I've spent a lot of my time this year focusing on myself. Taking a step back, looking at the good times I cherish, and the hard times that humbled me. I've been putting it together to see how all of that has affected who I am today.
I'm gaining a much better understanding of myself now. I really starting to understand what makes me tick, what inspires me to take bold steps, and what kind people/things hold me back.
I think know the right formula for me to move on (at least I think I do). I just have to put it all together.
A big part of that formula is getting my career back on track. Because when I have financial freedom, I can go out and spend more time with people that inspire me.
That's why my career has been my top priority for the past year.
Anyways, without any further ado, for my 9th straight year, here is my annual survey.
If we're all still bachelors at the age of 35, we'll all quit our jobs and travel the world together. We'll all go to the same country, stay there until one of us finds a wife, and then move on to the next country. We'll do this until all of us are engaged.
We called it, The International Wives Tour.
Tonight I find out that one of my homeboys just proposed to his girlfriend. The first of our tight circle to take the plunge. The hardest partier of us all is finally settling down.
I'm absolutely mindblown right now but in the happiest way possible. I've attended several weddings already, but the happiness hits you so much harder when it's a close friend that you've grown up with for YEARS.
Here are my "less obvious but still really important to me" guys:
Stan -- My closest friend from high school. We've come a long way since our awkwardly silent two-hour bus ride together for the sophomore retreat, hahah. You're one of the handful of guys that I can legit tell EVERYTHING to. Even though we're both struggling to figure out how to make it in "the real world," I know you got my back...and you know I got yours.
Chris P. -- We both want to make our marks on this world, and you constantly remind me to not settle for anything til we've done it. When I'm running low on inspiration, you always manage to inspire me.
Darwin G. -- My fuckin' awesome college roommate. We had everything in common, man. So many good times. We've completely lost touch since then but you taught me valuable skills that led me to where I am today. You helped me make something of myself and I'll be forever grateful.
Mr. Guillot -- My middle school english teacher...but you taught me SO MUCH MORE than just that -- You taught me to find my own voice; to shine my own inner light. You taught me you how to express my true self in writing. You taught me how to be ME.
Dr. McGeough -- We talked for no longer than 5 minutes but you changed my life forever. You gave me a chance when nobody else would...when even my own college advisors gave up on me. I had flunked out of school...but you got me back in, and I got nothing but A's and B's til I finally graduated.
Of course I have nothin' but love for Mom, Dad, my brothers, UDH, Webb, CPP, BTVfam, TGB and music fam. <3
On the second day of being back home in Summer '02 -- just a few hours after getting heartbroken by this one girl I was talking to for several months -- my homeboy came up to me:
Mel, I'm really sorry the way shit went down last night with you and her"...but I've got to be honest with you: the past few weeks I've started to feel something for her...and I get the vibe that she's into me too. I'm really starting to like her, man"¦but I won't go after her if you don't want me to.
Of course I knew the rest of summer was gonna be a shitty one, having to watch them be happy together while I deal with all the pain. But with that kind of love, respect and simple heads up he gave me as a brother...I couldn't say no.
He got the girl. I dealt with the pain. They eventually broke up...but in the end, him and I grew tighter as friends.
Thank you, everyone, for all the birthday wishes! I feel so young turning 21 again for the 7th straight year! My phone would NOT stop buzzing all day cuz of all the @replies, facebook notifications, tumblr posts and text messages...birthdays like yesterday remind me how blessed I am.
Hopefully I got everyone in here that gave me a shoutout (over 240!?!). Love you all! <33
It's been just about a week since my NYC trip. I wish I had more time to write a big post about it...but for now I'll have to settle with this awesome vid by Phil (and photos on my Flickr, coming soon):
// Due to my crappy internet, I'm gonna have to keep this blog post very, very short...
Thanks for your patience, everyone. It took me a few days longer than expected but 300 photos are up on my Flickr! (There's actually a total of 853 photos and videos which I'll make available for download soon)
What can I say? It was a very chill reunion, filled with a lot of nostalgia and laughter; it was a nice change of pace for once, compared to our past wild reunions. Once again we find ourselves as a group of people in the middle of no where, doing what we do best -- chilling, drinking and finding ways to amuse ourselves.
The highlights of the reunion are all in the photos.
Loren: you'd think it was only us kids that were drinking and partying but really it's just the adults were a lot better at dodging us than we were at them.
Mel:petting the dogs Alan: hey Loren, do you have any peanut butter? (Reference to the movie Road Trip)
Mel:quick, deep, hollow fart Samir: what? Loren: dude, was that your ass?? Samir: oh shit! I thought he said "yo"
Home is so much more than just a house to put your shit in.
The more I think about that quote, the more I realize how true it is. Home isn't just a house. It's not just a town. It's a time. A moment. It's the people around you in a certain phase of your life. It's the world in the eyes of someone before all that real world stuff.
Home is an experience when you're there, and a state of mind when you're not.
Let's face it, none of us will ever truly be able to "go back." Even if we decide to go to that Ar@mco sponsored reunion in Saudi next year, it wouldn't be the same. It's not that same time and it's not the same place.
But the people -- us -- we'll always have. And that will never change.
Maybe that's what 'family' really is: a group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
So tonight I finished my calibration sets, which means tomorrow will be my first official run!
I originally proposed to run 50 miles before the Oregon Reunion, but cuz it took so long for my SportBand to get here, I'm gonna have to cut down that goal to 40 miles. I know, I know...40 miles in 8 weeks isn't much at all -- that comes out to 1 mile per day, 5 days a week 'til 4th of July -- but really my short-term goal is to be able to jog a full mile non-stop.
I've been in this position before. In 6th grade, I was a chubby kid that would eat two hot dogs & fries everyday for lunch, struggling to not be the slowest guy in my class. In 7th grade, I was convinced by Mike H. to join cross-country for fun. By 9th grade, I ran my best mile at 6:48 minutes and was just 2 inches shy of getting the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.
I've done it before. I know I can do it again.
Anyways, you'll be able to track my progress with this little widget that'll be plastered on my blog:
In other news, James hit me up earlier tonight and told me www.nikeplus.com has restocked on the new SportBand, so order yours today while you still can!
Once you get yours, here's a few things you should expect:
You need to calibrate your SportBand in two separate sessions -- one for walking, one for running. Reason being you can only calibrate from your last session.
Do the walking calibration at a track, sync it with your computer and make note of the exact distance you completed.
Do the same as above but with you running the whole way.
These two calibrations must be over 0.25 miles (i.e. one lap around the track). I suggest doing at least 0.375 miles (one-and-a-half laps) so you don't get the dreaded "your last run was not good enough" error.
After calibration, the sensor will know when you're walking and when you're running.
You can do multiple sessions before you sync it with your computer.
You can pause in the middle of a session if you really, really, really need to.
There is no backlight on the SportBand, which kinda sucks if you plan on running at night like me.
That should help you get started. Lemme know when you get yours! In the meantime, starting tomorrow, I'll be working on my 40 miles.