Spoiled By Early Success

That early success gave me a boost of confidence, but in some ways, it spoiled me for later life. I felt devastated when my college graduation wasn’t a repeat of the adulation heaped on me four years earlier. I cried that even though I was graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, I hadn’t been singled out for any individual awards. Being just one of many names on a list — even a fairly short list of the most elite students at my small, but well-regarded college — wasn’t good enough. It felt like a letdown, like I wasn’t personally valued by the school and its leaders.

I was angry — at myself for falling short in some way, for the fact that my best hadn’t been good enough, and at the school for not giving me the send-off I felt I deserved. I somehow convinced myself I had a right to feel betrayed, because I had taken out loans to attend a small private school in order to feel special and get individual attention, and the school wasn’t holding up its side of that unspoken bargain.

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Life Is Too Good Not To Breathe

Editor’s note: Peter Loggins is a legend within the swing dance community. He’s also an old friend and a source of inspiration. Aside from dancing, Peter used to be a competitive runner, skateboarder, and snowboarder, and is one hell of a tattoo artist. He is, in short, one of the baddest badasses you’ll ever meet. The confession below, which he

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I’m Still Learning How To Say No

Warning: The following article contains possible triggers for victims of sexual assault. I’ve never been good at confrontation. When I’m alone, I argue like a pro. When there’s nobody to cut me off, I put everybody in their place. When I’m lying in bed, thinking about what I wish I’d said, I make flawless points that win every argument. I’m

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Dear Politics: Please Pick Your Battles

Years ago, whenever my mom deemed it necessary to declare war on someone I or my sister was dating, she would execute a pretty ambitious—though usually ineffective—battle plan. Her strategy? To “prove” the person wasn’t right for us by systematically pointing out every last imperfection this person might have. If character assassination is what you do when you want to

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Losing My Motivation

I don’t do running. That is to say, I don’t do running when running is the only thing being done. Running in flag football, floor hockey, or settling of drunken bets? That, I can do. But… just running? Like, the ancient Greek death sentence known as a marathon? Crap, no. I’m decent at sports that require quick bursts of speed,

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Leading A Balanced Life Doesn’t Come Easy For Me

Balanced is not my middle name. There are many adjectives that could be substituted for the middle name printed on my birth certificate–friendly, loyal, hard-working, honest, funny, impatient, shy–but “balance” isn’t on that list. I have an all-or-nothing personality. If I have decided to do something, then whatever happens, I’ll do it. I like to think of this as fortitude

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To Be Strong Is To Show Our Weakness

Being a guy sucks sometimes. I mean, aside from having to constantly monitor all these fragile dangly parts that we absolutely positively must keep out of the way of zippers, rogue knees, and hand rails (although that last one really only applies if we’re doing rail slides on a skateboard), we’re also trained from an early age that we’re not

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Fair Skin, Foul Play

Recently, a friend and I were talking about the newborn baby of another friend. We were discussing all of the usual mundane stuff, like whom the baby resembled, when she commented, “at least he’s fair-skinned.” What the…? I couldn’t believe my friend had said that. Hasn’t my generation moved beyond this crippling, oppressive, racist mind-virus? My generation is supposed to

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