Posted in Life/Other

You Never Know Who Is Watching

The title probably made it sound creepy or more like the novel 1984 (which is on my to-read list). But this was talking about finding out that people actually pay attention to your life.

At the beginning of July I made a video and several posts on here as well as a variety of social media that said I was going to be doing a month without English. Now, that didn’t work out quite as well as planned and I had to restart it later in July and I’ve now named it A Month With A Lot of French. More on that later in the language learning section (and a half-way through video as well).

This weekend was the first time that I have gone to a normal National Guard drill all Summer. This was due to graduating college and attending field artillery qualification school. At the end of the weekend, when I was going to clean my section area, I was approached by a fellow Soldier. Now I’ve talked to this guy a few times here and there as is expected because we are in the unit together but nothing that would require much knowledge of the other persons’ civilian life.

However, I was completely caught off guard whenever he asked me how my French was coming along. He had said that he had seen my post on Facebook and that he thought it was very interesting. We then talked about the progress I’ve made and the current challenges that I’m facing.

Other than this, early last week my jiu jitsu instructor gave me a shoutout at the end of class the one day. He told the class how I had come in and completely bombed a tournament, like embarrassingly,  but still came to class the following week without being discouraged. Then I went to my second tournament and still lost, but I did much better and I came off the mat and immediately asked the questions about how to improve the previous match. He then continued by saying how I’ve started to come to Judo so that I could improve my take-downs (and my counter take-downs). At the end he had said that he saw me running that morning and that he enjoyed seeing me improving myself physically outside of the class as well.

Both of these instances I was doing what I do because I wanted to improve myself for me, without any idea that anybody was paying attention to how my progress was coming. So do what you do, improve yourself where you need it, and somebody may notice and somebody may not; but do it for you. Besides, champions are built when nobody is looking.

Posted in Life/Other

Why Don’t We Dance Anymore?

This morning I was making breakfast and I had my French radio station playing and a disco song came on (an American one). Well without really thinking about it I started to dance along. This got me thinking.

Now why doesn’t anything like that exist now? Musicians don’t really write music people can dance to anymore (with the obvious exceptions of famous line dances like the Cupid Shuffle, etc). Hell, sometimes it’s just a bunch of technobeats with like 5 words, max.

From the big band era of the 40s until, uh, let’s say the 70s all music was made so that it could be danced to. Clubs would have  dance floors with people actually dancing on them. I’m not sure about much of the 80s and 90s (again, except the obvious ones like the Macarana).

Now you go into a club and it’s just people either jumping (violently, I might add), awkwardly bobbing along, or grinding (usually to a level that is overly ridiculous outside of the privacy of a strip club).

This has created a large number of young adults that are able to dance. They go to dances in high school and either do one of the things listed in the above paragraph or they just hangout on the sides of the dance floor. Now don’t get me wrong there have been plenty of times where I myself would enjoy grinding on the dance floor, but only for so long.

I made an arbitrary post about it on my Twitter this morning and it met with very positive results. So my question would be why don’t we try to bring it back? Our kids won’t go to dances where the only option is to be groped or stand on the side, adults would have a place to go where they could dress up and enjoy themselves, like adults I might add, and it would just add another layer to enjoying the music. I know we’ve all seen the old people at a concert in the community be able to just get up and dance along, but meanwhile I’m stuck to just bobbing along awkwardly.

If you don’t think it’s easy you’re probably right, but the good stuff is never easy. And hey, they did it in An Extremely Goofy Movie…

Posted in Life/Other, Military/Politics

The Life-Defining Question: Do I Want to Stay in the Military?

If you’ve served, I’m sure that you’ve asked yourself this question at least once. Well I’ve been asking myself this question about once a month, probably more (it drives my girlfriend nuts).

