Corporate America Blues

This will be one of my shorter blogs, but I just felt the need to get it out somewhere.

I entered corporate america as an ambitious and promising employee whose eyes were full of wonder. My older acquaintances would comment on this when would I would speak about my impending job. “Oh wow, you must be really young”  “The world hasn’t gotten to you yet”.

I think they were partially right. While my excitement to join the corporate world was….naive, I hope I never let corporate disillusionment  become a core tenant of my character. It’s so easy to believe that we have to do something a certain way just because that’s what we’ve been told our whole lives. It’s almost indoctrinated into school children; “stand up straight, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, get married, raise kids, retire, die”…

Sometimes I think that life sounds really good, most of the time I think that actually. However, there are these fleeting moments when I’m sitting in my cube or doing some brainless bullshit that will make a faceless shareholder some money, that I think I’m doing it wrong. This is not living. I need to quit today, move to Colorado or Utah and just ski all day every day and tend bar at night to support myself. I’ll be broke, sure, but goddammit I’ll be happy. I won’t need possessions or a sustainable lifestyle and I’ll just do this until I die.

But those moments are fleeting, and most of the time I’m pretty happy with where I am in life and what I’ve accomplished so far.

Some stuff happened today that just made me realize “Work” is nothing more than a place to make money so that you can live, it’s not an obligation or a necessity, or who you are. It’s up to us to define for ourselves what living really is.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

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Life After Sports

ALife after sportsll my life I played sports. Both of my parents were athletic, and I was well blessed to have received their athletic genes. I fostered my love of sports through the years and my love of competition and gamesmanship flourished

I excelled at football throughout high school and it eventually allowed me to earn a full scholarship to a Division 1 program. Tragically, my career was cut short due to a back injury. It’s simultaneously one of the worst and best things that ever happened to me. It forced me to grow up, and to really find out who I am as a person rather than hide behind a label.

What no one ever talks about is the identity crisis that you go through when you can no longer play the sport that you’ve so long identify with. You hadn’t just identified with it, it was your identity. For my entire life I’d introduce myself to a group in a class or social setting as a football player. It was easy. It’s who I was… or so I thought.

When I could no longer play, I suffered the identity crisis that millions of young people are forced to endure every year.

The introspective questions started coming–not all at once, but over a brief period following my retiring.

Who am I, if not the athlete I’ve always been? Will people think less of me that I no longer play? Were my friendships only held together because I was “one of them” and because we were forced to spend so much time together practicing?

While these questions began to ravage my psyche, I searched for an outlet. Something else I could completely lose myself in so that I wouldn’t have to face the terrifying notion that I didn’t know who I was.

I started to workout multiple times a day in an unhealthy manner, while concurrently abusing marijuana to stave off those creeping thoughts. If I could no longer be a football player, I would be a super fit gymbro. Needless to say, this lifestyle was unsustainable. I know that I’m not alone when I admit to going through this transitional phase. Not necessarily the exact substitutes, but becoming completely absorbed in a substitute in search of an identity.

What finally pulled me out of it is realizing that my friends didn’t abandon me because I could no longer play, and despite my wallowing self-pity, there was absolutely nothing I could do to change my situation. Sports were over for me… For so long I had used football as an identity crutch, to avoid developing a personality or exploring other interests. It took a while, but I look back on those days and regret the time that I spent being miserable. I could have become a much more wholesome individual had I not been so one-track minded and been more receptive to change.

I know some of you reading this play sports. If you play at a high level, it will demand that it becomes your one track. In today’s environment, you’re more or less required to be obsessed with your sport in order to excel.

If you have identified with a sport your entire life, one day too you will go through the identity crisis that I and so many others have endured. When that day comes, just remember:

  • You are so much more than your sport
  • Your friends will not abandon you, and if they do they were never your true friends. Fake friends will eventually give way to genuine ones, and the sooner the better.
  • The life lessons and discipline that sports ingrained in you will carry over into other aspects of your life and give you a leg-up over others as you move into the real world.

Sports teach you so many valuable life skills, that it doesn’t matter that you’re no longer actually playing the sport. If you only picked up a few skills from sports, they will set you apart from the vast majority of people. Some of those skills could be:

  • You are coach-able. You can take instruction and do things the proper way, checking ego at the door.
  • You are disciplined. The dedication and planning it takes to arrive day in and day out to practice on time will carry over into other aspects of your life. Discipline does not go unnoticed.
  • You can handle failure. In life you will fail many times. What’s important is that you recognize it’s part of winning. Eventually you will win, and you will win way more than you fail. But everyone will fail at some point.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, you can operate within a team. The whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. You will always be stronger working with like-minded individuals than if you tried to go it alone. Use your teamskills to create a team of similar individuals or to recognize and join an already formed team.

For those of you suffering identity ambiguity right now, or will in the near future, be comforted by the fact that you will eventually find out who you are. No matter what you choose to do after sports, or who you choose to become, you will be damn good because of the skills playing sports gave you.

The Beginning

Welcome to NerdBroLife. My name is Justin. This is me.hawaii

I decided to start this blog for those of us that do not neatly fit into either the Nerd or Bro categories, but rather are some sort of mix between the two. Some of us naturally lean more toward Nerd, and some of us lean more towards Bro, but all are welcome here.

This blog will be cultivated for the following group (of which I myself fit into):

  • Male
  • Late teens to early 30’s
  • Intelligent (typically as measured by school performance, but not necessarily constrained by it)
  • Athletic, or at least in shape
  • Has refined tastes and strong opinions. Challenging of the status quo.
  • Is a fan of either stereotypical “Nerd” or stereotypical “Bro” shit. Now I’m sure there are many blogs and services out there that cater to either one exceptionally (and exclusively) well, but I’ve had a hard time finding one that blends the two ostensible opposites. That’s what NerdBro will do.

Of course, that list doesn’t encompass all of the traits that readers of this blog will have. We are each individuals with idiosyncrasies and unique life experiences that have shaped us into the people that we are. However, I have to believe that there are other people out there like me. Men that are self-proclaimed Nerds and (maybe reluctantly due to the stigma), self-acknowledged Bros. I know that traditional media outlets have underrepresented us, but this is a place where we can congregate and explore our mutual interests.

So this blog will be a mix of things that I like and I think other NerdBros will enjoy. Some categories that we’ll be covering are:

  1. Movies & Television
  2. Video Games
  3. Lifestyle & Home
  4. Sports
  5. Science & History
  6. Economics & Finance
  7. Dating & Women.

That’s seven categories, one for each day of the week. I’ll do my best to maintain a regularity to the writing schedule, both for myself and for you other NerdBros.

I’m really excited for the journey ahead. Let’s get into it!