Posts in Mindset
Part 4: Cultural Competency in the Bar Scene

“ Oh my God, you speak so well!” …. (Oh boy…)

“ You have have, like, no accent at all!”….. (Here it comes…)

“ You’re like Aziz Anzari”…. (*Cue DJ Khalid’s voice over*- “ And Another one”)

If I had a dollar for every time this opener was used on me at a bar, I’d have enough money to dump a notable amount on a certain Netflix executive’s desk, to convince them to hire me as the  new lead in Master’s of None….or at the very least, start my own “Ignorant Bar Encounters Dating Game Show”. Maybe I exhume a sense of passiveness when I talk to people, or maybe people are actually that ignorant, that they think its ok to drop some pretty offensive bombs right off the bat, and know that I wont immediately cut into them. To avoid making a scene, I never do call them out- which I guess really makes me an integral part of the problem here- but I mean, sometimes you can’t really blame an ignorant person for being ignorant, the same way you cant blame a toddler for shitting themselves 15 minutes after you’ve changed them….you just hope they grow out of it, and that its just “a phase”. The problem is, I don’t think this is something that people will grow out of at all…whats even more concerning, is that I feel like this is something people have grown INTO over time.

Growing up in Calgary’s North West, I was one of a handful of kids who wasn’t caucasian…in fact we were so sparse, like grains of pepper in a salt shaker, that I sometimes forgot that I was East Indian at all. The thing here, is that not once during any interaction in my childhood, did I ever feel singled out, did I ever experience blatant ignorance, nor did anyone ask me where I was from (largely due to the fact that I’ve grown up a few blocks from everyone I went to school with, and they all knew exactly where I was from…Calgary…likely born in the same hospital). This childhood innocence and ability to look past colour, to focus in on the person in front of them, and their values, was lost by the time I hit university (along with people’s love for Pokemon…except for that brief period of world peace a few years ago when Pokemon Go dropped…but that’s another topic altogether). For whatever reason, once we hit the bar scene, the majority of people lost all sense of what’s socially acceptable/appropriate to say to someone. I partly blame the loud music, and inability to hold a deeper conversation- but there was a shift from caring about what makes a person tick, to trying to gauge everything about a person based on stereotypes derived from their outward physical appearance. Everything about this is wrong. (One glance at me, and you’d assume I loved Bollywood music- when in fact I’m more of a Blues/Funk kind of guy, who has never even once, seen a Bollywood movie in his life).

But what can we do about this? Trying to immediately educate people on social tact when they accost you at a bar is definitely one method to curb ignorance- but lets be real- under the veil of alcohol, hardly any of these ignoramuses really give a shit about whats right or wrong, or what is or isn’t socially acceptable to someone. As jaded as it sounds- its almost a futile task to tackle. Personally I opt for stepping out of that bar scene altogether, and seek out events/places/parties that cultivate meaningful conversation (generally a place where the music is less than 200bmp, and at a level where you can still hear the person 1 foot away from your face)- largely because its those types of scenes that draw a more culturally aware crowd. Instead of commenting on how well I articulate my words, or asking me where I’m from, we can talk about the most exciting thing you’ve done in the last 3 months, so I can get to know you as a person, and what makes you tick. This city is full of these kinds of social gatherings- and I firmly believe that if we start making an effort to make these more inclusive/open events flourish with our support, we can draw more culturally aware people into the fold, and more and more people would want to be a part of that community. A community that fosters an appreciation for one another on a deeper level through common interests, arts and music- rather than getting excited about talking to someone who talks like “Aziz Anzari". 

Pardeep Sooch

-(Not Aziz Anzari)

Part of “One Big JAM” 

(Alaine here, if you haven't heard of One Big Jam you seriously need to check out their events. That is, ONLY if you like being fully entertained. See, now you have to check it out because there is no way you said no to that.) 

