For someone who can often openly describe himself as happily anti-social, it makes for the perfect foil when I find myself the loudest in the room, or leading a training session, or even craving social interaction.

At the same time, I tire of social settings as quickly as I adjust to them, when I thrust myself (or am thrust) into them.

For a long time, I felt bad wanting to be the first to leave, or wanting to leave “just when the parties getting started”, or wanting to eat my lunch alone, in a solitary crevice of the office. But it’s a recent area of change for me, the comfort in doing me. The comfort in knowing myself better than I ever have, and the strength to do what makes me happy and comfortable. Not in any sort of selfish way, by all means, if the occasion calls for it, I’ll suck it up, throw myself back into the midst of it all, and do what’s best in the situation.

So I guess the point of this musing is small and simple, and that is that it’s okay to not be what everybody wants you to be all of the time, but there is definitely value in allowing yourself to be in unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or just irregular situations. Sometimes it’s where we have the most fun. But we can do it with balance, knowing our limits, and being flexible.



Cynicism and Optimism

When did I become so cynical?

It’s something I’ve noticed recently, that amidst all the click bait, celebrity relationship drama, and “it’s just a prank bro” clips filling my Facebook feed, I have come to accept that I hate other people. It leaves me bewildered, searching for the answer to when I stopped seeing the best in people, basically, when I stopped giving as much of a shit as I used to.

As a teenager, I was wound more tightly than hospital sheets. I was anxious, nervous, and highly insecure… so pretty much like 80% of teenagers (I assume, anyway. Just go along with it for the sake of this piece).

And so, eventually I finished school, got a job, started studying, got a different job, got promoted, finished studying, got another job, and so on.  My job exposes me to the best and worst of people every day, but then again, whose job doesn’t? Somewhere along that way though, things changed. I was no longer who I used to be. I no longer had control over being the playful optimist I had once been, as life was now in the way.

But I guess that’s the beauty of optimism. It is inherently biased to highlight the points which you actually want to remember, beer helps with those other memories. Hidden in the opportunist concoction of hindsight and artistic licence is the reality of mediocrity and underwhelming chronicles. We too often remember fondly of our past, not always willing, or capable, of distinguishing the merit to our rosy re-creation.

This is where I am at now, trying to find the best of both of me, the real cynic, and the playful optimist. Seeking out how to balance the scales by recognising each side of me and adapting my style depending on the situation. Knowing when to be positive, and trust in optimistic power, but also when to bite the bullet and know that the cynic grounds my perceptions, and keeps me close to reality.

For the record, I don’t actually hate other people, it’s more a compelling frustration.


Do you have something to say about the roles of cynicism and optimism in your lives, contact @guiseside on Facebook or Twitter, or email at