When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I’m never into geeky/techie stuff.

To me, they have their own, secluded world, and I have mine. It feels very unlikely that our worlds would intersect. I have zero intention to explore their world as I hold zero interest.

So what are the chances that someone like me, with degrees in Liberal Arts and Marketing, surrounded by friends in similar fields, go to geeky event like Data meetup?

0. Or even below that.

But it happened. And it was surprisingly fun! I didn’t realize how much I miss being exposed to new, unfamiliar things until last night’s event. Meeting new people from totally different background certainly is one of the greatest experiences I treasure when I lived abroad. Back home, though, I tend to stick more in my “circles,” people who are from similar backgrounds. Similarity could get boring at times! In a way, I enjoy being the “odd one out” You get to listen a lot and learn so much more from people who are different from you. They have so much to share, and those are new things for you, as well as you to them.

These days I get the feeling all fields are related in one way or another. We are connected (Excuse me if I sound like Zuckerberg for a second…). And we can definitely learn from one another. Even in my field, marketing, has gradually changed to be more data-driven. I certainly didn’t expect people would ask for advice on Japanese business etiquette, how to recruit Japanese/Japanese-speaking people, how to overcome high language barrier when dealing business with Japanese etc, but I was more than happy to share.

Oh, on another note, geeks are talkable! Sociable as well. Surprised! (Phew :P)

I bumped into a Spanish guy who lived in the States and Japan, as well as speaks fluent, perfect Japanese. Who could have imagined that!? We were chatting in Japanese for a while. That really reminded me of my life in Japan; chatting and switching back and forth between English and Japanese, to random people you meet at some parties. It’s almost like a flashback.

In a way, the event also reminded me of university life, with presentations and socializing session afterwards (Or as they say, “Networking” in a working world) Again, I did not realize I miss how refreshing it is to be mentally stimulating, with people who are passionate about what they do and eager to share common interests. I do love this kind of positive energy.

It’s also done in a casual, laid-back environment. Again, big contrast to my rigid, formal Japanese corporate world, where “Let’s grab coffee when you are in this part of town” or “Feel free to stop by and say hi” don’t exist.

I suppose, all along I’ve missed my “abroad self” which is slightly different from my “home self” The event unexpectedly triggered that self back, even just for a few hours. I gotta find some other ways to bring “her” back more often.

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