Although we're not even a full week into the new year, there are plenty of things to be excited for. It's already been a short span of days with many firsts.
I am very much looking forward to getting into carpentry. Robin spoke with her dad yesterday about trade schooling and apprenticeships. He's been a union sprinkler fitter since he was seventeen. According to his experience, the best thing I can do is get an entry level job with a contractor, starting at the bottom of the totem pole. After I impress the right people through hard work and determination, I can join a local carpenter's union. The union will then pay for my schooling. I couldn't really ask for a better opportunity than that.
One of the best things this year is going to bring is the fact that our circle of friends will practically double in the next month or so. My best friend Michull, along with his girlfriend will be moving back to Portland come the end of January. I've spent the last third of my life with him by my side. When he moved to Portland, I was crushed because I was still stuck in Fort Wayne, Indiana. About two years later, Robin and I moved to Portland and the three of us got a house with another one of my best friends. We named it Fortland. After about a year of all of us living together, Michull and Maggie decided to move to Boston. Again, I was bummed about having to say goodbye to him. Then, about a month ago, I received the news that they'll be moving back to Bridgetown. The Camaraderie for the win.
Another of my best friends along with her husband, will be moving here in February. Dayla and I have always been very close, and I am glad they are both moving out here to begin their new life and their new family.
In keeping with the theme of the year's firsts, Robin and I invested our Christmas money in a gently-used, practically brand new Denon turntable. It's direct drive and fully automatic. Over the years, we've gone through thrift store turntables to brand new "retro" setups and even tried utilizing a USB style. None of them held up for more than a few months. Instead of continuously tossing our money away, we decided to spend $150 on this high-end model. It is not only the coolest and most advanced turntable I've seen in a while, but its the nicest one I've ever owned. I still don't feel like I'm being materialistic. Listening to and collecting vinyl is a big passion of mine, so I am happy to invest in something that will only improve the sound and fun of listening to records. We bought it from a guy on craigslist, and it was the first time we had ever ventured to Wilsonville. Its not a place I'd want to live in, but it was definitely cool to see a new city with a new perspective on things.
Perhaps it was the endurance test I put myself through on New Year's Eve/Day, and maybe its the fact that there are so many things to look forward to this year, but I feel in a sense like the phoenix, reborn in fire and ashes into something great.
I spent most of 2011 exhausted, whether mentally or physically, and I think after 37 hours or being awake, I crossed the threshold from exhaustion to realization. Being that worn out, feeling the toll on my body, made me realize that I had never known exhaustion like that before. Once you hit the bottom like that, the only way to go is up. I already feel more productive. My days have been spent simply DOING things that need to be done. Instead of wasting away on the couch, browsing through netflix and falling asleep by 8pm, I've been keeping myself busy. It feels good.
I feel like this is getting long-winded, so I'll wrap it up for now. I've got two days off and many things to do. I'll raise my coffee to the many good things this year has to offer.