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Happy Anniversary! Let’s Talk. . .

So apparently today is the one year mark for my little blog. I had no idea it’s been a year already! I thought it was in July to be honest. Much has changed since I wrote a year ago with many life events had. As I reflect back on what I learned, I’m content with the choices made. Obviously there are things that I delayed in doing but, one way or another, we are led here at this moment. I want to thank you awesome strangers for going along for the ride. It’s a small community we have here, usually getting big boons in views every poem that comes out. Seriously, I did not expect the poems to be my main attraction! And I always look at the countries that view my page, and try to picture who’s on the other side of that screen reading what I wrote. I sit there wondering: what’s going on in your life, friend, that brought you here?

I know some out there are trying to make a living on blogging, and that’s great! I advocate for the arts, including writing, but when I started this I didn’t intend for this to be my career. Though I write posts, and am attempting to write novels, I don’t dedicate sleepless hours crafting perfection because it is not a need in my life. It’s a want, and I want to write to express and connect with you fellow friends. What actually inspired the creation of this was from a dear friend in my graduate program. Yes. . . that old, dear friend long ago mentioned. See if you met me in person, you’d be fooled into thinking you know me well. Not that I live a double life, or trying to deceive you, but I can be sociable in all sorts of environments. I can mosh it out with other rock and metal lovers at a concert. I can hang ten and be a beach bum all afternoon by the beach. I can talk sports and go to games at 3:00, and then go nerd it out over geeky things with other people at night. Books, movies, history, animals. . . you name it, I can submerse myself into that world or at least try with a smile on my face. The “Renaissance Man” as my boss calls me, as how you know me in one area I can be totally different in another. At work, I’m more polite and humble doing my tasks, but out with the guys watching a game or with friends getting dinner, it’s different. Yet behind the man with many interests and the personality to connect different people, who would normally not hang out together, lays the mysterious part. People know of me, but they don’t really know me. That’s where she came in.

You know those people you meet, and it feels like you’ve known them for a longer time than you actually do? That was the case here, as when we first met we instantly clicked. Same interests, personality, and other things. One thing we also had in common was the preference to not talk about personal lives past and present. When I meet anyone, I get to know them but I never delve to personal level unless they want to. I build that trust, which is a gift as many people find it easy to entrust me with the things they tell me and not abuse it. We all know the gossipers in our lives who need to know what’s going on in someone else’s life; from job situation, to dating, to drama. I know them too, and I’m like a vault to them. Something they can’t break into, but they keep trying to get those diamonds back there; especially the dating. In general, whenever people ask me or anyone else about their personal lives, such as dating/bedroom stories, I tend to conclude that their own personal life is that boring that they need to know others’ for some sort of excitement. If that’s the case, go make your own excitement, leave that mundane person if you have to, but never try to live through someone else. Back to the main story, that friend and I never said much about our personal lives but, the little glimpses we saw, we related closely to and so it strengthened the friendship.

When I was late teens/early 20’s, I didn’t talk about my life because I didn’t want people to know. It was more tragic than it was happy like so many others I saw around me. There were days in high school, I would go in the morning to homeroom and just lay my head down. My friends would ask if I was okay, and I would lie and say I was just tired or sleepy; when really I was depressed. I had no one to talk to back then about my troubles. I don’t have personal troubles, besides maybe career, that I dwell on. I processed and accepted it, and so I’m more okay opening up. But at the same time, I’m like the Godfather. . . You don’t talk about personal business and the family (said in the most Godfather-like way). So even though I’m more willing to be open, I am careful about who I tell what to. As should other people, because I see how open some people are whether in person, or online, and how easy it is for someone to take advantage of that. One of my friends once in awhile may post on Facebook a post that indirectly takes a shot at a friend who upset him, and I’m like “Really bro?! Don’t be doing that out in public like that”.  Communication is key in so many things. Who I tell what to varies, but sometimes it’s as easy as simply asking me those questions.

I’ve had friends complain to me I don’t tell them about certain things, or how I’m feeling. I’m not the type of person who updates how I’m feeling every second, nor feels the need to, but if they asked me how my day’s going I’ll tell them honestly. I’m honest in a blunt, but caring way. However, I fall under the classic “Gives great advice, they do the opposite, get burned, and admit I was right” category. But I’m never salty about it, because I know they’ll do the same for me and we all know life is about learning and experiences. Life’s crazy though in how we push people to be open and talkative, but at the same time some want way too much while others say TMI. It’s all about knowing who you’re talking to, and what you choose to say. Don’t be a sieve, but don’t be a clam as well. Talk to someone or go out and find someone to talk to. It can help immensely to just have someone there for you in times of need. There have been/are a few people in my life who actually saw past the superficial, and wanted to know the man behind the smile. That dear friend was sort of like that but because of different things, we had little time outside of school to get to know each other more. We just enjoyed life with our classmates while we were still in the program. But on my birthday she gave me a gift; a journal. She wrote on the first two pages, and left me the rest to fill it in. I only wrote maybe two entries after hers.

