Awkward Conversations

I just had a conversation with a friend and I thought it deserved a lot more attention than I was able to give it during the last couple blocks of a car ride.  The general idea of the conversation (okay, I am going to distort it a bit here, sorry) was that she could not understand why it was that some people had trouble being outgoing, and I decided to try to explain it.  The problem was, I realized quickly enough that I have no idea why I would often choose not to talk to people at an event and just sit by myself (actually, it was far more likely that I would either talk to one other person I knew or try to get some work done despite the social nature of the event).

Eventually, after a couple more blocks of driving, I decided it was probably just my way of looking at potential conversations.  For me, most conversations are going to end up becoming awkward within a minute.  They will start fine with normal greetings, me asking a question, receiving an answer, possibly the other person asking a question (and me giving an answer if so)…but then they will just stop.  Either I have no idea what to say or the other person just seems to not have a real interest in continuing the conversation.  This will then either lead to me having to wander away or trying to just find a way to end the conversation.  I do not like that conversations tend to end up that way more often than not, but they do and I therefore am always expecting a conversation to end that way.  When conversations go better than that, I really do love it (assuming I do not get annoyed with the other person).

Anyways, as was pointed out, this can result in me ignoring meeting new people and possibly not meeting someone who could possibly be my new best friend.  I know that failing at a conversation really would not matter and that is why lately I have been trying to force myself to just talk to a lot of people knowing that I am going to hate most of the conversations.  I do not accept failure well and setting myself up for so many failures is not an easy task, but it is one that really is worth it.  If during an entire week you end up meeting one person you end up liking but end up having awkward conversations with a hundred people you would not have talked to otherwise, you came out ahead.

There is no reason not to just go and talk to people: the worst that could happen is that you end up not being friends with a person you would not have met before while the best that could happen is you make a new friend.  Unfortunately, life is not always this simple and emotions force us (i.e. me) to miss out on these opportunities.  I wish talking to people was easier but for the moment I guess I am just going to have to accept a lot of failure and hope for that tiny bit of success.

Pre-LA Thoughts

On Monday, I am going to be leaving for Leadership Academy.  This is a week long leadership conference designed specifically for members of Circle K (on a side note, it is based off of a book by Brendon Burchard (I have read one book written by him and have another that I am meaning to read)).  Everyone I know who has gone through the program says it is a life-changing experience and that they would not trade it for anything.  Wth that in mind, I am extremely excited and cannot wait to experience what they have described.  The rush of positive energy surrounding the program is overwhelming and it is incredibly difficult for me to avoid deciding how the event went before even going (and judging from the Facebook page for this year, I am not the only one having trouble avoiding that).  At this point, I am just trying to put off my judgement until after the event and keep up my excitement for it at the same time.

While I am undoubtedly excited for the event, there are still a couple things I am worried about.  The first of these is the fact that I will have absolutely no access to technology for a week.  This could not came at a worse time for me work-wise with my boss having been gone the past two weeks and just returning on Monday.  I know that logically I will probably not be needed but I would still like to be there if for no reason other than to make sure everything we did on Friday gets finished correctly.  Outside of work, the general backlog of email that I expect to see after being gone for a week is just terrifying and something that I am not looking forward to.  Finally, it seems like there might be a problem with the passwords on the University of Michigan Circle K website at the moment and I am not sure I completely tracked down the problem before leaving.

I am hoping I can avoid focusing on all of these trivial concerns and be able to just throw myself into LA.  Precedent indicates that I will not be able to avoid focusing upon my day-to-day concerns but I am trusting in this week to be different and I am trusting in myself to be better than I am.  I hope I end up looking back on it with the same level of enthusiasm that past attendees do (maybe towards the less cult-like side of the spectrum) and I hope I gain as much from it as I think is possible.

The Real Purpose

I realized that in the previous post I made one very simple assumption: that it was good to have a blog.  For the longest time, I would have disagreed with that statement so I thought it would be good to talk about why I now think that it is important.

In high school, I wrote a lot.  In every class, I was accustomed to writing many papers and would normally also write outside of class for fun (I think I deleted all my drafts for novels…).  Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to do much writing since coming to college and because of that I have seen my ability to record my thoughts decline as my writing has become both less eloquent and less expressive.  I think the worst moment for me last year was when I read a paper I wrote and realized that all I had managed to do was regurgitate facts not even making it sound nice, the thing I hated the most in high school.  Having a blog I post to semi-regularly will hopefully give me enough of a reason to write, and about interesting things, that I keep doing it.  Additionally, it does seem nice sometimes to have a place to write when I just want to talk about something.

Anyways, this should be the last meta post I make for a while (though I could very easily be wrong about that).


I have tried to make a blog a few times before and, without fail, I have just given up on each one.  For a while now, I have been telling myself I would take the time to try again and this time I would have a lot of fun with it.  My main goal for a while was that I would make a very simple platform for the blogging and would try to pick up a few skills while doing that but I think it should be obvious by this point that I did not do that.  While I could create a nice minimal platform that would do exactly what I needed and no more, I really am not interested in web apps as a primary focus.  Even with this very small focus I have on web apps (i.e. Circle K stuff) I still am getting to spend a lot of time on them and will probably just leave it that way and get all of my experience through there.

Anyways, I have finally stopped using making a platform as an excuse to not have a blog so here is a completely WordPress based blog!  I cannot guarantee that I will not stop posting (history shows that would be a very idiotic guarantee for me to make) but I will be attempting to post something every week here.  There will probably be a bunch of items about various technology projects within Circle K as well as some items about what it is I do outside of Circle K (yeah, not as many items exist in that category) but other than that, I really have no idea where I am going to go with this.