I have honestly enjoyed the great majority of my time in the military, it has improved my life substantially whether through physical fitness, motivation to better myself, financially, etc. But there’s obviously big downfalls. I’ve been waiting on a promotion for close to two years now, there’s never any money to send me to schools that I want to go to, I very rarely get to do my job, drill weekends always come at the most inconvenient time, and, lastly, somehow the Good Idea Fairy comes down and manages to ruin whatever happens to be going on- all the time.

I have already decided to not stay in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after this because I don’t plan on staying in Pennsylvania for much longer. However now I really need to decide if I want to stay in or not; and if I do, what branch? Army Reserves? Air Guard? Air Force Reserves? And if I get into law school or not, I have a degree so do I want to be an officer?

After many different mind changes and adjustments I have finally settled on a plan of action for the next few years of my civilian life;  but I just can’t seem to make up my mind when it comes to the military.

Posted in Life/Other

The Problem With Being Interesting

Today on the Facebook page for my college marching band was something that I should’ve expected (but just not this early).

Introductions.

Now, normally this doesn’t seem like a big deal (especially for me, where everybody except for the incoming Freshman know me). However I never like to miss an opportunity to be as impressive as possible from the beginning.

The instructions were to tell everybody about your major, your marching band experience, and one fun fact about yourself.

There’s the limiting factor, one fun fact.

My fact was that I have been to 6 countries and 23 US states. However, minutes after posting that I realized omg, I could’ve posted about my journey to learn French, or the fact that I’m in the Army, or do martial arts, or that I’m trying to get into law school. The one fun fact is discriminatory against interesting people.

This does have its benefits though, this was people that do talk to me, will get to know more interesting things about me as they get to know me, and those that have no interest in knowing me, will never know how cool I really am.

Posted in Life/Other

Unexpected Friends

With the high use of social media now, do you ever have that friend (or friends) that you never talk to but seem to only ever post or comment on your stuff right when you need it?

Recently, while posting about the completion of Phase 1 of my Field Artillery school,  I had this happen to me. My Drill Sergeant commented on the post and asked why on Earth I wanted to become a gun bunny. (A name used to refer to Soldiers in the artillery) This led to a conversation about different things I was planning on doing within the next year or so and ended up with me telling him my plan to possibly become an officer in the Air Force. I expected some scathing reply about the Air Force being for (whatever derogatory term he chose), however that was not the case. Instead, my Drill Sergeant told me that if that was what I really wanted to do then I should, and, knowing the kind of person that I am that I would fit in better in the Air Force.

Completely unexpected, confirmed that my plans were kinda aligning with the kind of person I am, and, completely supported by a man who prided himself on being referred to as the Devil. You never know who’s paying attention to your life I guess.

Additionally, a friend that I only ever talk to maybe once every few months (for about five texts) and I had a conversation over the phone for almost two hours the other day. If you see a value in a friendship, or even if you just simply miss somebody, let them know, it might make their whole day.

Posted in Life/Other

The Most Interesting Man in the World

What an amazing title to hold, and it’s one that I strive for. Not only do I do a lot of things that make me interesting (not to sound conceited or anything), but there’s a secret that anybody can do to make yourself seem more interesting- even if you just do some basic activities at your school.

Tell good stories.

That’s it. I didn’t start off being super interesting, I just would do stupid/funny/etc. stuff with my friends and then tell the stories to people (when socially appropriate). I started out by telling stories when my high school swim team would be out eating together after a meet. Everybody was usually listening, and it was relevant because I would start by only telling stories that involved people on the team, and it would just evolve as I got better at telling the funny stories.

From there my somewhat-fictional goal of becoming The Most Interesting Man in the World just developed because anytime that I would gather with people that enjoyed my stories they wanted me to tell another one, or the same one that they heard but with another person present, just because they enjoyed it so much.

And before you ask, no, you cannot just make it up. The key to the storytelling is really getting into it, ignoring the fact that you’re telling the story and just reliving it with all of the emotion.

It’s the easiest way to make better friends with people, I did it in Basic Training, and I still do it at my college. I’m hoping that sharing my stories here will have the same effect, but that will challenge me as a writer now- instead of a storyteller.