Twenty Fifteen

January 1st! Happy New Years, dear readersšŸ™‚.

It’s time to reflect on last years goals and set some new ones.Ā If you allow me some flexibility with my resolutions from last year – IĀ think I met a good deal of them.

Let’s take a look..

Now that Iā€™m finished with my undergraduate degree, and Iā€™m no longer tied to one place, my goal is to be completely moved to NYC by the end of the spring. I will be heading there in February to secure a place. This will be the first time Iā€™ve lived anywhere but Kentā€¦ and I donā€™t plan on going back.

If I amend that goal to read “get out of Ohio and move somewhere” than I did that. Instead of moving ~6 hours to the big city, I moved across the country to Oregon instead. That is pretty big. I didn’t end up moving to a giant city (I’m south of Portland but in a smaller city). I did get a house instead of a tiny studio apartment. That’s a win and the cats appreciate it.

Iā€™ve been putting some thought into this and I plan on continuing school to get my masterā€™s degree.

I was accepted into the program – so I think I should get a little credit for this onešŸ˜‰. I ended up deferring to spring because of the move and then ultimately decided not to do the program. Ā One of the reasons is because I became a team lead at Automattic (WordPress.com) which has taught me a lot itself. I also feel like it would be hard to balance a new degree with a new role. However, if I change this goal to “advance professionally” you can check this one of off!

My third goal is to write each and everyday. That means that I should have at least 356 blog posts by the end of next year.

I have nothing to say for this one. I failedšŸ™‚. It turns out blogging is really really hard. I’ll keepĀ writing though – I still think it is a fantastic outlet for everyone.

The fourth and final goal relates to moving. I hope to make as many new friends and meet as many new people as I can. Iā€™m starting over in a completely new place where I will know next to no one and I will need to make new local friends. I want to take use of as many opportunities as I can to meet people (such as doing improv classes). I donā€™t want to waste a moment. Who knows.. maybe Iā€™ll even meet someone.

This can be marked as resolved without further edit. IĀ went on a date with a wonderful person named Andrea 3 days after moving out here. We’ve been together ~4 months now. I also rang in the new year last night with a group of awesome people that I met entirely here. I also have Kristyn and Anthony who moved out here with me. I feel like I have a pretty good social circle here — and still have friends in other places that I video chat or play games with often.

So what about next year?

I’m not a firm believer that new years day is some magic construct that gives you a freshĀ start… you are still the same person once that ball drops. However, itĀ is a good time to set goals for the next few months — just remember that you can restart these if you mess up. You don’t have to wait till 2016 to make your life better.

The only two I have thisĀ are:

#1. Develop better savings habits.

I’m a fortunate person.. but I could greatly improve my future by starting to save and invest. That includes paying off my debts and putting aside savings forĀ stuff I would like to do in the future.

#2. Fill my life with more meaningful interactions.

Both online and off. Online, I’ve started this by purging my Facebook friend list and removing negativities, people I don’t talk to, or people that just clutter up my friends list (post something racist or sexist? you don’t belong in my newsfeed) — but I want to take that one step further and actually meaningfully engage with people online instead of just being passive. Offline, I want to spend more time with the people love — both here in Oregon and elsewhere.

Fin.

I think these are vague enough that I should be able to hit both next year. We’ll seešŸ™‚.

Happy New Years everyone!

Four Months In

I have now been in Oregon for a little over four months and I figured I would reflect on the experience, as one does. Now seems like the perfect time to do it since my entire family is visiting for the holidays and this is the first time I’ve seen them since the move. That is not counting the occasional video call – which isn’t the same as spending real time with someone. It’s better to be with someone in person staring at their iPad than staring at their iPads from different statesšŸ˜‰.

Before moving I made some predictions on what I would miss most after moving. I was partiallyĀ right.

I definitely did miss my family! Though now that we are back together for a few days it feels like nothing and everything has changed at the same time. What do I mean by this? Well – while I feel older, more mature, and more independent since the move… but I still need help once in awhile. For example, I have no idea how to attach a garbage disposal!Ā But I can keep the house clean and organized which wasn’t always the case.

I was (mostly) wrong the friend front. Only one Ohio friend has really made an effort to stay friends with me – so shout out to P.J. Who texts, snapchats, and Slacks me. Who has legitimately taken an interest in my life and has made an effort to befriend my girlfriend (and they haven’t even met yet!). Who is spending his own money to fly out here next month. He isĀ a great friend to have and his effort to remain friends despite the distance is awesome. Love ya buddyšŸ™‚.

Everyone else, on the other hand, has mostly dropped me from their lives. Or I dropped them. The moveĀ has given me some perspective that I was part of some (really) toxic relationships. It’s obvious in retrospect that a large portion of my unhappiness could be attributed to a few specific people. I’m glad those are over.

I’m also glad that I have found someone that actually does make me happy. That’s Andrea. She is someone whoĀ makes everyday a little brighter.Ā She has helped me get settled in, improve my house (she painted my room for me after I bought paint but didn’t get around to it!), and has generally been a stabilizing force in my life. She’s awesome and things are only going to get betteršŸ™‚.

A final reflection about Oregon itself. It is beautiful! There are parks everywhere and the coast is only a short drive away. I can easily go up to Portland (though I don’t do it as often as I could – blah traffic). I’m excited to explore it more in 2015. Places like Crater Lake are still on my list so there is still plenty to do. I think I’ll be exploring for a long time.

