September 2022 Newsletter: Where’d August Go?

So I had August plans. I was going to write a few articles and finish up my sustainability month that only had one post. Instead, I wrote a few drafts and when I looked up the leaves had started to turn.

A more casual blogging experience

My blog has grown exponentially over the years. What started as a simple hobby has turned into quite the endeavor. I never really saw myself writing this long and it’s become a natural rhythm in my every day life. The seasons turn and my blog remains. It is something I can take wherever I am and something I can do always. As the blog has developed over the years, I have grown more comfortable with not sweating the small things. Sustainability month had one great article and honestly that’s enough for me. I spent the better part of a year developing the four series and while two to three for the month would be great, I’m content with just seeing how I feel each month.

A Debt Paid

The biggest piece of news in my life is that, with the student loan forgiveness, I will be debt free. It has been five years since I graduated college and I will not be saddled with debt for the rest of my life. It means that I can finally save my money and plans postponed are no longer postponed. It is a great feeling, like the entire weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders. My personal goals have been centered around paying off my debt and as such I’ve taken to simply focusing on living day to day. There is merit to be had in this approach but in part I had been lying to myself that I was doing just fine. If all goes as planned this year, I’ll use this opportunity to once again live abroad. New Zealand is my country of choice and in December I’ll start solidifying plans to apply for a holiday working visa for a year. I have the option for 6 months but feel the year will be a nice reset. If the opportunity leads to more travel, I welcome it. I need a change of scenery and this is the catalyst I needed. It’s a great time in my life to do such as I have no obligations that are tying me to one place or another. I’ll talk more about this in the coming year but for now I’ll try not to get to far ahead myself.

What else is new?

So with debt out of the way, I’m tackling the question of what fulfills me. I’ve been hustling it for the last year and while that has been fun and necessary my goals are once again shifting as one must do in life. Without debt, I can finally assess my passions in their truest form. There is no caveat, if I want to pursue a passion fulltime, I now have the opportunity to do so. Right now my needs are met but coming out of debt I’ve realized I need a bit more professionally. The idea right now is a year in New Zealand will provide new perspective and lead to something I can truly smile about. In the truest sense, I can put the past behind. I can be proud that I graduated and the debt I was saddled with has been paid off. I am now on a level playing field.

A Month of New Beginnings

I have always enjoyed September. There is something about Autumn that brings about a calm that’s hardly experienced in other seasons. It is the month of my birth and I always use the time to reflect on the life I’ve lived. This month I’m going to try and double down on my commitments. On the 16th (my birthday) I will be traveling by train to Seattle. I chose the upper carriage so I should get a panoramic view of the West Coast. From there, I’ll be staying in a hostel in the heart of downtown Seattle. I have not stayed in a hostel since I did study abroad so I am beyond excited to be reliving the experience (and it’s much cheaper than an Airbnb or a hotel!). I’m still planning the trip but I’ll be there for four days, so I’ll have plenty of time to explore after the wedding. Right now I’m thinking doing the city underground tour as well as doing a ghost tour. The aquarium sounds fun but we’ll have to see how much time I have. All in all, it’s set up to be a great month.

In Closing

This month I’m going to play it by ear. I have a couple unfinished drafts waiting to be published and outside of that I might try and get a poem done but we’ll see. I’m less busy now that I’m not doing summer day camp so I should have more time to write! As always, thanks for reading!

August 2022 Newsletter: Summer heat ain’t so sweet

It is now officially August. The summer is coming to a close and it has been a chaotic summer to say the least. There’s been some small victories and other more frustrating endeavors but all in all I’ve landed on my feet.

The Good

I’ve been working near 40 hours a week this summer. With this extra work has come an influx of cash that I’ve been using to refill the treasury. I’ve been running a lot this summer and adult co-ed soccer was beyond fun. I bought expansions for my board games and think the next game night will be a real banger. I’ve situated myself to be working more hours in the fall and I’ll be taking on the additional job of a rock climbing instructor. I’m prepping for my old college roommates wedding and am beginning to think of what I want to do for my birthday. At the very least, it’s set up to be a smooth year for me.

The Bad

Sustainability month was great! Except it was only one article! Last month put my blog to the test and ultimately I fell short. That said, I might extend sustainability month into August and make it a two month affair. August will calm down for me after the 18th, so I imagine I’ll have more time to finish up the articles then.

The Ugly

As my year of a desire, this year is all about getting back out there. It’s a year focused solely on my wants and needs. While I’ve seen great success in some areas, dating and relationships are just as messy as they’ve ever been for me. It’s a time of emotional volatility as I ride one high to the next and hope by the end of the year I dock in safer harbors. My one meet-cute this year has been a disaster and while it hurts less as I grow older, it still hurts nonetheless.

Where I’m at

It’s a strange time in my life. I’m doing what I want in life and life by every measure is good. I’m still aiming for great, however. The newly found stoic in me would say this is a folly; but stoicism is an ideal, not a reality. My present moment is very much present and while it feels good most of the time, there is still this undying pull that I should be doing more. My ponderings are not so much in what I’ve built this last year but more in wondering if it is but an illusion. Should that matter? Hard to say. Will opportunity find me or I it? Are these questions worth asking or a waste of energy?

