E.T. Phone Home: An essay about being an Alien
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E.T. Phone Home: An essay about being an Alien

On the occasions I’ve gone out in my hometown recently, people have asked where I’m from. They usually don’t think I’m from The Soo.

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Sometimes when they ask where I’m from, I’ll say some start aleck response like ‘Earth’ but usually I say ‘I’m an Intergalactic Being from a distant galaxy trying to blend in amongst you Earthlings. I come in peace. 👽🖖🏻‘

Something I (strive) to be is authentic and unique. Stand out from the crowd. Be different from others. Sort of like an Alien on Earth. Or a peacock with all his cool colours. 🦚

I guess I consider myself a lone wolf (this is starting to sound like The Hangover lol).

Anyways, I used to always think this was a 100% good thing. Why wouldn’t you want to be different from everyone else?

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." —Oscar Wilde

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Recently, however, I’ve noticed that there are some downsides to being an Alien. 😔😢🥺

Being an Alien can be lonely. Because you aren’t immediately part of the group(s) around you because your different, for whatever reason. I’ve been bummed lately because I wish people would invite me to hangout but I’m not part of their ‘go to group’.

Similarly, in high school, I felt like I was sort of part of the popular group and sort of part of the academically focused group. I was 1 foot in both but, as a result, kinda ended up being part of neither. I remember many a Friday nights being at home hoping someone would invite me out; most of the time, they didn't and I just stayed at home and did schoolwork. (it wasn't bad though, I love learning and being creative)

I think this is a call to action for a few things:

  1. People (including myself) should be more inclusive. Especially for people who are different from them. Why not invite that person to come out with your group? What's the worst thing that could happen? Honestly, I see very little downside and a lot of upside. Funny story, but I was slightly intimidated by Roger when he first started at Shopify. There was all this talk about "this crazy smart guy" and I was worried he was going to outdo me in sales. Yet, I proceeded with an open mind and I'd reckon we are best of friends now.
  2. Rifting off of Otis Redding’s famous song ‘Try a little empathy’. What do you think it would be like to not be invited or included?
  3. Find your people (CC: Roger — 25 Years, #24) They must be out there. I do have a crew of people who I can have deep and meaningful convos with. Covid has just made it a bit tougher - I’m up in The Soo, most of them are down south. But I'll be back with my species on our mothership in no time! 😉
  4. If you're feeling like an Alien, go out of your way to connect with others. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Others will self-select too; they might not want you to be part of their group, but maybe those are the people you don't want to be around anyways.

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Written: October 15, 2020.

Robots & Aliens // 🤖 & 👽