Is there such thing as WiFi silence? I know that there’s radio silence but our WiFi here has been down for the last six or so days. Therefore, I’m coining the term “WiFi silence”. Luckily (and ironically), it came back on the day that the year ends. I really wanted to be able to post a few related blog posts so I’m very happy that I’ve gotten the chance.
As everyone else is doing, I want to take a look back at 2015. It seems obligatory but I want to try and be a little different. As we countdown to the New Year, I want to countdown my favorite memories of 2015. Shall we?
10.) Beginning “Confessions”
Back on January 3rd, 2015 I started what is now “Confessions”. It grew out of a desire to pick writing back up again and use it as an encouraging tool. What it effectually turned into is a site devoted to honesty, mental health, and God. It’s also a site that has reached 60 countries, received (by the time the day is over) 9,000 views, and almost 200 followers. All in one year! I’m incredibly blessed and encouraged by all of the responses that I’ve received this last year. This is the longest I’ve kept up with a writing project and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon!
9.) Piedmont Bruin’s Men Soccer Team
The last two Spring semesters I’ve been able to play soccer with a few guys from my university. I had never played soccer up until coming to Piedmont and these guys have poured a lot of time, energy, and emotion into training me and playing the beautiful game with me. In honor of my final soccer season starting in 5 days, I wanted to give these guys the credit their due. They’re some of my best friends and I’ve loved every second of growing with y’all. Here’s to one more! Let’s make it a good one!
8.) Going through Counseling
When this thought popped into my head I kind of laughed to myself. How is having to go through counseling one of my favorite memories? It was a time of incredible heartache and a season of revitalized hatred. The more I thought about it though, I began to realize that it was also a season of incredible change. It opened up doors and showed me some of the deepest, darkest parts of my heart and allowed me a chance to heal and change. This season brought me closer to God because it was ultimately His grace that showed me these things. This was also, in my mind, a time where I solidified myself as an independently dependent man. I recognized an issue that I could not fix on my own. I sought help outside of my family and outside of myself. As hard as it was to admit, I’m incredibly grateful that I did. I also feel indebted to my counselor for the hard conversations, gracious words of encouragement, and his effectual giving of his time. You were a tool that God used to pull me out of a mess that could’ve been much worse.
7.) Seeing Jurassic World on the Big Screen
To understand why this is a favorite memory you have to know how much I love Jurassic Park. I never was allowed to watch it when I was younger but I remember the first time that I saw Jurassic Park. It happened to be the third one in the trilogy but I was still enraptured with the dinosaurs on screen. It fascinated me and the original Jurassic Park completely blew me away. Jurassic Park also holds sentimental value to me but that’s a rather long story. When I saw Jurassic World in theaters I literally cried. I also laughed, was horrified, and completely wrapped up in the magic of it all. This was definitely something I won’t soon forget.
6.) Playing Hide n’ Seek in a Graveyard
This one is most definitely going to get a few “huh’s?”. This quickly became a favorite pastime of my friends and I at Piedmont. We live near a historic Moravian city and we often found ourselves hiding amongst the few century old tombs dodging ghosts, ghouls, and whoever was “it”. We had a lot of laughs, scares, and memories come out of our time playing hide n’ seek. Turns out college kids are really just grown ups desperately trying to keep a piece of their childhood alive.
5.) The Dixie Classic Fair
Every year, Winston-Salem hosts the “Dixie Classic Fair” just outside of Wake Forest University. Ever since I’ve been located in Winston, I’ve made a tradition of finding my way there. Full of fried food, over-priced games, and “spinny” rides, it’s sure to empty your pocket and your stomach. This year I found myself traversing the dirt paths with a few friends and Makayla (whom you’ll read about more later). We were specifically drawn to the fair on that day because a few of our favorite artists were in town for a free concert. We went, rocked out, and I desperately tried to win a large stuffed animal for Makayla. This was when my crush for her had started to grow and I was hoping to impress her greatly. I still didn’t know if my feelings were reciprocated on her part but I think that this night won me the “gold”.
P.s. I also got her the stuffed animal….Just a really tiny one. I suck at carnival games and am too poor to keep trying.
4.) Vacation Weekends at Smith Mountain Lake
I have a few friends (who are way more like family) that live up in the southern area of Virginia. They also happen to own a lake house on the infamous Smith Mountain Lake. I had no idea what I was going to be getting myself into when I first went up there but I was absolutely blown away by the beauty. Hundreds of miles worth of coast, hours spent with hilariously loving people, and chasing the Air Force Jets around on their jet ski made for a week’s worth of healing. The summer really was a time for me to isolate and move past my hurt. I was fresh out of counseling and in need of some therapy. These weekends provided me a taste of home that helped my hurting heart. If you’re reading this, I love you guys!
