School has started, and we're on the second week of class, and things are good! Of course, the days are busy, but I'm definitely okay with that. Busy makes the time go by quickly (at a blistering pace, to be honest actually). But so far I'm keeping up with things more or less, still with enough time to get on the bike or work out. The weather has been insanely humid, literally to the point where you walk outside and your hands instantly feel sticky, but that is just a part of life here in South Carolina. I think it's safe to say that I'm finally settled in and back in the swing of things.
The best part? the beautiful orange and purple sunsets we get every night:
The priest's homily today at mass was pretty good. Today's gospel story took place recently after Jesus fed the crowds of 5000 with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. At this point in time, he had a bunch of people following him around all over the place. But the priest explained that many of these people were following in hopes that their mouths would continue to get fed. But Jesus explained that it was important to follow for the right reasons. He even lost some disciples because of it; they just decided that they were following for the wrong reasons I guess.
Last night we had a few friends over to our lakehouse and we ended up having drinks and just sitting and chatting. After a few decided to call it a night and go to sleep, the remaining three of us just sat and chatted. When you've got some alcohol in you, it seems that those are some of the best conversations you'll ever have. There's no bullshit, no hiding anything; everything is out there and honest and very real.
I think it's always important to make a list of goals and things you kinda want to figure out or have done by the end of the semester. And so here's mine, just off the top of my head real quick.
1. Be independent. Try not to ask for money, deal with things on my own, whether that be figuring out trips or financial issues or making sure I get all my requirements done to get myself to grad school next year.
2. Get my list of grad schools ready to go. Figure out what I need to apply, and start putting those things together. I don't want to take a year off from school, so this is very important.
3. Work out and really get fit. Eat well, cut down BFP and really work on both size and definition. I weigh a good 185 or so right now, so maybe bump that up 5 or 10 pounds.
4. Keep up with the biking regimen. Ride every other day for a few hours. It's amazing how much you lose when you don't ride often. Luckily I have a friend who always lets me know about rides that are happening, which really helps keep me on pace.
5. Get all A's. This may be tougher than I think, because senior studio probably won't be easy, nor will some of the classes I'm taking for my minor. But this just means more studying and really buckling down when I need to.
6. Stay on top of things. Work on projects regularly so I'm not stuck doing all nighters last minute. Do good work and take pride in the things that I create for class. I wouldn't want the embarrassment of presenting a project that I'm not satisfied with.
7. Leave time to have some fun. Play some guitar, hang out with friends, lounge out by the lake, play some golf. Everybody needs some me-time.
As you all know, I live in the lovely state of South Carolina, and to be perfectly frank, it's fucking hot. It's humid, it's sticky, it downpours pretty regularly, and it is like sitting in an oven. BUT. The best thing is, it's beatable. I would know; I've been doing it for almost four years. Here are my tips to you on how to beat the sticky humid heat of the south.
This week marked the first day of class of my senior year of college. I can't believe that I'm already in my senior year! It truly blows my mind. Looking around in some of the classes for my minor, it's always interesting to see the people who are still sophomores, freshmen, juniors... basically anyone who has not yet lived the years that I have. And every year, it blows my mind more to think about all these people that are here, and all the different life stories they have to tell. And yet, here, in this particular class, our paths cross.
The last few weeks of summer I've been a lazy bum when it comes to riding. I haven't been out on the bike for quite some time and I finally had the chance to. Let me just say I felt so out of shape. Biking is not one of those things that you can drop and just pick right back up again. Maybe riding a bike in general, but certainly not riding at a competitive pace where you can push yourself. I about died. But it's time to focus and get back into it.
Today was the first Sunday back at St. Andrews, which is the Catholic church I attend in Clemson. It was nice to be welcomed back into a place where everyone sings loud and proud, prays all together and just rejoices in general. Even at the 8am mass, which is what I usually like to go to, things were lively.
So for those of you entering college life (which admittedly, many of my readers are not) it is incredibly daunting to look at the amount of money you'll be spending over the next four years. Ideally you'd want to be thinking about this way before college even begins, so you can plan accordingly (ahh parenthood, it's great until you realize you'll be spending around 200 g's to put a kid through college). But if you're the upcoming student, here are some things that will help you out.
As per the usual plan, I began my drive down to Clemson around midnight. I slept from 5pm to 11pm or so, and finished up the last few items to pack and toss in my truck (more like carefully play Tetris with my luggage and numerous boxes). I was ready for the long haul. The day started well, with a Wawa hoagie to put in a little cooler and a quart of iced tea lemonade. I was making great time, flying through Pennsylvania on the PA Turnpike. The funny thing about the trip is that you think you're making lots of progress because you pass through a good number of states in a relatively short amount of time (You hit the NJ border, then through PA, then Maryland, West Virginia and into Virginia). Despite the fact that I consider Virginia to be the border of the south, what most don't realize is that once you hit that border, you are in Virginia for FOREVER. You go through the widest part, and so it takes forever and a day to get to North Carolina.
Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things to do. When you meet someone you really click with, and that you really enjoy spending time with, it's even harder. It's easy to say that you'll be okay and all will be well when you meet again. But it is easier said than done. That last hug, that final kiss... it's so hard knowing that this is the last time you'll have that luxury for several months.
Yes, it has been a week since I posted. For those of you who thought I had forever disappeared, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, I just was packing, getting ready for the trip down to school, and still don't have internet at my house in SC. It's supposed to be ready tomorrow, if AT&T feels like getting their shit together. However, I'm now sitting on campus and I have campus interwebs, so I will post the things that I already had written in preparation for when I did finally have the opportunity! And so without further ado, some serious catch-up:
Prior to any long drive there are things that you will almost always worry about. Being that I am leaving for school in a few days, I took some precautions, like getting my oil changed and fluids topped off, making sure my tires were inflated and rotated. But there are some things that are always sorta in the back of your head when you have a lot of miles to put under your belt.
