Hey, you stayed with us

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.

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Quick: You’ve Graduated!

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.

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Year in Review: 2016

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.

Taking in an overlook in Tennessee

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Some Changes/Update

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for a couple weeks, but in lieu of some life changes and spending a lot of time way too focused on my personal life in the past week… it’s time I finally did something. There’s been a lot of wasted hours spent how I’d work this post, but all I seem to be good at when dispersing large amounts of information is putting it into lists. So let’s stick with that trend:

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Congrats, Class of 2014

With the passing of the class of 2014, the inevitable posting of millions of grad pictures on Facebook, and tweets from the class of 2015 exclaiming “Finally Seniors!”, I’m realizing yet again how much has changed in the past year. I’m buying my own groceries, starting to catch up with my “high school friends” (which is a term I’m not sure I’m comfortable with yet… more on that in a sec,) and starting to draw lines of when I can have fun, and when I have to work. Today is no exception, on all of the above.

My parents are out of town this weekend, and with that, comes me sitting at home. Alone. Having to truly figure out what I’m going to do for my meals alone. This is not something that I particularly enjoy, mostly because I’m not all that creative when it comes to food, but also because I like to eat food that’s good for me. But that’s not the easiest stuff to cook, or do cheaply/quickly. So I decided to try and do a juice cleanse, and I also learned that it’s actually kind of good to do one of those every few months – give your system kind of a ‘reset’. Since I like to think I’ve got this whole exercise thing kind of down, my diet is a major thing I need to start working on now. I’ve started to buy more food that’s good for me – including switching to almond/soy milk – and it’s actually kind of fun. It’s just much, much more expensive.

High School Friends
I had a great group of friends in high school. True, basically the whole band was my friend group, but I had a few friends outside of the program, too. Funny thing is… my feelings towards making room for a social life while being at home have diminished quite a bit, and my feelings towards working and running and my diet have gone up. Maybe that’s because at school, I was living with two of my best friends, and the need to make plans beyond that wasn’t usually all that difficult, and required zero to minimal effort. But being home for two weeks already, I’ve found that I’d much rather spend the afternoon cleaning or (still) unpacking, or watching a documentary, or writing a blog post, or producing a promo. Yes, I’ve still hung out with some of my friends from high school, but it’s so strange to do so. I find myself referencing my friends in Chicago and thinking about jokes I’d crack if I were with them, and I’m hardly able to remember any of the jokes I had with my high school friends I don’t talk to on a weekly basis.
But I also have a problem with the term ‘high school friends’ – I mean, if you’re still friends now, why stick them with the term “high school friend”? It’s almost derogatory, isn’t it? On Friday, I drove a few towns over to work and hang out with one of my closest friends from high school, sure, we became friends mostly through the band program, and that happened when we were in high school, but I don’t want to stick him with the term ‘high school friend’, because it was as if no time had passed since we last saw each other, even though it’s actually been almost six months.

Drawing the Lines
This ties in with what I said before, because I have been invited to hang out with some friends, but I’m always busy. Working four-slash-five jobs and training for a half marathon can do that to a person. Especially when three of those jobs are freelance-type-gigs and the other is constantly on my mind. It’s almost harder not having a schedule to adhere to, because even when you set aside an hour or two for yourself, you almost want to be working more just to be able to accomplish more things.

So to the class of 2014 – be prepared. Enjoy this last summer, because after this, everything changes. Seriously, everything. You’re about to embark on the craziest, change-i-est, exciting year ever. You’re going to want to tear your hair out, and you’re going to look back a year from now as the class of 2015 posts their farewells on Facebook and wish you had the guts to tell them exactly what they’re in for. But then again, everybody’s different. God know you’re even more different post-high school.

Anyway, I’ve got some promos to produce and some social media things to get going for a local business. But there’s my food for thought this week – stay hungry. Cheers.