3.) My 4 Day Business Trip to Cincinnati
In the later months of this year I changed up my jobs, climbed the corporate ladder, and became an Admissions department representative for my school. The majority of my job is recruiting students to attend my University and among this job was the opportunity to travel. The majority of my driving time was spent in around the Piedmont/Triad area but the beginning of November opened up a chance to travel north. They assigned me to the Cincinnati area for four days to attend a college fair at the Creation Museum. I was more than happy to go as I love traveling and seeing new places. I stayed in a beautiful hotel, ate like a king, saw the city sites (including their zoo), and took a deep breath before the end of my semester came on me.
2.) “Vacay” 2K15
In February of this year I decided to plan a vacation for myself at the end of May. My sister was graduating and so I wanted to seize the opportunity of spending a few extra days in one of my favorite cities. I adore Universal Studios so I planned a 3 day trip there and a week with my parents and siblings at an Orlando hotel. What transpired over that week quickly became one of my most favorite memories of all time. Between screaming my head off on roller coasters and watching my baby sister graduate, I was able to put distance between myself and the painful events of the Spring. I was so sad to come home simply because I didn’t want to leave my family. I literally felt so alone and empty getting off of the plane and walking back into my door. I now look back on this time and smile. I’m incredibly blessed by the love that I have coursing through my family.
Before I reveal my favorite memory of 2015, I want to share a few honorable mentions. These are great memories that I have but just barely missed the list.
- Summer trips to my Parents house in Georgia
- NextFest 2015
- Failing incredibly hard at Swing Dancing
- Six Flags over Georgia with my Dad
- Meeting the Freshman at Piedmont
- Visiting the Henry Ford Museum with my brother in law
- Winter Jam
- Preaching for the men at the Rescue Mission
With that said, here is my all time, favorite memory of 2015:
1.) Meeting the Girl of my Dreams
If you’ve followed this blog with any form of consistency these last few months, I’ve made mention of a certain special someone. I even mentioned her up above! Her name is Makayla and she blows me away. The fact that she made number one may receive some scoffs, jokes, or rolling of the eyes but that’s ok. I genuinely mean it when I say this. I was perfectly content with being a loner during my senior year. I was fine with being grumpy and having to not invest in anyone’s life. I was tired of being hurt and figured being lonely would at least spare me that much. Well, as the story goes, I met Makayla and everything changed. My first impression of her was this: Kind, Beautiful, Fun. Her personality was (is) highly attractive. She loves life, laughs a lot, and just enjoys the time she has with people. I wanted a piece of that. I wanted to be around her because she made me happy too. She made me feel joy; something that I hadn’t felt in a long time. My heart fell…hard.
Over the next few weeks I pursued the mess out of this girl. Texted her, snap chatted her, invited her to coffee. All I got out of it was mixed emotions. I couldn’t tell if she liked me or not and plus, every other guy (and their brother) had a crush on her (that’s when you know you’re on to something good). What chance did I stand? I almost gave up. Something inside told me to keep going; to try just a little longer. Our friendship grew and believe it or not, so did my feelings. I wanted to do it different this time around. I didn’t want to ruin a friendship by revealing my feelings too quick. I sat back for a little while and then, out of the blue, I told her that I liked her. Guess what?
She liked me too.
My heart was enthralled with this fact but also scared. I had let someone in again. I had given someone a chance to do damage. Despite these nagging, unnecessary feelings, I found myself completely able to trust her. What I’ve been blessed with is someone to laugh with, be goofy with, and share growing pains with. We’ve only been together for a few months but I know that she is something incredibly special.
Makayla, I admit to you that I’ve made mistakes. I’ve not always been the nicest person, the most kind, or the most gentle. I have a myriad of excuses but I won’t give them. In every situation you have been gracious, kind, and forgiving. I don’t deserve you at all. You are God’s gift to this callous heart. You have reminded me what joy is, what real affection looks like, and what commitment is supposed to be. I love who you are and I pray for you daily. I look forward to the road that God has us on but I love walking with you day by day.
You take my breath away.
Happy New Years Eve, everyone. Much love to you and your families in this New Year. May it be one that you never forget. Make mistakes, forgive, be forgiven, fall in love, trust in Jesus.
Here’s to a new year.