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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>



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#NerdsUnite: Do you burn a bridge? Or stand for what you think is right? 

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Eric. He is a MAASSTTEERRR social dynamics expert that will be talking about his experiences in the field from both an expert, and experience perspective. He's not just saying "this is how to get the girl" he's here to share his actual life stories and lessons learned from them. I only have one more thing left to say ... HIT IT ERIC !!</editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @Redolpho

My personal journey has led me to a point where my search for validation and self-worth are, at the moment, paramount. Both came to a header this week, one as a test that I think I passed, and one as a straight kick in the nuts. They both fucking hurt, a lot.

I never knew why until recently, but I’ve doted on a specific type of individual for my whole life. I’ve always gravitated towards super independent people who are successfully walking the unbeaten path and leading others along the way. Jen is one, my business partner is another, and my last two exes were like this in their own way, but my parents couldn’t be more the opposite. My parents wanted a cookie cutter path for me, I was to become a lawyer, or a banker, or some other nuclear career. I dropped out of college precisely because of this, I had no fucking idea what I was going to do, but I felt like I was digging my grave by continuing through the collegiate system. The same year I dropped out of college a friend of mine dropped out at the same time.

He is my quintessential idol. His life and childhood is what I aspire to and envy, respectively. His parents were supportive and had adequate resources to foster his creative success. When he dropped out, he spent a year building a portfolio that matriculated him into one of the best art schools in the world. In the midst of a demanding graphic design career, he manages to fuck-off and travel regularly. When he left on a trip to Japan he landed a job with one of the biggest creative agencies in the world and still lives in Tokyo. Seemingly, everything he touches turns to gold. I’ve looked up to him, idolized him, and he’s been a source of inspiration for the last ten years I’ve known him.

This week he flew to LA without much notice. I sent him a message asking him what his plans were, then I commented on a Facebook post asking him again. I sat there and waited... then waited some more, soon pictures of him hanging with other people surfaced and still nothing. I started acting like a teenager with a crush, stalking his Facebook wondering why he couldn’t be bothered to respond and why I was so worthless to him. Then something hit me, why did I care so much? Why was his response of such a greater worth to me than so many others? The answer... VALIDATION. In my mind, when we met for drinks and he told me about his newest accomplishments I would finally have something to tout. I would talk about my success as an entrepreneur, my success as a writer, and the personal growth I’ve experienced through social dynamics. Maybe, just maybe, I would win his seal of approval and that would be my ultimate validation.

So yeah, I get it. I gravitate to this specific type of person because it’s the person that I want to be. But that person doesn’t look for validation from others, that person leads others with self-relying assertiveness. So fuck it, I have plenty of amazing people around me and I don’t NEED him in my life, I WANT him in my life but there’s a big difference between need and want, and it starts with reciprocation. Since that’s not there I need to move-the-fuck-on. Nuff said about my swollen invalidated man-sack, now for the test of self-worth.

In a recent post I talked about a job that I applied for with Dr. Susan Block, a sexoligist, sex therapist, lifestyle hedonist, and Yalie. She needed a writer and I wanted the job. I submitted some of my writing along with an essay and I was in. This was such an amazing compliment. I’ve never considered myself a writer and to receive this job purely on merit from an ivy-league graduate meant so much to me. With that being said, I was not about to burn my bridge with the hostel where I was, and-*spoiler alert*-still am working. Should all else fail, the hostel could always provide a bed, shower and two meals a day. So I gave my two weeks, spoke with Dr. Suzy, and everything seemed dandy.

For the next couple Saturdays I attended her live show and watched some of the most depraved sexual acts, some of which I’d never even contemplated, took notes and submitted material for her blog.

It. Was. Awesome.

What satisfies us spiritually is singularly unique and for me it’s pushing myself beyond my comfort level, especially when dealing with societal and cultural norms. I seriously could not have been more excited.

Four days prior to my official start day I received an email asking me to start early. The only way for me to accomplish this would have been to work conjunctionally with the hostel and my business. I would have literally not slept at all, especially when you factor in the hour-and-a-half bus commute that would have been required daily. I diplomatically expressed this via email, and the next day received an unempathetic phone call from Dr. Suzy’s husband who presented me with an ultimatum. Either come in, or lose the job. His reasoning was that he would have to train me himself and he was unwilling to do so. My basic human needs of sleep and sanity came second to his precious time, and our previously agreed upon schedule was meaningless. Only a few months ago I may have acquiesced, but it was time to set a new precedence that my happiness and health comes first, and it will not be put at the wayside for others, especially for those who value it so little. So I wrote back, offered solutions that did not compromise my health and stayed true to the commitments I had made to myself, the hostel, The Institute and my business. They were insufficient and he was setting precedence himself. His way or the highway. I chose happiness and health, I chose the highway.

All in all, the choices and confrontations I experienced this week were extremely difficult to bear but I feel stronger because of them. If you’re going through something similar I’d love to hear from you, and as always, your social dynamics questions will be received and responded to with love. L’chaim friends. Thanks for reading.


If you’d like to share your stories please feel free to tweet me at @redolpho or email me at eric dot rudolph dot carrillo at gmail dot com

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