Just some guy, tryin’ to keep it real.
After getting deeply embarrassed in front of a classroom in 9th grade, a 5-year period of isolation, loneliness, and social anxiety was triggered. Lacking any real tools to support myself (other than a hoodie), the following years involved doing everything in my power to hide from further shame or embarrassment.
After forcing myself into out into the world and slowly regaining confidence to take the hoodie off, a curiosity grew to better understand myself and this internal world I seemingly had very little control of.
I stumbled into meditation, soaked up any talk on psychology, explored therapy, art, men's groups, and above all - found friendships with others who shared this desire to look inward and share more openly about not only the good stuff, but also the less than ideal - our fears, pains and insecurities.
Over time I noticed that it was in these open conversations that our relationship grew. Not to mention they helped us feel a bit less alone - like we were in this together. And within the men's groups, we were paving a new way for what had been told to us as men - to do it alone, to stay strong and not show weakness.
Strangely enough, after being forced to hide myself when I was younger, it has been these moments of seeing others and being seen more deeply that have given me a sense of meaning, connection and purpose.
Ultimately, this game is a tool to create those moments - to explore, uncover, and share what makes us who we are. While scary at times (or damn near impossible), I believe that it's in this process that ourselves and our relationships can transform.