I’m an enormous fan of reflection, I’m always looking back. When softball seasons end, I stand on the field and just look out towards the outfield, reminiscing and taking in all that happened on that field over the past season. After turning 23 roughly two weeks ago, I took a step back and reflected on my past year. I looked back on the good, the bad, the sad, and the in-between. Some of my memories were fond ones while others made me wish they had never occurred. In any case, I wanted to list 23 memories that crossed my mind, in no specific order, from the past calendar year, they are as follows:
1. I (despite what you may have heard to the contrary) ended the single worst relationship that I have ever been in.
2. I hit my first career over-the-wall home run in co-ed softball, a two run shot to right center field.
3. I quit working for Neckles Builders, removing myself from the grip of an employer who treated his employees like garbage and chose to become self-employed. This decision has proved to be more than worthwhile in many ways, including financially and in terms of opportunity.
4. I watched as one of my best friends quit being a full-time smoker, and watched the other become one.
5. I watched as my father broke his leg on New Year’s, bringing the toughest human being I’ve ever met to near tears.
6. My belt was too loose at work so I decided to take out my drill and put two new holes in the belt. This resulted in me drilling into my hip because I forgot to pull the belt away from my body as I drilled through it. Woops.
7. I gave my time, and sometimes money, to people who I feel were not deserving of either.
8. I bench pressed 200 pounds twice consecutively without a spotter, something I didn’t expect to do given my 6’3, 175 pound thin frame.
9. I decided to experiment and let my hair grow out for 2 months, then decided it looked stupid and subsequently cut it.
10. I, for the 23rd straight year, did not smoke a single cigarette or do drugs of any sort.
11. I also continued my streak of not drinking soda, raising it to 7 straight years without so much as a sip.
12. I dabbled in the club scene, later deciding it wasn’t for me.
13. I realized that I am addicted to shopping at Home Depot, which I guess isn’t a bad thing given my line of work.
14. On the day of my birthday I got to experience some different emotions: laughter at the voicemail left for me by one of my best friends, Clayton; tears of joy at the birthday card given to me by my girlfriend Amber; and dismay and sadness at the fact that my best friend of 9+ years didn’t so much as say Happy Birthday to me.
15. I sold my car that I had purchased for $150.00 in 2010 after putting over $4,000.00 of my own money into it. The final sale price was $900.00.
16. I, on multiple occasions, chased the deer that creep into my yard down on foot, one time getting within 5 feet of one of them. I have no explanation as to why I do this.
17. I had the opportunity to date two ex-girlfriends, a Hooters girl, a dear friend, and a close friend who I had been emotionally and physically attracted to for years. I gave all of those opportunities up to date a mother of two who lived an hour and a half away from me.
18. I tearfully said goodbye to Clayton as he left to move to Texas to go to school. After all we had been through as friends and all the time we had spent together, I truly was going to miss him and I absolutely have.
19. I feel that after several years of turmoil, my family finally collected itself and united once more. Taking a picture on Christmas morning featuring both of my brothers meant the world to me.
20. I got my first experience as a DJ alongside Clayton and thoroughly enjoyed it.
21. I got my third tattoo.
22. I attended church for the first time in my life.
23. I missed Melissa yet again, go figure. Perhaps 2012 will be the end of that streak.