Finally Home

It has truly been a crazy few months. Here is a short recap since I’ve been neglecting my blog lately:

I moved out of the apartment I lived in for three years (which never really felt like home). I traveled aroundĀ a bit including an amazing trip to Iceland. I went house hunting in Oregon. I moved back in with my parents. I took over a sublease and lived for two months with only a few pieces ofĀ furniture. I moved back in with my parents, again. IĀ lost some friends. I made new ones.Ā IĀ finally took the plunge and moved to Oregon. I met a girl. I settled into my new house. I started a new, amazing, and exciting relationship. I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. I finally feel at home.

Those of you that know me personally know I’ve talked for years about leaving Kent, Ohio. It wasn’t the people I wanted to leave (I really miss them). It wasn’t even the theĀ placeĀ itself.. I’m sure I could have made it work with Ohio, eventually.Ā I justĀ felt stuck in a rut. I felt like I had exhausted everything I could do in Kent. I felt like I had to do something new or I would go crazy.

As people have liked to tell me when I’ve been upset in the past: yes, I know I’m an extremely privileged individual. I worked my way to an amazing job and I have a great support system from my family.. but if you have ever been sad or depressed, you know it can still bite you despite all the positives in your life.

I mean, despiteĀ all the accomplishments I had achieved… I was still single, I was living in a college apartment (the one I had originally moved in with my ex), and I was still in the town I grew up in. While there isĀ nothing wrong with some of that – its just not the way I expected my life to look and it sometimes got to me. Add on self-doubt, over-thinking, being lead on by someone you really cared for, plus a number of other things I won’t go into detail about… and you get a scenario where it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

When I made the decision to move, it was definitely a gamble. It would be a different state, city, and house for sure… but couldn’t I just end up being just as lonely and sad? It would beĀ a differentĀ coat of paint, sure.. but I would still be dealing with myself. Maybe It would be worse since I had just left behind all the relationships I built over the past 20 some years. I was only going to know two people within an easy driving distance. Despite these uncertainties though, deep down I knew I needed to leave. That was a bet I won. From the moment we arrived in the state (which greeted us with a beautiful sunset) I knew something was different. I was ready to start digging out of that rut and move forward.

It only got better from that first sunset. I quickly settled in. I learned my way around. I started making theĀ house mine. Then I started a relationship withĀ an amazing, caring, and talentedĀ person named AndreaĀ (I could fit more adjectives here – but I won’t). I finally found someone to share all the good parts of my life with and to help lift me up if I was feeling down.

I’ve been in Oregon for over a month now and have been with Andrea for almost a month.Ā So farĀ old feelings haven’t emerged and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I know my life will still have its own share of problems – I’m not naive.. but at the very least, I think I’m finally home.

What I’m Going To Miss Most After Moving

In exactly two days I’m moving away from my hometown in Ohio. I’m super excited for the adventure ahead but at the same time this past week has been really bittersweet. It’s been a week full of goodbyes, last outings, and packing my entire life into a giant pod. ButĀ most of all I’ve been cherishing time with the people that matter most to me.

Lately one of the most common questions I have been asked is “what are you going to miss the most?”. I can’t think of a better answer than the support system I’ve built here. That includesĀ my parents, my sister Jessica, my best friend PJ (who has been nothing but helpful and supportive like a real friend should be), some friends I’ve known since middle/high school, and even some friendships that I’ve only rekindled in the past few weeks.

Even though I haven’t felt 100% at home here the past few years… these people are the ones who’ve made it an amazing place to live. Downtown, the campus, and my old apartments all have memories – and I’ll miss parts of those –Ā but the memories I’ve formed with these people are the ones that I’m going to hold in my heart forever.

So I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being my system. Thank you for supporting me in the adventure I’m about to partake in. Thank you for being you.

This Is It. Here I Go.

About a month ago I was talking to a friend about the upcoming changes in my life. I mentioned how things were becoming much more real with each passing day.

In reply I was told: “This is it. You’re a real adult now. You’re leaving your friends and family and starting a new life.”.

It really struck a chord with me when it was said, despite it taking place at the beginning of my “move to Oregon” plan. I had just packed up my entire life into a storage unit and at that point but I hadn’t flown out west or made an offer on a house yet.

By the way.. I made an offer on a house, and it was accepted.

Now that I’ve done both of those things the conversation resonates with me even more and my mind keeps going back to the statement.

Don’t get me wrong.. I don’t regret my decision at all. I couldn’t be more excited about the house I’m buying, the cross country move, or the people that I get to do it with. I’ve been talking about getting out of Ohio for years. I’ve been wanting a change. I got my wish and I’m happyšŸ™‚.

I’m just having a little trouble with the “leaving family” part of the statement..

I haven’t known a world where I couldn’t just drive 15 minutes down the road to see my parents. Now thousands of miles will divide us. I’ll only see them a handful of times a year.

That means I really am becoming a real adult. Even though I can always call, the dynamic will still change. Holidays, celebrations, visits, conversations, etc will all be different. That scares me a bit.

But this is it.. this is real life.

You don’t stick around because you’re scared to leave. You don’t stick around because its easier. Things are not supposed to stay the same. You leave because you need to. You leave because the whole point of going to school and getting a job and making a name for yourself is so you can start out on your own. You go because you want to and because change is good.

So here I go.

Sorry for the intermission in blogging. I needed a break.. but I find writing to still be as therapeutic as it was before…. so you should be seeing me around more.