On Dodging WhatsApp Groups
Posted on March 19, 2017
I hate introductory pieces. I don’t care much for the lousy details people would share because they think it gives an overall impression of who they are – but maybe that’s just because I am an Aquarius. I am also a very sarcastic mofo, fyi. I guess the main thing to know is that I am originally from Belgium but have just moved to a different country. Knowing I never half-ass anything (I whole-ass pretty much everything), I picked the absolute farthest I could go. Right now, I am in a gorgeous café in Sydney, pretending to be some big-shot writer girl with a MacBook and a latte. Could I be writing this blog in Dutch? Absolutely. Am I pretending to be something bigger than I am by doing this in English? Probably. Am I using my Master’s degree in English and the fact that I am living in an English-speaking city as an excuse? You bet. Besides, if I weren’t writing this in English, how would Anna Wintour ever realise I am the new talent she needs to come work at Vogue?
Speaking of talent and work, the reason I am here is a fabulous internship with L&A Social Media. Imagine working with young, creative, gorgeous people in an office that not only houses multiple office dogs, but that’s also big enough to skateboard in. I get to write, I get to learn how to be a photographer and I get to pose for pictures with cocktails in my hands and designer shoes on my feet. Jealous yet, or would you care to hear about the kick-ass birthday parties, team lunches and after-work drinks as well? No need to freak out yet, mummy and daddy, but I might never leave.
Of course not all is as fabulous and gorgeous as I make it out to be. There is one thing I have been struggling with for sure, and that’s people. How rude does that sound? Let me explain though. They always say you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it and some more of those general platitudes, but it is true. I did realise I had the most loving parents, the most supportive family and the bestest of friends before I got here, but it’s not until you are stuck with uncomfortable forced fake friendships that it hits you in the face. I hate this idea of having to be friends with someone just because you happen to be in the same situation as them. I hate having to bond over speaking the same language, as if that little detail automatically means that I can no longer dislike them. I live in a share house with about thirty other people, but I feel in no way obliged to be their best friend, just because we happen to have to share the same kitchen. Friendships just don’t work that way. Yes, I will be nice to them and of course they can borrow my salt (if I would have some – cooking isn’t very high on my priority list), but no, I will not ask them to Netflix with me just because they happen to be my next-door neighbour. I’m reclaiming the right to choose my own peeps.
I fully realise the last paragraph just made me sound like the most antisocial human being on earth, which I am absolutely not. In fact, I love meeting new people and I am actually always very friendly and open towards new experiences, but I want to be able to decide for myself if I still want to hang out with them after this initial bonding moment. I’ll give you an example: I came here with an organisation that helps people get an internship and every month they organise a dinner party. Great initiative, absolutely adorable, but I just want to be able to walk away afterwards without this immense pressure of being an active part of this group. They throw you in a WhatsApp conversation, buzzing non-stop with questions to hang out, but I don’t want that. Honestly, of the twenty people I meet at these things, I feel like two or three of them are people I could connect with – and I’ll make sure to get their number. No, I don’t want to be part of another sub-WhatsApp group just because I speak Dutch and god no, especially not of another group solely because I happen to be female. Sometimes I feel like I’m one step away from being thrown in a WhatsApp group because my name starts with the letter L and people want to try their chances to see if those are the BFF’s they have been dying to find.
I feel like this first post is of a very high level of bitch and some of you may think I am the most intolerant person in the world. I am not, trust me. I am selective, at most. I just like to fill my evenings talking to people who can talk about more than beer pong and how they got wasted last night and slept in a park. Sue me. Of course, all of this is easy to say for the privileged chick who has been very lucky to meet nice people at home and at work. I already have my perfect WhatsApp group and yes, it is with people who happen to be Dutch, but I am in it because I like them. Because I wànt to hang out with them, not because I hàve to because of some unwritten rule. I am lucky enough to have found a great internship, full of people I actually and genuinely like. Publishing this will probably end up giving me a lot of bad Karma, but hey, the truth hurts. I’ll get back to you guys soon and who knows, by next time I might just be going around adding people to WhatsApp groups.