How to make friends as a Succulent Babe

Let’s just say I’m an “older” University student. I took a few years off from high school because i genuinely did not know what I wanted to take. I wanted to find myself, learn more about myself. And of course during that time span, years passed by and my highschool friends graduated from University. So I’m standing in the middle of campus, filled with hundreds of people and I feel alone. I realize I have no friends in University and all I can think of is “I NEED A FRIEND TO GET A’s IN MY CLASSES!” Because let’s be honest, you do better when you have a study buddy! My Succulent Babe mindset kicks in and I confidently know I’m going to make friends in ALL of my classes. Here was my strategy:

  1. Don’t go to class too early - and sit beside someone.. Anyone!

  2. Introduce yourself - you have 80 minutes to say “hi” or it’s a bust.

  3. Cross your fingers and hope they sit by you next class

HA! You think making friends would be that easy. Here was where I went wrong, I didn’t follow through - I had a wall up which lead me to “hope” that the person I introduced myself to would reach out to me during the next class. I already had a negative connotation in my head that if I didn’t do it right the first time, it wasn’t going to happen at all.

And I get a second chance (because life is full of second chances!)  - when I realized that I had nothing to lose and that I had nothing to be afraid of because my Succulent Babe mindset was telling me how awesome I was! I took the initiative to  have a conversation by allowing my guards to come down. And acknowledging that every relationship needs work and it needs time to build. Just because you didn’t get it right the first time, doesn’t mean that friendship or relationship won’t grow or evolve into everything. Just like our plants! If we gave up on our plants because they weren’t growing fast enough - we would never see it bloom. So give it time, take things slow and that relationship could be something amazing!

Longevity: Something that no one teaches you because you must learn on your own - or maybe from a book. But everything worth your while, takes time. Growth takes time, success takes time, relationships take time, everything takes time because at the end of the day - life isn’t a race.

Success: Acknowledging the issue rather than empowering it. Positive thoughts always wins!

Lessons: Consistency creates a compound effect overtime. Just as it defines the difference between success and failure, it determines how strong your friendships/relationships grow.

Travel tip: If you have trouble making friends on a vacation trip - bring a Unicorn floaty because who doesn’t love Unicorns?!




Overcoming negative self talk as a Succulent Babe

Let me ask you a question: What kind of relationship do you have with yourself? I know, weird right? Have you ever caught yourself in autopilot mode due to your super busy life? You just feel so overwhelmed that your life becomes a checklist from task to task? Then, next thing you know - 3 months pass by and not once during that time span have you treated yo self. What happens next? You finally find time to scroll through social media and everyone but you seems to be happy. You feel like somethings missing. You start to judge yourself by comparing your happiness to others. And all of a sudden you feel like your work owns your time and not you. You lose yourself by the lack of effort you put into yourself and others. And one day… you just feel like you’re not good enough, worthy enough - so you put up this wall. Now 3 more months pass by in your lonely autopilot life - and you suddenly feel alone. Sounds like someone you know? If this sounds all too familiar, my dear friend - you are not alone. And you don’t have to stay there!

Negative self talk - Yes, let’s put a damn label on it. I didn’t realize that self shit talking was a thing until I caught myself in my apartment, on a sunny day shit talking.. to me, in my head! I used to think I was alone and maybe slightly crazy but I decided to not let that be another story in my head. For half a year, I couldn’t figure out why I was so insecure all the time. I was always sad and upset at the world. My mantra wasn’t anything positive and it began to become a negative compound effect that was affecting my mindset.

Yes, my Succulent Babe mindset that Alaine and I created was being taken over by my own negative self talk. If ya’ll forgot (because I did) - what is a Succulent Babe? A Succulent Babe is a confident male or female that acknowledges self judgement but moves on from it. Acknowledging when your true self isn’t aligned with your thoughts is how a Succulent Babe would respond to negative self talk and assessing why their mind is not aligning with their beliefs. Just like we say, if your plants look like they need some lovin’, it’s probably a sign that you do too and that you need to treat yo self. I get it, I get it. Life can get so busy and overwhelming. So let’s do ourselves a solid and act like real Succulent Babes, check ourselves and treat ourselves. Because life's too short to not be happy and to be drowning in negative self talk.

Success: Acknowledging when my mind isn’t aligned with what makes me happy is HUGE step. And that’s something to celebrate.

Lessons: I’ve made it apart of my daily ritual to consistency ask myself “How are you today, Les?” and  if I don’t like the answer,  I’ll fix it instead of letting it brew.