It’s no secret that I’ve been relatively quiet over here on my corner of the internet. Even the last piece I wrote really at all was pretty short — kind of a surprise to me, too. Especially because it was about my first marathon, which I could talk about endlessly. And after the fact, I wanted to write something commemorating how I felt…but I couldn’t do it. I’d open the word document, write a few sentences, and very quickly lose interest, or find that I simply couldn’t go on anymore. When it came to writing, I had nothing left to say. It persisted through almost every aspect of my life, it seemed. I couldn’t write about music, I couldn’t get things done, and it felt like I was just stuck in a constant rotation of a little bit of school, a lot of work (which was also starting to feel too monotonous and exhausting), running when I could, and cleaning my impossibly messy room all of the time.
After aging out, I think that the events from last spring finally caught up to me. I had gone so long without thinking about the loss my family had endured, because I had so many things I knew I had to finish out strong. Graduating from Columbia, and the entire summer with Spirit; all truly wonderful, amazing capstones to the last four or five years of my life. But then it came time to start something new.
“Marathon” is a word that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. I wanted to run my first marathon in 2015, but my parents urged me to wait until I aged out from drum corps and finish college before I did my first full. I filled the void with half-marathons as best I could, but since coming off tour in 2016 (yes, over a year ago), my sights have been set on finishing 26.2. I started working at Fleet Feet, found myself surrounded by distance runners and constantly helping people who were pushing themselves to complete their goals, and kept chugging on my own path.
I’m not going to lie and say that I had no idea what to expect when I moved in to the University Center for my Freshman year at Columbia. I had expectations — I had huge expectations. I knew I was paying a huge amount of money to go to this school, and I expected them to deliver on every one of those expectations. That was my first lesson: don’t have too many expectations for the big things. Because it’ll probably turn out not how you were expecting at all, and be entirely different…but maybe, that’s what you need.
I wanted to write a big long mushy post highlighting some of the best parts of my college career, but in typical fashion with the rest of my life right now, I totally ran out of time. Plus, I have quite a few pages highlighting each semester already, so why should I make the final one be any different? Plus, the last five months have been so jam-packed with things (both really difficult and really wonderful), so I can’t short-change my last semester.
Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”
In the last few days of break before my final semester at Columbia College Chicago begins, I’m being as lazy as I can. I’m still working, still running, and getting some last-minute chores done (ordering textbooks, cleaning out folders from last semester, writing a little bit, etc. etc.), but I’m also thinking about what the last three and a half years have held. If you’ve been following us for a little bit, you know that I’m big on reflection. So, in these last few days before the true beginning of the end, I can’t help but think back at all that Columbia has given me — besides the fact that I’ve created my own major, took both accounting and finance, and learned that there’s more out there that I can do well/enjoy outside of radio.
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.
Nothing but good intentions started this day out, and I think it paid off. The alarm went off around 8am, and I finally rolled out of bed around 8:30. A solid 6-mile “run” on the elliptical (and my ankle is still feeling great, even though it’s close to 1am now), and another hearty Irish breakfast.
A good chunk of the day was spent wandering around Dublin with my roommate, Christy, to find the most touristy gift shops we could. I grabbed some trinkets for friends and family, but mostly enjoyed the record store we stumbled on in a market in the Temple Bar area, Spindizzy Records. I scored on another album on vinyl — Chet Faker’s “Built on Glass” — for cheaper than I’ve found in the states (again). If we had more time, I would love to dive into the record store scene here in Dublin and figure out why I’ve been finding so many of these records I’ve been dying to get for cheaper here than in the US.