Libero, is an important role in volleyball matches that keep the play going. Recently, I’ve come to realise just how tough and how much efforts are needed to be put into creating a connection, especially for an ambivert like me that doesn’t really meet new people for the past few years unless it’s necessary (due to internship work, for example).

What I noticed from my own interaction with new group of people, is the simple ability to connect through words by understanding what they are trying to express during a conversation, and then acknowledging it. Because me myself, I feel an odd charm rushing over me when people I talk to understand what I’m referring to, and most of the time—it’s a specific feeling that we are talking about.

Because amidst all the pleasantries, and usual greetings, when I have time to spend alone with any other of my old and new friend, I found myself tend to lean in to engage in deeper talks. I didn’t just ask them what happened, but I wanted to know how they felt at the time, and why they felt that way.

I’m just… curious.

Is it because something similar happened years ago to them, their closed ones? Is it because they are more empathetic by nature? Is it because of how they see the world, and they have a unique scale of measuring these events and activities that are happening all around? Or simply because they didn’t care much, but why?

I found this tremendously interesting.

It’s like peeling off an outer layer that people present themselves with, and another layer, and another until I reach this deepest core of what made them who they are, at that moment.

It’s not like I am 100% interested in knowing every single aspect of their lives, but rather the way they see themselves in it, the way they handle the choices and words to share their thoughts with me. It’s like discovering a little part of themselves, and understanding them deeper to their thoughts and action that motivate them.

It’s how I write my characters in my novel, and I didn’t think it can be this transparent in real life.

I didn’t realize I have the ability to make people want to open up to me.

And oddly, I learnt more about myself when I listened to them, to their stories.

It re-shapes the connection of bond that I always knew, making it less abstract, and much more real.

It forges on the existing connection, and what kept me going is usually not about the things we talked about, but the way I make them feel after an interaction with me.

I sort of opened up a creak of the door for them to chat, to share without concern.

And this makes them feel great, it makes me feel fulfilled as well—which is totally different than from after having just a bland conversation.

That’s why for the past month I’ve spent quite a large part of my time in socializing, joining frisbee and gardening group in mornings of weekends, pulling back associates through reunions, and putting myself out there in the world, embracing the university life as it should be.

I do feel a little bit burnout by now, so I’ll shift my gear and change my pace a bit so that I’ll just be a tad bit more chill, as my friend advised. Though, I’ll be busy for the coming months and afterwards, it’ll be the time when I’m back to active again in this community, springing on a few articles per month.

Until then, see you guys later, ciao!