details.

And well, I am going to make all of that my life’s work. The details, the stories, the creating. It’s going to be everything I do. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t have made it through these last few years without writing and seeking out creativity the way I have through my major and my passions. And maybe it’s because that’s just who I am, a creator to the core.

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I might never know what that balance looks like in who I am, one versus the other and how much of each I am made of. But I do know that it’s who I am and what I cannot live without—nature and nurture in real time. So trust me when I say switching my major to English, going to school here, choosing to stay, they were all steps to get me to wherever I go next. After all, what comes next is going to be a big change. One that I welcome with open arms. Happy Friday night.

If a Line is Crossed and No One Is There to Stop It…

It’s been quite a busy week filled with plenty of homework and a long bus/train ride between home and SLO; I’ve been so caught up in my work that I tend to lose track of time. Before I knew it, time for another Friday post. 

Have you ever had that happen? That feeling of being excited or so invested in something that you lose track of time and little details, getting lost in whatever it is instead. I do that a lot when I’m writing or working on a good piece of artwork. 

It can also happen with people. Because last week I talked about dating and how there are so many different ways to meet people nowadays—for all we know, we could meet someone on an app and never actually meet in person for weeks. That’s how some people end up falling for what or who they think someone is. After all, we just want the best for ourselves. Sometimes though, that want can come with a little tunnel vision. 

And when it comes to dating, such tunnel vision can be a dangerous thing for all of us.

Let’s say two people decide to finally meet up in a public place and get to know each other. So they make a date and get to see one another face to face.

Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

Now picture this: both people are having a good time, drinking lightly and just talking for a while. Once the initial nerves start to fade and they settle in a bit more, laughter gets a little louder and their faces flush because maybe they realized they’re enjoying themselves together. So one of them asks if their partner wants another drink, you know, can’t hurt to ask and everyone should be comfortable right? But the question is answered with a “no” and a smile; it’s shrugged off and diverted into another conversation topic for maybe the next ten minutes.

Then they ask again, “drink?”

Again, “no, thank you though. Not trying to drink too much.” Nervous laughing to try to keep the atmosphere light, but it’s a first date so that can be hard to do.

It was only by the third time of hearing the same question within fifteen minutes that things were beginning to click. But it didn’t make sense, they had talked about boundaries together and comfortability way before the date. Everything was set. And this person was funny, they were kind despite a few awkward moments of weirdness between them both.

So why would— 

“Thirsty yet?”

Cue the very large red flag thrown off in one of their heads, thinking that maybe it was time to go home. Alone.

So in just a few minutes, that’s exactly what they did. Politely and kindly, but firmly stating that they were leaving before making their exit.

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

It was only a couple blocks away did they finally take a deep breath, glad to be out of that situation. But what would have happened if the tunnel vision they had going into the date didn’t fade until after the first several drinks… What if they only noticed the weirdness a bit too late?

Because I have a lot of smart, incredible, wonderful friends. And lucky for me, last week one of them followed their gut and left this date before anything went farther than weird and uncomfortable. Maybe add pushy to that. 

But they’re okay. 

The part about this that isn’t okay though, the part that I hate, is the pit in my stomach when I know that some people aren’t okay. No matter what someone is wearing, no matter if a mind was changed, and no matter if boundaries were set, things happen.

Of course they do, when some people enjoy crossing those boundaries or taking advantage of other people. As much as I wish it weren’t the case, it is something we have to look out for and the older I get, the more I understand why. 

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter your gender or age, your confidence or your choice of place—you have to look out for yourself as the only priority in these situations. Tell someone where you’re going, check in on your friends. Keep an eye on your drinks (though this does not excuse a lack of affirmative consent), meet in public places, use your voice. And use the people around you too. 

Photo by Bruce Dixon on Unsplash

Because sometimes, it helps not to be a bystander in your life and other people’s. If something feels weird, figure out why. If someone seems too drunk to leave with their date, give it a quick check or tell someone else who can. After all, it isn’t hard to get caught up in someone or something, what you think it may be; just don’t get so caught up that you lose your grip on reality too. 

Reality is your truth and well, truth can be pretty powerful if you pay attention to it. So look around, for the good moments and the bad ones because there is a time and place for everything, including carelessness.  Look out for yourself and those around you too, wherever you’re at, stay safe. All of you deserve that much. 

What Exactly is Dating at 21?

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Have you heard of Bumble? It’s a dating app much like Tinder where the user gets to see photos and profiles of people who fit their preferences; then they get to swipe right on those they are interested in and left on those they are not interested in. 

So, for kicks and giggles, I wanted to try it out. I mean, how else do I find interesting people to date in a college/retirement town over summer? Besides bar hopping.

Bumble was my solution. Meeting people online has its risks, I know that. They could be fake, catfishes, bots, or so many other things. That’s not the risk I want to talk about though, I want to talk about dating… Or not.

After all, what do we consider dating for young 20 something youths in the 21st century?

From what I’m told, some people aren’t really into being together in the sense of actually courting one another or getting to know one another. After all, it’s nice to have your freedom and not be tied down by emotion and responsibility. So I’ve heard.

Other people are into dating and that’s great too. They aren’t into hook-up culture or just kind of going with the flow without definitions. Sounds a little more like my preference at least.

My problem comes in that I don’t understand where I fit into this whole schema. I’m not really into hookups; that’s just not my thing. And if you don’t know what that means, leave it at not being into casual flings.

On a lot of these apps though, despite what other people may claim, they are just looking for friends and maybe some casual hangouts. It gets a little complicated to try and figure out what someone else is into.

Photo by Michael Prewett on Unsplash

I mean, how do you even mention that topic when you just “meet” someone online? Remember now, I’m awkward.

I bring it up now because, well, I met a nice boy on Bumble and we were supposed to hang out. So we made a plan and I figured out what I was wearing, who I would tell, who would drive, etc.

But then came the mental deliberation: Do I mention it? Of course I mention it, not doing so would be foolish. But what do I say? Uh… “Hey, so I don’t know what you expect but…” But is that too much?

It took a lot of back and forth, trust me, but I ended up just letting him know what my intentions were not.

And then I waited for a response.

Then I waited. 

Took a shower, started laundry, then waited…

And waited some more.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

After two hours, he didn’t answer. There was my answer I guess, he wasn’t into the whole dating thing and would simply ghost me instead. 

I shrugged, switched into sweatpants, and went about my night. That’s how it goes for my age group on dating apps at this point, its a hit or a miss. Kinda like some medications… It’s a trial and error. Some won’t work out, you’ve got to find just the right one for it to work out all right for you. 

That, my readers, is how I am navigating dating at the age of 21. Apparently, it’s a little complicated. Less hookup common than Tinder, but still this is how I’m starting with Bumble.

After I go on a date with that nice boy next week. Because three hours later, he did message me back and said what? He respects whatever boundaries I set and he won’t cross them without affirmative consent.

So maybe 21st century dating isn’t awful. I’m still confused and who knows, maybe he isn’t that nice of a person. But I’ll find out by taking a chance and also taking precaution (meeting in a public place, telling someone where I’m going and when to check in, etc) while I do.