Sunday was my last day of work. I think that no matter how hard you have to work, or how many people you like or dislike there, or how many hours you work per week, you will always miss something about it. I have some pretty good friends I've made at Trump over the years, and it's unfortunate that I won't be seeing them all the time during the week. Even if my last year of school means leaving behind a lot of nonsense, there is always a bit of sadness in my heart when it comes to my last day.
As tattoos gain more popularity and acceptance in today's society, I often go back and revisit my list of tattoos to get. It's always so hard to decide which I'm going to get next because there is such a big list. Personally, I don't have a problem with people with tattoos, and I enjoy hearing the stories behind them (though, admittedly, I know what it's like to be exhausted of telling the same story to everyone; sometimes I just have to be in the right mood to share). Some of my tattoos have a deeper meaning too, so much so that I'd just rather not share the story with people who are curious. Regardless, I appreciate the curiosity from people.
Friends, I just want to say I'm sorry for slacking lately. Earlier in the summer I was really on top of my writing -- blogging daily, interesting topics etc. But lately I've let the days slip by without writing, and then catching up on random days where I write four blogs in a row. Maybe I've just been busy, maybe I've been lacking with things to write about, maybe I've just been lazy. But I'm ready to get back on track, and with school right around the corner, I think that's definitely possible. Having work to do motivates me in a weird sort of way.
But here is where I challenge you, my readers. What do you want to hear about? What things are you interested in? I'd love to hear your druthers.
Currently, I'm sitting watching a show called Xtreme 4x4. Now, despite the fact I have a truck, I most certainly don't really know how to do any sort of work on cars. There's something a little funny about guys who work at auto body shops -- they're usually a little crass, don't like chit chat, and when they write emails to you, it's in all lowercase with poor grammar. But you can't fault them on one thing, and that's their knowledge of cars. It's truly unbelievable all the stuff that they know how to do. Granted, some are more specialized in specific things and don't know as much how to do other things. But me? Well put me on a creeper under the car and I'm virtually useless.
I follow a workout inspiration blog (aptly named Workout Inspiration) and they often have posts about a guy named Greg Plitt, who I suppose is some sort of fitness guru who is really all about giving your all, all the time. One of the things that he said in the latest post was "The pain you feel today becomes the peace you feel tomorrow." The blog certainly lives up to its name -- inspirational.
If you're from the UK, you'll read the title as the equivalent of "golf is crazy." And yes, perhaps sometimes it is. The past two days, I've played two 18-hole rounds; one each day. Golf is definitely a mental game. So mental, in fact, that I wonder how the small portion of physicality that is required seems so difficult. On paper it looks easy: look at this giant expanse of fairway in front of you, no bunkers in your face, no water directly in front, the flag in sight, and wonder how things could possibly go wrong. Oh, but they can go wrong. And sometimes, very wrong.
On Youtube I follow a channel called LAHWF, which stands for Losing All Hope Was Freedom. It's run by a guy named Andrew Hales who I believe lives out in Utah. The line "Losing All Hope Was Freedom" is, to quote from the website, "a line from the movie/novel Fight Club and is derived from Buddhist wisdom meaning to just be content with life and not "hope" or worry about material things, other people's approval, etc."
In recent weeks I've been able to have some life talks and it's interesting the things you start hearing about people's pasts. The thing that appalls me the most is the stories I hear from girls about ex boyfriends and the way they were treated by them. Why does it seem like some guys are never satisfied? They will complain about what you wear (can't be slutty, but can't be dress-down but can't be this and has to be that...), how you act, going out with friends, and of course, what you guys do together sexually. I never want to be that person, that practically ruins a person.
A few days ago I was stopped by the police on my 3 minute ride home from work (which is probably all of about 2 miles long). There was a long line at the light, and I knew I was turning left, so I just went by the other cars to go make my left turn, even though it was partially going over a yellow hashed area before the turn lane. I didn't think it was a big deal, as I've seen tons of people do it, when I passed by 2 cop cars on the way through the turn lane. I saw them immediately pull out behind me as I was turning, and knew it was just a matter of time before I'd be "that guy" on the side of the road.
So I was sitting here watching TV, wondering what to blog about. A Subaru commercial came on with a hot air balloon, and upon being asked where he was going, his answer was "wherever the wind takes me." I think there are two types of people in life. There are those who go with the flow and let the wind blow them where it may. And then there are those that constantly try to control every moment and situation. Is there a middleground? Maybe. Some float in between, some float back and forth. But I think that the best things happen to us when we least expect them, when we are floating.
And so it's August. This is the time when everyone starts shitting their pants because they realize that the return of class, homework and projects is just around the corner. And yet, while there are certainly some bittersweet moments, I'm excited for the final year of school. Endings are tough, but always yield new beginnings. The most exciting thing I'm excited for is to really begin polishing my skills as a future architect. Hopefully these future skills will be able to get me a real job for next summer, something that will continue to help me learn architecture!
This is one of the hardest topics to talk about for most people, because it's just awkward and most of the time embarrassing. But I really want to set some things straight after reading Jacy's post the other day. There are tons of women out there whose men are addicted to porn, or struggling to overcome it in some way, and it's greatly affecting their families and their marriage. I get that it hurts to an incredible degree, and there's nothing you can do about it. It also breaks trust, and trust is one of those things that takes a long long time to get back, if it ever even fully comes back at all.