Monday, February 8, 2010
Introversion and Institute
Maybe it's because — technically — I'm young, single and an adult (hence, a Young Single Adult). But I don't feel like most of my peers.
For starters, my colleagues are usually college students. All of the guys I know, and many of the girls, still have at least one or two years left before reaching a BA or BS degree. I don't.
Worse yet, I'm incredibly introverted. I've lived in Las Vegas since September, and I don't know many people. I guess "I tend to keep to myself" is an understatement.
I'm not sure how I got so far through school. I served a mission at 19, as most Mormon guys do; I didn't start college until I had graduated from high school; I took my time through school, despite taking classes every semester (two majors makes that happen). But I finished in five academic years, and decided it was time to be done.
That was six months ago. Now, I'm a 24-year-old YSA Male living in Las Vegas ... and I don't know what to do with my life. My internship at the Review-Journal is going well, but it's just that: an internship. So I don't know where I'll be this summer, and it scares me.
But there's one place with which I'm starting to fall in love, and I feel like I belong, even if I'm not the most social kid on the block: Institute.
I started taking classes at the local UNLV Institute building, just one on Tuesday/Thursday, as a way to pass the time, meet some kids my age and start studying the scriptures a little more (plus, the free pool table in the rec room makes me feel like a bonafide pool shark). And I'm loving it.
I may not fit in with these kids; after all, they're still college students, and I'm not. But it's a social outlet. And it gets me out of the house.
But the CES sponsors these things called "Institute Dances:" a weekend party-like atmosphere where young Latter-day Saints, get together to dance, chat, and try to hook up (hey, if you're not going to admit it, then I will). Not to mention, where else can you find a bunch of mid-20's rocking out to Miley Cyrus? (I know; we Mormons ARE a weird bunch).
I started out the evening as a wall flower. I didn't know many of the songs, and even fewer of the "popular crowd" on the dance floor, so I just observed. Then, I found a 'few fine honeys' that caught my eye. But I felt my chances with them were about as good as the Saints' chances at beating the Colts and hoisting up the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Then I thought it through. And a lot of my thoughts can be summed up pretty well here. I realized that even underdogs have their day. So I got a little more active, pretended to dance a little, and even had some semblance of a conversation with one of these girls that was "out of my league."
I don't know what these experiences will bring. But I put myself out there, and even stretched myself more than I thought possible this weekend. Most importantly, I listened to the Lord, did what I felt inspired to do, and let him take care of the rest, even when I felt incredibly awkward and embarrassed.
NEW MEDIA OF THE WEEK:
In honor of this post, I think the only true video I can post this week is this one.