Looking Forward while Gazing Backward

I decided to look back through my blog posts from throughout the year. This blog has been a clearinghouse for the thoughts that crowd my head, it has been a method of updating folks back home about my daily life, it has been, at different times, neglected and nourished. But through this whole process it has been mine. I looked back at my first post. It was actually almost exactly a year ago today. June 27, 2016. Man was I naive and I had no idea what I was being prepared for. I can see ways in which I have grown from that first post as well as ways in which I am continuing to grow. This blog contains lessons learned and the joys/lows experienced through a year of service and discernment, carefully edited so the national YAV office doesn’t have to have a conversation with me about my blog content. Besides, that’s why I also keep a journal for all the things I can’t share in this blog.

But I digress. At this point, almost a year since starting this adventure, I find myself in a very similar place. For better or for worse, Tucson has become my “normal”. What once was an unknown has become a stable entity and the return back home has become that thing toward which I am looking with a certain amount of nervous anticipation. I don’t quite know what I will be doing yet when i get home. And this time it’s a little different than trying to be matched with a work placement through the YAV program. What I do know is that I’ll have about a month after I get home to: more seriously apply myself to a job search, take a week on a cruise for my “bachelor party”, move myself and my stuff across the state to Ashland, and help my wonderful fiancĂ©e with the final preparations for our wedding.

A couple weeks ago I posted about transitions, mostly in references to transitions here in Tucson. But as I contemplate the last 30-odd days here, I’m beginning to think about other transitions. Like the transition from singleness to marriage (I’ll have to remember that one for the tax forms). Or the transition from being a full-time member of my parents house to a child living away from home (okay, so that’s pretty much been life for the last five years, but this one speaks more to the fact that my “home” will no longer be tied to just them). Or the transition from having my dad as my emergency contact to having my soon-to-be wife as my emergency contact (of all of these transitions, this one will legitimately be one of the hardest). Or the transition from working and living as a volunteer to being a productive member of society with a job, house, bills, etc. Now that I think about it, I could have called this post “Transitions, Part 2”, but I don’t want to focus here, I have other things to share. I should really cut down on the coffee…

One thing I am looking forward to (in addition to everything else) is cultivating my writing skills. Throughout my life (and more exclusively this year), I’ve begun thinking about ways I can write as a career. One of the obvious ways is in the field of journalism. Now I didn’t study journalism in school, but I figured if I could find an entry level position somewhere that would teach me the basics and give me some experience then why not pursue it? Little did I know that this little day dream would bear fruit. One of the numerous sports blogs that I follow put out an ad wanting new writers to apply to help expand their coverage. I threw my hat in the ring figuring if I didn’t get it, it wouldn’t be a huge deal (the position was unpaid and entry level after all). Well, wouldn’t you know it, they decided to give me a chance. So I’m now an unpaid writer for A Sea of Blue, a sports blog that covers the University of Kentucky. I’m looking forward to the experience and seeing where this might lead in the future. For now, it’s a fun side gig, but who knows where it will go? My first post was published last Wednesday, you can find it here if you would like to read it.

So yeah. That’s life today in Tucson. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over because I can remember typing out that very first post and it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. To quote one of my favorite movie characters, “Life comes at you fast…” and sometimes it’s worth looking forward to where you’re going by looking back at where you’ve been.

And so we go.

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