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The Journey Continues. Even now.

I apologize for the length of time since my last post—I do not intend to make that the norm. I can happily report, however, that I have been busy during that time in productive ways.  

So no, I didn’t magically get to where I needed to be by becoming an initiated fraternity brother. In fact, I would never say now that I have reached that place of ultimate achievement; I may never say that in my time. But I had already taken a large and significant step toward addressing the things that were holding me back around the people in my life.

There were still times that I would not go to social events because I felt like I wasn’t up to making small talk with strangers. There were still many days when I felt like I just wasn’t meant to interact naturally with others the way my peers did. And finally, I know that it held me back even in the relationships I had with some who were close to me. It still bothers me when I think about it—and it drives me to be and to do more in my life going forward. 

I feel like it’s best to leave this thread where it is for the moment—and potentially for good. My primary goal from sharing this part of my experience was to give those who know me, and those who have yet to know me, a window into where I have come from and where I am going. My desire to connect more and more effectively with people is one that shall always drive me.

Until next time. Take care and be well.

The big leap

Fast-forward to the end of Rush Week. I had found a fraternity that I wanted to join, and this particular brotherhood wanted me at least as much. From my first night as a New Member, I had this great feeling about the house and its brothers: the sort of feeling that you don’t often get about things in life. I also felt like the weeks we would spend in the New Member Education process would be one of the strangest and most challenging things I would ever do. Both of these feelings I had at the outset would be correct.

This process, that other Greek societies have referred to as ‘Pledging,’ illuminated the weaknesses which had plagued me throughout my teenage years, and were of course still following me as an 18 year-old New Member. My difficulty in socializing often became a barrier between me and those in my Pledge Class and the House at large. My lack of self-confidence meant that I regularly saw myself as a screw-up who was a burden to everyone who depended upon me.

It would turn out that the unique and difficult nature of New Member Education would be just the thing to start breaking me out of my shell—not entirely, but enough so that I would be well on my way to conquering my demons for good. I can’t say enough for the guys in my Pledge Class, and the guys of the House. Their patience and appreciation for me and the effort I could put forth assured me that my personal qualities were enough to gain the respect of some of the most admirable people that have ever been in my life.

If you know anything about college fraternities, you’ll know that I can’t go very far into specifics about the things we did to earn a place in this incredible organization. All I can say is that it was one of the biggest steps I’ve ever taken for my own personal development.

Innovation in Gaming

One of the most eye-opening game experiences around. Whether or not you are familiar with this illness, it’s 20 minutes you’ll be glad you spent. This despite the fact that it’s not a game you play for fun and action—give it a try and see what you think

Fulfilling the Need

continued from earlier post “The Need to Change”

Obviously my social identity wasn’t going to change until I had a social life. It took until October for me to make my first friend at school—her name was Ana. She was (and is) an awesome and beautiful person. I’m pretty sure that, to be honest, the thing that first bonded us was that we would sit and vent about the same people around us that rubbed us the wrong way . Hey, you’re not going to like everybody. But I liked Ana, and Ana liked me. Even years after she decided (in the middle of our sophomore year) that F&M would not be where she finished out her undergrad work, we still keep in touch and consider ourselves close friends.

Think what you will, but the aspect of the college social scene that appealed most to me was Greek Life. I found myself instantly fascinated not only by the self-assured manner with which members of the houses carried themselves, but also with the palpable camaraderie they displayed with those that shared their letters. I began frequenting Greek functions at each house in which I made connections with individual brothers. At this point I was getting a bit better at putting myself around new people and making myself interact with them, though most aspects of my social finesse still needed major work.

And through all the time spent trying to show people that I was worthy of being their friend, I had Ana there with me. We made a thing of ordering pizza and sitting on her fluffy pink bedspread watching bad reality shows. I’d listen to stories of drama she’d had with men in her life, and she’d do her best to educate me on what women wanted in a man. It was the comfort I needed, and also reassurance that even a shy, awkward guy like myself could meet great people in this new and alien place.


The Need to Change

I’ve had time lately to do some reflecting on what made my college experience worthwhile. It’s difficult not to do so when you’re out in the world after graduating, and are still looking for that chance to make your degree productive.

One thing I resolved to do upon beginning freshman year was to change my social reality. I was a small-town Pennsylvania kid, a guy who had shut out most of the social life around me since elementary school. I had dismissed the derision I got from the popular crowd in my teen years as a small-mindedness that came with that environment. Video games and the people who made them their lives were my best friends then.

So there I am, this painfully shy kid, removed from the safe zone of my house and living in a dorm full of strangers at an elite college. Much of my hall dismissed me as a detached loner by the end of Orientation Week. This was all the reinforcement I needed that things needed to change…

Life lessons from Super Bowl XLVII

So it happened. The Ravens got their rings, and Ray Lewis rides off into the sunset. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re either enthralled by the story, or it all left a bad taste in your mouth. 

Regardless of your feelings, you have to give some respect to where the Ra(y)vens came from since the beginning of their postseason. First, they “backed in” to the playoffs, losing 4 of their final 5 games. Baltimore began its postseason against Indy, a team coming in hot with their own storylines in the form of Andrew Luck’s sensational rookie season and Coach Pagano’s struggle with cancer. Baltimore won.

Then it was the fight at Mile High. The fight that wasn’t supposed to be much of a fight. Come on, the AFC Championship was spelled out before the weekend’s games began: it would be Patriots-Broncos, Manning vs. Brady. Here is a panel of retired football pros/ESPN insiders, delivering their experienced and informed opinions about how the game would turn out.

Out of these 12, how many predicted the Ravens would make it to the AFC Championship? One. ONE OUT OF 12.

And then it was Brady. Oh God, Brady and his weapons—yet again, Belichick had put together a squad of monsters. Follow the next link to see what the experts thought. Same source but hey, I like ESPN.

2 out of 3 predicted that Ray’s Ride would end in Foxborough. It didn’t.

Finally, there was the Super Bowl. Try as I might, I can’t find the link I was looking for to back up my statements. But if you, like I, watched the CBS pregame, you’ll know that 4 of the 5 guys on their panel picked San Fran. We all know how things turned out after that.

Moral of the story, you can look weak coming in—hell, you can BE weak coming in. You can have the people who know better saying that you’re going to fail, at every turn. The Ravens were essentially being pronounced dead up until the 4th quarter. 

But only one team has the Lombardi trophy today. If this team can do what it did in the past postseason, despite all the best projections that they wouldn’t, then certainly those of us who don’t play football for a living can overcome the challenges that look too great to be defeated in our own lives, careers, etc. 

Let’s go.

Hey there Tumblr. You’ve got a new digital native jumping on board. 

What brings me is, quite honestly, the buzz I’ve been hearing from the professional world about the value of a solid blog. Funny to think that would be such a draw to something I heard about through the people I follow in music—Tumblr definitely gets more attention than any of the other blog hosts out there.

Point being, the ongoing job search has made me realize that an effective job seeker should establish himself (or herself) as firmly in the digital world as possible. While I may not have the same insights to offer that a more experienced professional would, I do see myself showcasing how I learn and develop along the way. Whoever’s listening out there, I appreciate it. Sincerely.

Glen R.

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