Be Shy

Being aloof is essential for encouraging missed opportunities, both personal and professional. Don’t underestimate the power of connections, and be sure to avoid them. Don’t look directly at anyone. Look up or down or out the window or at a book, your phone, your hands, anywhere but into the face of another human soul. Master the art of appearing distracted; hurried, frazzled. Give clear signals that you’re deep in your own head, busy with your own very important thoughts. Try talking to yourself (or just moving your lips) and furrowing your brow or nodding your head rapidly as if confirming some phantom voice. Show up late, disheveled and shivering, like you’re always cold; pulling your hood on, your collar up, or your sweater tighter in around yourself.
Cultivate a rich inner life and shut most everything else out. Try repeating negative and self deprecating phrases like, “She already has enough friends”, “He’s probably a pedophile,” or “My hair is stupid,” whenever you find your private extrovert trying to get out. Maybe indulge a superiority complex instead, by silently judging everyone around you with mantras like, “You pathetic simps,” or “They’re all sheep.” (Something heavy-handed and nihilistic is preferable).
Don’t volunteer. Don’t introduce yourself. Build a mystique that some may take for eccentricity, snobbery, drug addiction, or vapidity. Pay no mind to these potential murmurs. Remember, what people say about you behind your back is really none of your business. Now go get yourself a wide brim hat and some dark glasses and get ready to reap solipsism’s cool rewards.


Follow a Band

Not a big band. I’m talking about living for some small scene that no one’s heard of…Yet. Become consumed with a local band with any bit of a following that boasts attractive yet accessible band members who are featured routinely in the local free paper. Romanticize their talent and convince yourself that by going to all of their shows and partying/sleeping with them that you’re part of something big, on the ground level. Spend your time between shows shopping for ironic outfits and procuring illicit drugs to cement your allure.
Just know that somehow the whole scene will blow up and they’ll take you on tour with them to remote Eastern European locations (not to mention the on-stage shout outs and the liner note thanks). Plan on how you will someday slip into casual conversations, “Oh, I used to hang out with Pony Mountain way back when in Baltimore…” winning the respect and admiration of all those around you. It’ll be easy to convince yourself of their impending stardom as you’ll never hear the band sober or during the daytime. Plus, you have absolutely nothing else going on.

Watch Way Too Much TV

Watch a lot of TV. A lot. Don’t just watch one episode, watch all the episodes. Watch from the very first to the very last. Watch the whole series. At once. Twice. But don’t just watch the series. Become the series. Don’t just come to know the characters, come to know yourself through the characters. And then do it over and over again with another series and then another. Once you start understanding your life as a narrative, it will make a lot more sense.