Man’s Search For Meaning and Community

Man’s Search For Meaning and Community

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This blog post isn’t going to have any groundbreaking information in it. Some of you reading this might think to yourself isn’t this obvious? Why haven’t you been doing this all along you doofus? Others of you will relate though. Through conversations and just looking around, you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s everywhere.

The last year was a pretty big struggle for me. Lots of different aspects to that but thankfully my home life has stayed pretty solid. I have a great wife and an awesome kid (that can be a little asshole) that I’d do anything for. I’ve just been searching for another connection outside of that. Because let’s be honest there are some things you want to talk to your significant other about and others that you don’t.

Do you feel like you have different groups of friends? I have people who I consider myself super close with, some people I like hanging out with, others are associates, and then others who we’ve met once or twice. As time has gone on going from high school, to college, to moving, to moving again, these groups shift and change. That’s life and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for this article we’re going to focus on the first group, people I consider myself super close with.

The hard part is being able to make deep connections with people. Connections where you can put it all out there and get out of your head. This is something everyone needs and I often see people joke about buying a plot of land and starting a commune for this very reason. Make deep connections with people and take care of each other. There’s also the part where you are trying to get away from the government but we can talk about that another time. This issue is the biggest with men (the connections part, not the government) and what’s weird is as I was writing this I stumbled across this tweet:

Now listen, I have some old-fashioned thoughts on men vs. women and what masculinity is. I want to do everything I can to take care of my family. Whether that’s making money for the family or being able to protect them in an unsafe situation. I want those responsibilities to be on my shoulders. Saying that I think it’s unhealthy and incredibly stupid to put on a facade of being ‘manly’ because you think you have to be tough around your guy friends. We all go through some shit and trying to deal with it alone is dumb.

Dudes out there, we need friends that we can talk to at any level. Whether that’s pounding Busch Lights and chanting GBR at a terrible Nebraska football team or going over potential life-changing career choices.

One of my favorite sayings is that you should be nice to everyone you interact with, no matter how they come at you because you never know what they’re going through. The being nice part doesn’t apply here but the unknown of what another person is going through does. Men like to hide feelings and sometimes this is okay and potentially a good thing but a large majority of the time it isn’t.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to have more conversations like this with a select group of people and the craziest thing has happened. First, they open up as well. Share some personal details and show vulnerability. This advances the conversation even more and before you know it we are both helping each other sort through problems that neither of us knew the other had. Secondly, every time after having these sorts of conversations I leave feeling 10x better. It’s refreshing and the cliche saying of lifting a weight off your shoulder comes true.

I do think people should be careful though. These conversations aren’t for everyone in your circle and I think that they should be limited to 2-4 people. I want all the perspectives I can get on something to make the best judgment call I can but I also know that there are some people out there that just don’t care about you or me. Worse yet, some may use the information against you. That’s how we end up back at square one.

Long story short gentlemen, go out there and find some close friends. Keep up with them, ask engaging questions, call them or text them, and build lasting relationships. I’m talking about one where you can sit on the porch of the old folks home and tell stories from the last 50 years and mostly laugh but sometimes maybe even cry.

Thanks for reading.

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