Well, it’s been quite obvious: August 2015 was not quite a banner month for me in terms of blogging. I’m really sorry about that! Things have 100% absolutely picked up around the office, and a lot of the new responsibilities that I’ve gained have to do with spending time on the computer. You can imagine that the very last thing someone wants to do after spending their 8+ hour work day on the computer – is spend even more time on the computer! So, unfortunately, e-mails have backed up and blogs have been backed-up. But, on the bright side, I have many posts waiting in the queue, just to be proofread and then hit “send.” So, check those out soon!
Anyways, I write this particular blog post becuase my birthday is tomorrow!
What a quick year it’s been! I began this year floating in the middle of the ocean, on my way to Bermuda, disconnected from much of society on a cruise. That would be very indicative of how the rest of my year would go. I spent many days here and here as disconnected as I could possibly be, for example, going without my phone for 24 hours at a time! Was it hectic and stressful to get back to 40+ e-mails, 20+ text messages, 3 missed phone calls, and limitless Facebook notifications? Absolutely. Heck, there are still some FB notifications that I had every intention of replying to from my LAST birthday. Obviously those are gone now – and it does still irk me a little bit – but not nearly as much as it would have a year ago.
Not relying as much on technology and social media for communication has become a big plus in my life. I’ve continued, as I’ve always been, to maintain connections with those family members and friends that are close to me. Whether it’s calling home to the parents most Sundays, calling my best friends back home just to say what’s up, frequent trips to Blacksburg to see friends there…I try very hard, spend a lot of time, and put a ton of effort into making sure those relationships maintain. I’ve written about that before here on the blog, and I hope that I continue to write about that for years to come. But it hasn’t been as focused like “oh man, I must reply to EVERY Facebook post!”
To continue reflecting on the year – I spent the first half of it living at home with mom and dad and that was one of the best, most humble decisions I’ve made in a long time. While I lived there, I never did unpack those boxes though. I was determined to not stick around long, but I also was determined to not settle on a job offer. I was fortunate to receive a few (yes, read a FEW, not a LOT, haha) between graduation in May and the fall, but nothing really…stuck. My dream job offer came through at the end of September, and I started working in early October when I get back from San Francisco.
If you would have asked me back in October if it was my dream job offer, I would not have said yes. I was nervous as heck. I was nervous as all get out that it was not as close to higher education (which was my master’s discipline) as I wanted it to be, and that I wouldn’t be able to grow as much as I wanted. Little did I know that this position would be 110% perfect for being able to have a day job and a passion job – and continuing to serve and work through this very blog – HESONWHEELS.com, and grow that involvement and advocacy into our Nation’s Capital.
That’s where I spent most of the rest of the year, here in Northern Virginia/D.C.. BUT, we all know that I have wanderlust, so after Bermuda and San Francisco, I then embarked on many trips to Richmond and Blacksburg Virginia, but then I also took HESONWHEELS to Austin, Texas for 2 weeks, and then we visited Chicago for a weekend in the summer. Combine that with moving in February, and I STILL haven’t even quite unpacked the boxes that didn’t get unpacked when I lived with my parents! All the essentials are here at my new condo but it definitely still looks like I moved in last month. I’m working on it!
That’s the biggest development of the year, though. Finally living “on my own.” For the first time (while yes, I do have a roommate) in my entire life, I’m paying for my groceries, my gas, my car insurance, my phone bill, my rent, my credit card bill, etc. etc. etc. insert all other annoying adult grown-up bills here…completely on my own. It was immediately petrifying. As many people my age I was worried I would just…mess up and run out of money or something. Having spent an extra two years in college pursuing my Master’s, too, I subconsciously was worried that I was behind the curve with many of my friends.
So far, so good though. My kid life (having two older siblings to shadow) mirrored my adult life. I was able to watch many of my friends go ahead of me and do those things, at which point I could then get advice from them on what to do and what not to do, etc. and that worked out beautifully. Like I said though let’s not jinx it – so far so good. :)
What else here? Moving … bills … new job … HESONWHEELS … traveling. Charlotte is very healthy! This is also the first year in EIGHT years that I made a concentrated plan to be a single man, from a romantic relationship. From junior year of high school all the way through college and graduate school, I was attached to a serious relationship in one form of another. Great years of my life that taught me much, don’t get me wrong – no matter how young! But, especially after moving into the city, it was so assuredly refreshing to be single and just me a man, his dog, and sometimes his roommate. Grateful, and loved. It’s so refreshing to be able to go to a happy hour or just hang out with friends and worry solely about yourself and not have expectations from others. A bit selfish? Absolutely. But I admit that. I’m really focused right now…and in the past year I didn’t want anything to get in the way of that.
Otherwise, and anyone reading this will say “duh,” I’ve been focused on building HESONWHEELS and doing more social advocacy, while continuing to support diversity initiatives and student groups at Virginia Tech. Tech is my home – I’m back in Blacksburg on average at least once per month – and I would have it no other way. Do I wish there was a shuttle that would take me so that I don’t have to drive? Absolutely. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to routinely get back to the place that I truly do call home.
I really think that’s it. In the vein of making this more than 1,000 words…I just wanted something I could go back and say “Well. THAT’S where I was at that time, at that birthday.”
That’s where I am, my friends. Thanks for reading. Here’s to another year.
And p.s. – if you have a free moment, please check out this survey in honor of said birthday. THANK YOU!