Going Incognito

The 20s are all about forging your own identity. Where else in life do you get to decide most of who you are? The details of your life and the back story that you share is all up to you. Give as much or as little detail as you would like. Who you are is up to you (to a certain extent). It's like being a superspy. Live under an alias, make up your cover, and have a fool proof alibi then do the dirty work. Disable the cameras, take down the guards and pilfer the prize like a pro, this is going incognito. 
One of many irrational childhood dreams consisted of me becoming a spy. Reading the Alex Rider series particularly as a teenager had me feeling like I could actually do school and kick ass under a different name on the side, cause you know casual right. I have always loved the Jamed Bond film series and pride myself on having seen every single one of them. Even the Bourne Legacy and all the Mission: Impossible movies (aka Tom Cruise doing what he does best, playing Tom Cruise) piqued my interest (Jeremy Renner > everything). From the likes of Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow and Pitt/Jolie duo in Mr. and Mrs. Smith to Spy Kids (1-3, the fourth one we don't speak of), spies have been kicking ass, taking names, and looking good while doing it for days (let me give Vin Diesel a shoutout for the Pacifier). I think the whole heir of secrecy, the dangerously bad use of force, and the double life thing is what gets me. It's the fact that people can think they know who you are and in reality have no idea. The most twisted part is that whole falsified identity thing, even when you're doing that that's still part of your life (so metta). This summer orientation was my own top secret spy mission. It was me adopting a new name, Joey and becoming a completely different person. I distanced myself from who I used to be and worked to strike out on my own and prove that with or without titles/positions I was still one of the most hardcore student leaders around. Orientation was finally time for me to have my own thing away from everyone else. The overlap between people in all my other organizations had blurred relationships and left boundaries undefined. As a pretend spy, I enjoy keeping the context of how people clear and in certain capacities. Very few people get to know each and every aspect of who I am. I'll show up in the capacity that makes the most sense. When I was doing orientation I had my sunscreen locked and loaded, clipboard at the ready, and bandana tied. I was ready daily to wake up, kick ass, and repeat. For once in a long ass time I was my own person, erased of my past life and free from the expectations of who I used to be. It's been a summer of progress and the mission was a total success. It's been a reevaluation of who I choose to be and who I also let into my life. Not everyone makes the team for mission support. Going incognito and reinventing yourself is how you stay sane sometimes and relevant.
The thing that I've struggled most with in college (among other things) is living in the moment. I always seem to be too busy making sure everything and everyone is okay to actually enjoy where and I am and who I'm with. I'm constantly more concerned with discerning what it all means or what the purpose of a situation is (like who does that?). I have to be intentional in being like, hey kiddo you should probably stop thinking about having fun or enjoying yourself and actually just do it (if you could hear the conversations I have with myself in my head). In that same way, the past few days have absolutely flown by and I was too busy feeling some type of way to actually process them in the moment and realize the significance of it all. Orientation had come to a close. Wednesday was the big move back where we banded together to transport all our supplies back from whence they came (why am I thinking of Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! banishing people to the shadow realm). Lunch came and as the rain poured my orientation team aka the sOL Shufflers ventured down to Orange Leaf froyo shop and My Little Cupcake. I was geeking out laughing at our unreal conversation (too big of an inside joke, all I have to say is Dom is Tomb Raider - boys beware). A quick shopping trip to Michael's ensued and I spent the rest of my night with the classy clique of goons playing Kings (look at me pretending to be grown up) with a Dr. Pepper in hand. Thursday was a lazy day with laundry during the day before getting spiffed up for the orientation banquet in the evening. Everyone was looking ferocious (Destin Conrad > everything) and the food was bomb as all hell. Things got heavy as thank you's and goodbyes were said. It was perpetual photoshoot time before a final dance and hugs. Back to our residence hall on campus we went and were greeted by a sinister power outage of scary movie epic proportions. It was quite possibly one of the creepiest things I've ever been through, getting changed in the dark and hearing blood curdling screams from outside. I peaced the heck out of there so damn fast and it was off to the after party #turnup. 
There's this common misconception about people who don't drink and it's that every get together where there are spirits being consumed that they're necessarily uncomfortable. Well let me debunkify that myth, it's not always true. For me personally the only times I'm like this ish is not going to fly is when people are getting too rowdy, pushing happens, spilling of drinks on my clothes, or pretty much any non-playful roughhousing (like a rag-tag pack of rambunctious ragamuffins #likewhy). So naturally this get together was more than civil. The clocks struck eleven and people started pouring in. My iPhone was the music for the night aka iTunes Radio was on deck. I grabbed myself a nice cold plastic cup of ginger ale (on the rocks naturally) and let it happen. Everyone was talking, laughing, smiling, and sipping on their respective drinks. It was chill, like so cold you cold have frozen a polar bear's left paw. I was sitting in the corner eating potato chips and cheese puffs before I passed the heck out on the ground (cause I'm capable of staying awake anywhere) for a good half hour before I caught my second wind. Spy master, reporting for duty - going incognito.
2. Point Blanc
The night progressed and people got looser and looser. Drunken alter egos came out to play and the shenanigans were even funnier to observe. A rousing game of kings ensued (drinking games are easy to play when you're knocking back a soda #turnt) and it was nearing two o'clock. For the night I was letting a little bit loose aka taking off my social justice hat and going with the flow. You can't understand how liberating and reassuring it is that you don't have to compromise yourself or your beliefs and still have fun. You know your friends are a little more than tipsy when the face touching starts and the forehead kisses follow. I was just about ready to head home so I made the rounds saying my goodbyes to people. The outpouring of unfiltered love was hilarious. I made it to my favorite kiddo last and homeboy totally meant to give me  one of his completely Italian smooches on the cheek but ended up catching half my mouth. And so I've been half-kissed and by my bro no less #thiswouldhappentome. It was probably one of the most classically me things to ever occur. I made my way back to the residence hall to pack and hit the hay. The morning came and that meant heading out after goodbyes to David and Heather (FSL for life). I spent time conversing with my former fraternity advisor, Lisa, and ended up getting real deep and even proposing a future TED Talk (how many of you would support that) before we went out for Panera (fontina grilled cheese gets me so hype every damn time) and bedding stuff. Night fell and after a multiple hour nap I reunited with my old friend Sam (from every year of college up until now, the one who studied abroad). Another late night and I knocked out in my new room in my apartment. Look who's growing up? Put the spy gear away, no more going incognito. 
My blog post question for the day is ... if you had to change your name to something else what would it be and why? I would totally be a Jonathan - love the meaning of the name and Biblical significance. Loyalty & friendship > everything 


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