In Conclusion

All is fair in love and war. To win at my year of desire I must outcompete. I thought I had accomplished this very aspect in my many years of personal growth but it appears I have more work to do to beat out ‘The Other Guy’. My final conclusion in this regard is to workout more often. I thought I could simply run and that would be enough but now I have to wonder if that is really the case. I speak Spanish, German, and Elementary French. I play Tennis, Write, and am learning piano. One must ask what more a man can do? So now I will try working my upper body in what will be a bit of a social experiment. The plan is to add swimming to my routine as a way to expedite results. With swimming in place, I will put an end to my hot boy summer. Will we see victory or defeat? Who knows at this point. Worst case, I have a wedding to attend in September and I know how to dance. Until then, cheers!

June 2022 Newsletter: Hot boy summer

So we are now in June. The weather is supposedly nicer. It’s a time to wear tank tops and soak in the rays. My friends hate it when I call this summer hot boy summer but I’ve been working out and am in the mood to have a little fun. It is a packed summer and one that will hopefully conclude with the finishing of multiple professional certificates.

Getting Ready for July

July will mark the second annual sustainability month as I explore topics that are near and dear to my heart. For preparation this month, I am making it a goal to remind myself every moment I get to ride my electric bike, which I rode for the first time the other week! If all goes well, it’ll be a month of bike rides.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health awareness went really well! My goal with the series has been to measure my personal growth and push the limits of what I’m comfortable with. To that end, I achieved my goal. After I wrote ‘A tale of two Mikes’ I have made an active effort to go by Mike. I posted on LinkedIn regarding this change and think overall it’ll create a better me. It’s a small change but truly feels like a fresh start, where I can accept every aspect of myself. And of course I wrote about my Dad. When I finished writing the article, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders and I feel better than I have in a long while. It finally feels like my life will start moving forward after the last couple years.

Year of Desire

This year is about myself. A time to reflect and improve who I am. That’s not to say the other years I’ve neglected my well being but most of the time I don’t act. I wait and wait until feelings pass. So this year I am doing everything in my power to act. Other aspects of this year are my self image. I am working on body positivity this year! Already over the last couple months I have been feeling much better regarding my overall look. This has been primarily thanks to guided work at classes such as Yoga and Spin. It’s also a time to focus on dating and relationships over career. While I can juggle both at the same time, I feel in the past I have blatantly ignored my love life. An exciting year for sure and thus far I’m feeling good about my prospects.

For This Month

This month will be another relaxed month as I plan articles for Sustainability month in July. I may write an article later in the month if I have time but most likely it’ll have to wait till August as the series take a while to work on.

Outside the Blog

Life has been going relatively well. I’m making money, will be a day camp counselor in late June and have been working out with most of my free time. I joined an adult Co-Ed soccer league and played my first match the other week. I’ve been off social media for a while now and that includes dating apps. It’s overall been a liberating year as I do some much needed soul searching.

Cooking

Cooking has been going slow. I’ve made a few recipes here and there but took about a month off. The beet dishes have been my favorite while my experiment with eggplant went okay. For now, I might stick with beet dishes as I have a blast making them. For eggplant, I simply roasted them. In the future, I think I’ll need to prepare it in a salad and do a proper dish. Cookies have been fantastic and I seem to have a knack for baking. I have a lot of recipes planned, so I’m hoping for better cash flow over the summer so I can spend money on more dishes I’ll enjoy.


And thus ends this months newsletter. Next month will be Sustainability Month and with it three articles dedicated to a sustainable life. We’ll see how much I switch it up from last year and I’m excited to focus my efforts on the drafts this month. Come August there’ll once again be a Newsletter and we’ll gear up for the colder weather that comes with the changing of seasons. As always, thanks for reading!

February 2022 Newsletter: Is Love in the air?

How’s it going?

February is moving along. It’s a strange time in my life right now. I’ve finally found some stability amidst the chaos and I am able to take it one day at a time. I work about 13 hours a week and for the moment, the extra free time has been nice. No more 40 hours a week, wake up at 3am and get home by 1pm. Just simple evening shifts and a morning shift on Sundays. I know this cannot last forever but it’s been nice during the Pandemic to finally have a chance to catch my breath. Eventually, I’ll need to be working fulltime again and even consider continuing my education to add more capital to myself.

Outside of work, I have been doing a lot more walking as per my new years resolution. I’ve gotten way too into Pokémon Go and have been battling my way across my neighborhood for the last couple months or so. For whatever reason, I’ve been getting more shinies in the last year than I have in my entire 20 years of playing Pokémon.

For the blog

This month is going to be relatively low key. My ‘State of the Blog’ post took slightly longer than expected and landed into the first week of February rather than the last week of January. Nothing too crazy there. The plan is consistency and this year should have everything I want to write about finalized. For this month I’ve been brainstorming a poem and while it’s not quite ready yet I’m excited to be writing a poem since it’s been a hot minute since my last one.

Other Things

I tried Yoga for the first time the other day! It was surprisingly enjoyable. It involves stretching (which I suck at), exercise (been a hot minute) and a mix of meditation (which I have been rocking). Cooking has yet to manifest itself but I grow tired of frozen burritos and potstickers so I imagine it’s only a matter of time. My bike is prepped and ready to ride, so now that I have a job I’ll probably try commuting to work everyday.


Thanks for reading! As we gear up for March, the blog will start to pick up. April is National Poetry Month, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and July is my Sustainability Month. For now, I get to take a breath and enjoy the calm.

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