A note from Jack about his first gathering:
I’ve always been somewhat of an introvert. The type of guy that has a handful of very close friends rather than tons of friends that are just more of an acquaintance. Like most people, as I got older and life became busier, I found it harder and harder to make new friends. This was fine, as I had my small group of friends that really were amazing. That is until I found myself needing to relocate for work.
My partner and I found ourselves in a new city, where we knew no one. My partner and I worked very different schedules (I had a typical Monday through Friday 7-3 job, he worked evenings, nights and weekends). I found myself with a LOT of free time with nothing to do. I was starting to feel more and more disconnected, and feeling very lonely. To add to my feeling of being disconnected, I work from home 4 days a week, so my opportunities to go out and meet new people were very limited.
I remembered seeing a booth for CMG at San Diego pride several years earlier. Now thinking I need to do something to meet new people and feel more connected with other like-minded men, I did a quick Google search for their website. I discovered they had a Gathering coming up soon and decided to attend.
I attended my first CMG Spring Gathering in 2017. I know it might seem cliché, but I was hooked. Honestly, knowing me, and my personality, I did not have high hopes, but opened my mind and decided to give it a shot and try to make the best of it. I decided not only would I attend, but I would also volunteer to help set up camp. I arrived early and started to feel the nerves of facing something unknown bubbling to the surface. I gave myself a quick pep talk, and went for it.
I was immediately greeted by friendly faces that made me feel so welcome. This was something that happened throughout the weekend. Everywhere I turned, there was someone looking to get to know me. The feeling I felt throughout the weekend is a bit indescribable… the closest I can come is just “joy.” Every aspect of this weekend just brought complete joy to my life. I left camp forever changed by my experiences. I had made some amazing new friends and acquaintances, had some incredible experiences and returned home feeling happy and centered for the first time in a long time. My partner even remarked several times about how much happier I seemed. I had such a transformative experience at that gathering that before I left, I expressed my desire to volunteer for the next Spring Gathering Committee – and here I am!
We ALL need to feel connected. That connection with our fellow man is sadly missing from most of our lives. I managed to build some incredible connections with some amazing men at the last spring gathering, and THAT is what THIS gathering is all about CONNECTING HEART TO HEART.
If you are looking for a deep, meaningful, cerebral experience where you get to explore yourself and your emotions in a safe, supportive environment, then THIS gathering is for YOU. If your idea of connecting is a fun weekend at camp, with a group of incredible men taking in the beautiful mountain surroundings, then this gathering is ALSO for YOU! This gathering is all about making those connections that we want and need in whichever way you see fit!!
If you are finding yourself on the fence about attending, whether this would be your 1st or 91st gathering, I would strongly urge you to take a chance – like I did. There is something to be found for everyone, and you may just finish the weekend with a whole new outlook. At the very least, you will leave with an incredible sense of connection.
If you have ANY questions whatsoever, please feel free to reach out at any time!
Hugs, Jack Lanzillo