Because then I found you: the blogging community. I’ve always had dreams of writing and even Youtubing something like my life, words of wisdom, travel and such. But shyness in the past stopped me. I wrote things, but they laid dormant only for my eyes. The last thing I wrote in that journal was sort of like me closing one chapter of my life: the one where I hid from the world. And so I gave this a shot, thinking that maybe someone else out there. . . some stranger in a far off land, or just down the block may see and even relate. The idea that such platforms as this can connect people with others from different countries, cultures, languages, etc. because as I said no matter where or who we are we have one thing in common: we relate as humans. At first I wanted to talk about random things that get people thinking, and then the poetry fell in, as well as school/career. Typical things I guess? It let me get things off my mind and help me, all the while helping others possibly as well. But usually bloggers have a niche, right? I hate that word. I have a niche for hating niche. Maybe because I’ve never been one for very specific specialization because I feel it hinders growth. “Hey I’m the leading expert on historical truths of the train industry. . . between 1805-1905”. I was hoping for 1906 history. That may be my worst bad example to date! But I think you get the point. I feel it’s better to be the “jack of all trades” instead of the “master of one” because at least with jack you can teach him more on select trades that he knows rather than having to start from ground floor.

In basketball, you learn how to shoot. You learn how to defend. You learn to pass and other things. Some areas you specialize in, but you know the other fundamentals as well. With niche, you might know a little about something else but you focused most of your time on one thing. What if that one thing fails, and you have to start over at a later stage in life? You only live once, but make it count. The same applied to my career adventure that this blog has slowly grown into as well. Years ago I looked back on the majors I could’ve studied, and only two stood out that I would’ve considered doing instead: marketing and rehab science. I’ve tried volunteering for physical therapy, but did not like the amount of time, or lack thereof, spent with patients nor the future outlook of the profession. Marketing I liked, but apparently many people go into it hoping to pitch marketing ideas only to end up doing math and accounting. Y’all already know I’m not the type to want to sit at a desk all day with numbers and things. I want to work with my hands and be among others. Yes I’m 26 years old, without a salary job yet, trying to figure out what career I want, but many older folks are doing the same. It really is about the experience and not just the degree; I just wish companies would give a fresh face a chance instead of demanding the 5 year veteran to the game. So I don’t regret dabbling in other careers even though I studied one thing mainly. Because it’s what we make of the degree that counts, and if it doesn’t work out at least we’ll have other options to pursue as opposed to wallowing in self-pity for choosing majors and specializing in things like classical English lit or international business. I’ll always take the guy who’s multi-functional over the specialized person, because at least Jack can further learn a skill he knows rather than teaching master a new one they may not excel at.

Some may call it stubbornness, whereas I call it conviction because I’m too stubborn to call it anything else! But to be successful calls for conviction and never-ending pursuit while learning from your failures. My goal is simple: see the world. Maybe the hardest thing because most have so little time to do that. I recently went to a speaking event featuring Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec and it was an awesome experience learning from him and other speakers. In reflecting what I’ve done I’ve been able to cross off things that I know I don’t want to do for a career; most recently doctor for reasons discussed prior posts. Today I looked at travel bloggers and things like that, and I thought of something I rarely ever mention on here. . . my app. One of the things this blog was created for so I can post updates. We came full circle a year later. School and life got in the way, and I touched it a few times but never committed to it. Today as I thought about traveling, travel blogs and such, I thought of how my app will essentially change if not ruin travel blogging. What my app will do is make anyone and everyone a traveler and allow them to express their own knowledge and personality; and make money off of it. All those months and years building a fanbase, and all of a sudden it can be gone because someone else can do it in a more personable way. I don’t say this to be mean or brag, but in a time where people can’t afford to see the world this little invention will bring the world to them. And it was influenced by Tandem.

Back in 2016, the idea became concrete as I had the idea for many years before that. But then I committed to doing it. The rough draft working model exists, but I just need to make an actual testing version of it. As I worked on the rough draft, I wanted to improve my foreign language capabilities, and looked online for apps. I stumbled upon Tandem, where I read that we connect with people around the world. It spoke to me because that’s all I ever wanted to do. And I’ve met amazing people on there, and learned different cultures and about the person themselves; as if they were here next to me. It’s too bad we can’t meet right now, but that reason further fuels my desire to get the app made. Because so many people can’t explore the world, meet new people and learn new things. So if apps like Tandem can simply connect the world and people, why not make an app that connects people with their travel dreams; even if it’s just a temporary relief to it. Discussing this with my new international friends, they inspired me to continue because they saw it’s potential. And so that’s what is next on the horizon.

A year has passed on this blog and I hoped it has helped some of you with whatever has happened in your life. Let’s see what Year 2 has in store! Nothing much will change. Poems will still be here, as will career updates. But along the way, expect more app updates for sure as well as personal ones. Those other categories will definitely be more filled up soon. Thank you though for following along the journey, and I hope to hear from you soon. Never give up, and continue chasing your hopes and dreams. . .

One comment on “Happy Anniversary! Let’s Talk. . .

  1. Steve! I’m grateful for tandem as well, and the opportunity the app gave me to meet you and other interesting people so I can relate on what you’re saying. I wish you the best of lucks with the app! continue chasing the dream of traveling the world, I’m sure you will do it and enjoy it very very very much 😉


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