Human Nature

The 20s are all about giving and receiving love. Love is undoubtedly the most powerful force on Earth. It knows no limits, can overcome any obstacle and has changed the world many times over. Love truly does conquer all. We have to let love into our lives. We have to accept it when it is offered. We have to cherish it because sometimes it is a rarity. We all deserve to love and to be loved. Love is give and take. Love is part of who we all are. We are meant to love. It's our human nature. 
This past weekend my family received some life changing news and it was also my brother, Christian's 22nd birthday. You know every single time I think of any of my four siblings I tear up and memories both fond and not so picturesque come rushing in to my mind. All I know about them is that our connection is unbreakable. I love them all with every fiber of my being. I only know what love is because I have them and their love is what I will always search for. Love is not a word I toss around lightly. It means an everlasting connection with another person. The hardest thing though is figuring out how to have as deeply invested relationships with my friends as I have with my siblings (is it because we are permanently joined due to our shared parents and genetics?). I love my friends but I don't know if I love my friends, you know what I mean? They're great don't get me wrong, but I think I've got some trust issues. I'm afraid to love. Why? I fear that people won't love me back. Maybe I don't think I deserve love either. I want to mean I love you when I say it to my friends. I know I love my best friends, Taylor, Chelsea and Jeff - without a doubt. I get the same feelings for Jeff that I have when I think of any of my brothers or sister. I can't imagine my life without him. I love the heck out of that goober. Why then do I find it so hard to give out my love and and to let people love me? What is there to love about me? I'm nothing special, just you're average college kid. I stay humble by not taking compliments to heart and I wonder if people say they love me and don't mean it? How do you know if someone loves you? It's human nature, but nature has its mysteries.
There are so many times when we are wholly unaware of the significance of our actions. What we do and say is literally telling of who we are as people. You look back and you realize what your underlying human nature actually is. You make time for the things and people who matter to you. This past week somehow I spent a portion of nearly every day with my good friend Mac. If you've followed my life story this past year, he quickly became one of the main characters in it. I finally figured out how to actually normalize our interactions. Instead of skyscraper highs and radio silent lows, a sustainable friendship has been created. Monday night was him dropping by for me to quiz him on the punctuated sounds of music for his jazz history exam. Wednesday afternoon we took a trip downtown to Orange Leaf for some frozen yogurt and conversation. That whole attitude thing, you know bringing a positive one - works wonders, that I promise you. Thursday night he dropped by the small bro get together at Zach and Dom's place for blueberry pie (I know not of anyone who likes dessert more than him) and it was really good to see some of my favorite people getting along splendidly (actually, almost too well - do not cut out this middle man; I'm still relevant). Last but not least in the most McNeil way possible (*every time I say his actual first name it's in an exasperated drawn out sigh) after texts with movie time, location and even a full address he went tot he wrong theater, and showed up twenty minutes late. I just have to grin and bear it, he's a character that one. What I've learned from being friends with him has been spontaneity and rolling with the punches. Nobody challenges me more to be adventurous than that one there. His very essence is random but it's his human nature.

During the week I rarely find time to just sit and be with people, let alone my friends, but when I'm able to do so, it's always worth it. Thursday night I didn't have much to do so I resolved to go visit some of my favorite overachieving slightly inhuman machines of fraternity brothers, Zach and Dom. I headed on over and soon we were at the grocery store gathering supplies for a proper spaghetti dinner. Those two work so damn hard and I wanted to do something to make their day a little bit easier so they watched an episode of Futurama while I made angel hair spaghetti and meatballs. Dom added his patented cheesy bread and Zach made a sophisticated (read pretentious) salad to go along. We were just hanging out, enjoying one another's company, being the classic mess of overworked and under-rested students like always. We even knocked out some nominations for our upcoming Greek Awards Ball (as in we sat in a hardcore circle and typed furiously right up until the midnight deadline). Mac dropped by and somehow we all started telling poop jokes. I'm sorry but one of the times where I know I'm completely comfortable is when I'm able to talk about bodily function and laugh about all the stupid things that I do and say. That's what reminds me of my relationship with my siblings and that's what I'm looking for in my friends. When I get to be candid, turn off the front and just be real. Having full on conversations while people are sitting on the pot, and laughing so hard you can't breathe, that's what I'm about. Seven hours after arriving I had finished doing their dishes (cause that's typical me) and my way home. Every Sunday night my fraternity has chapter meetings that have a tendency to run a little long but at the end most people hang around and just catch up. I thoroughly enjoy my time with my friends and new members, Connor, Will, and Dylan. They understand the instant posing for #thirsttrap snapchats, picked up the slang that I use, and show their infectiously cute affection in an unlimited about of face touching, bear hugs, and random massages. As a non-touchy-feely person, I've grown to enjoy their warmth and wholeheartedly look forward to messing with them every week. I find myself smiling so much in getting to know Kace and Eric with the rest of our brothers and I end every week energized by my interactions. The question remains, do Iove these people? I think maybe, I think yes. It may not be the exact same of what I get from my siblings but that love is still there. It's human nature

Captain America: the Winter Soldier Review - This film is one of the best I've seen in recent years. Honestly, the plot takes so many twists and turns and somehow stays within the realm of believability. It's not just a jam packed action blockbuster but a reflective piece on society with the current debate on civilian surveillance. The cinematography is impeccable and it just looks perfectly polished. It breathtaking beautiful and wonderfully done. It's serious when it needs to but still finds appropriate times to include humor to bring it back down to Earth. Every performance is absolutely flawless. Chris Evans conveys Cap so well on screen and adds layers to his easily flat morally just patriotic schtick. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as the Falcon and the Winter Soldier bring dynamic life to their roles. Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow is absolutely brilliant and ingeniously complicated as a true spy should be. Rounding out the cast are Samuel L. Jackson as the commanding Nick Fury and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce is decisively driven. This movie is a must see, you will not leave disappointed.
My blog post question for the day is ... who do you love most in the world? Undoubtedly, my sister, Bianca. Literally no else matters more to me than her, truth. 

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