I Feel Like I’m Wandering Aimlessly

My wife was watching an episode of Friends the other day.  It begins with the group gathered around Rachel’s door with party hats and balloons, banners and kazoos—they’re waiting to celebrate her birthday. But it isn’t just any birthday, it’s her 30th birthday, and as excited as they seem to be to celebrate the milestone, she isn’t having any of it. The entire episode follows this idea we hold widely that 30 is when we all begin our downturn, that that age specifically marks a point by which our lives are worth mourning, our dreams worth abandoning because everything not yet achieved—marriage, a family, travel, the dream career—is effectively beyond our reach. (more…)

Onto What’s Next

I think it was around the time I completed the first semester of my last year in college that I really began to struggle with what it was I was supposed to do next. My degree in English was and would be wonderful, but the opportunities readily available to me weren’t quite what I had envisioned when I first began. I knew that long before I graduated, but in the months following, when jobs eluded me and the best I could manage was working in a coffee shop, I wrestled with what moment would be “mine”: my first moment of brilliance, my first moment of success, the first moment I might feel as though what I’d worked toward for all of the years prior would come to head and produce before me some sort of…something. (more…)

Sometimes I Miss Where I Used to Work

There was a month or two period there before quitting my job as a barista where I genuinely didn’t like what I did. I was frustrated with the people I interacted with daily, the management was in a strange and unsettled place, and Abbie and I both were looking, actively, had been looking, actively, for something to help us pay the bills come our marriage; neither of us had been successful in that yet. When I put in my notice and was prepared to leave for good, it was a freeing feeling. Knowing that I would be moving on to something better, knowing that the dead end I’d felt as though I was running into would soon be behind me and something better for me, better for Abbie, better for our marriage would be waiting ahead, made me feel as though I was finally getting my head around this whole “adult” thing.

But it didn’t last. (more…)

I’m Teaching Myself to Code

I like to believe myself to be a student. When I was younger, I was convinced that given the opportunity I would have stayed in school for decades, dissecting the inner workings of the English language, mathematical equations, cultural customs, the human mind, and the secrets of the universe we live in. But I never did. Much of that dream came from a natural thirst I’ve always had to learn, but approaching the three-year anniversary of my having finished college, I’ve done little more than dabble with the idea of returning back to school.

I keep learning though. (more…)

Resolutions for the New Year: 2017

When I began 2016, I made a list of resolutions for the year and at the beginning of that list, I painted a picture. In the word picture I painted I made note to the fact that age 23 (2015) had been tough for me to be proud of. Nothing horrible had occurred but I didn’t feel pride at what I had accomplished. I was more or less in the same place I’d started and, in my mind, had failed in a number of the pursuits I’d undertaken–career-wise, creatively, etc. and what have you. And though I was being hard on myself, though I wasn’t being entirely fair, I felt like 2016 was an opportunity for me to make some constructive changes, ones that would set me to grow up, get married, and take steps into my adult life. I did a decent job at the modest goals I set and I imagine that this year I’ll do even better.

2017, as my mother-in-law likes to say, “is going to bust wide open”–and I’m inclined to believe her. (more…)

My First Adult Christmas

Christmas with my family has gotten gradually less traditional over the past couple of years. When I was younger, Christmas Day was dragging toes down the stairs, yawning in our pajamas as we dug through gifts and stockings. There was a dance-like rhythm to it, tradition falling in place like clockwork as we worked through the day’s festivities.  In more recent years, it’s been different, it’s been me, sliding out of bed while it’s still dark outside, nodding off during my fourth round of A Christmas Story, waiting for my mom to make her way out of bed at some point halfway through the morning. My siblings, their spouses and their kids came later during stop two or three on their five stop tour.

But this year will be even more unfamiliar. (more…)