Epilogue & Prelude

I never properly ended the blog at the end of last Summer. In some ways, the lack of an ending is a proper reflection of how committed I was to the blog. I wanted to revive this blog’s initial concept by posting daily for the entire season; I scrapped those plans within a few weeks. While my original intentions behind the blog’s revival were good, I never had the proper motivation in my mind to maintain the sustained effort needed to write on here regularly.

In other words, I never had a clear purpose for posting on here last year.

Summer 2017 was a season spent mostly in the moment. Few things were planned in advance. It was a season of floating along with the current rather than paddling toward a specific destination. The romantic notion of floating along with life’s ebbs and flows is only realized through rose-colored lenses; the human spirit does not thrive without aims. We have been genetically programmed through evolution to be constantly seeking something “better” (whatever that might be depends on the individual, of course). This deep-seated mentality clashes with the pseudo-zen contentment of drifting through life.

I think the experience of life as an early twentysomething is generally spent without solid anchors. Commitment to anything is seen as self-restriction and an assault on one’s freedom of choice. The fear of missing some unknown opportunity or experience, ironically, often keeps one from experiencing things. With time and maturity, the clarity that comes with solid goals and commitments seems less like an anchor to drudgery and more like a pathway to a brighter future. The freedom in the initial choice to commit to something (and the later option to choose again, should that first choice not work out) is what the immature don’t recognize– it seems like a surrender rather than a willing engagement. The reality of the situation only becomes clear from another angle. This truth applies to most things in life: perspective is everything.

2018, unlike 2017, is a year I plan to utilize more consciously. Drifting along is no longer acceptable. I am reclaiming my agency (which was always there anyway), and I am making choices in advance. I am the master of my destiny.

With that, I plan to revive this blog properly. I haven’t decided the format for this coming Summer’s revival (will I post daily, weekly, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, etc.). The purpose, however, is clear: to capture a season of my life in detail. I hope you will join me when this blog restarts (again) officially on June 21st, 2018. (There will be some additional posts on here before then; I will gradually ramp up to posting more frequently as we get closer to Summer.)

I’ll see you again next Monday. Have a great week.

-Will

24

I turned 24 exactly one-month ago.

Acknowledging that I’m 24 feels weird. When I was younger, 24 felt a lot older. It felt more “adult.”

I’m approaching the peak of the hill that is my twenties. In 11 months, I’ll be 25. Then, I’ll be five-years away from being 30.

Thirty-years old. Fuck.

The idea of being 30 seems so foreign right now. And then, the progression of age that follows shortly thereafter (turning 40, 50, 60, etc.).

There is certainly a lot of life to live between now and then, but it feels closer than it used to be. That’s just how time works.

I’m six-years younger than my Dad was when I was born. I’m rapidly approaching the age he was when my sister was born. The concept of parenthood at this point in my life still seems like a foreign experience.

There’s only one thing that hasn’t changed as the years roll on:

Life is weird.

-Will

P.S. A proper epilogue to this blog for the year will be coming soon. Apologies for leaving you all hanging in the past month. Stay tuned!

Mind the Gap

Pro-tip: When planning to begin a daily writing schedule, avoid taking trips away from home that might make it difficult to write.

Unless you’re blind, you’ve probably noticed that I missed five(!) days worth of posts. I could list a myriad of excuses (travelling, missing one day easily snowballs into two, etc.), but I think it’s best to skip the bullshit and dive into what exactly you missed during my absence.

September 2nd (Saturday): I got a call from my parents and decided to go to Billings for part of my four-day weekend. I’ve been to Billings a few times in the last month or two, but I spent most of my time during those visits with Kelci. I felt a little guilty for not seeing them during my last trips through, and this seemed like a good opportunity to spend a little time with my family. I rode the R3 in on Saturday afternoon, met my family for dinner (including my sister’s family), and then had a beer with my parents. After that, I met my friend, Dan, downtown for a few drinks.

September 3rd (Sunday): Sunday was mostly uneventful until my buddy, Josh, stopped by to visit. He lives out in Forsyth, and we don’t see each other very often due to our differing schedules and responsibilities (in other words, life happens). We went out to Scheels, checked out some hunting backpacks, grabbed a beer at B-Wings (mozzarella sticks and Angry Hank’s Street Fight do not pair well), then had dinner back at my parents’ house. I’ve known Josh since elementary school, and even though we haven’t hung out often in the last few years, it doesn’t take long to get past the awkwardness of time or distance. Long-term friendships, in my experience, tend to overcome those kinds of obstacles with relative ease. Trust that’s forged over a decade is incredibly strong, and somewhat rare these days…

September 4th-6th: Labor Day was also fairly uneventful. I rode back to Bozeman in the afternoon, then met Kelci and her family for dinner. Dinner was awesome (The Roost makes the best fried chicken in Bozeman), and it was great to see Kelci again. After Labor Day, I went back to the repetitive work grind. As I’ve mentioned before, my job is incredibly repetitive, and that kind of environment is not conducive to creativity (it leeches energy from the soul).

I question the value in writing here daily when the repetitive nature of my days means that I’ll have so little to report. Reading those posts would be like staring down the world’s most boring and depressing hall of mirrors. I don’t wish to bore you to death with that kind of meaningless drivel.

I will post here again before the Summer technically ends. Until then,

-Will

Author’s Note: This post was written in a draft weeks ago, but not published until the 20th. I backdated the post to reflect when it was originally written.

The Last Gasp of Summer

Today is the first day of September. Most Americans think of Labor Day as the last day of Summer, but the season doesn’t officially end until September 22nd (the Fall Equinox). In prior years, I stopped posting to this blog when school began, but I’m not in school this semester. So, in 2017, TFS will settle back into hiatus on the 22nd.

I haven’t posted on this blog nearly as often as I had hoped to at the start. This Summer has been a wild mix of lethargy and excitement; the weekdays filled with the same monotonous work, and the weekends jam-packed with new adventures. The whiplash between drudgery and delight made it difficult to write on here regularly. I lacked the energy and enthusiasm to put words down during the week, and most weekends were too busy for me to find time to write.

To make up for what I see as a bit of a failure to post on here regularly (like I had originally planned), I’m planning to post daily until the 22nd. Some changes at work have made the next three-weeks somewhat less dreadful, and I have an extra full-day off during the week now. I’m considering making a video for every day as well, but for now I’ll just promise a new written post daily.


Since my last post, Kelci and I hiked the Alaska Basin Trail in Wyoming to see the 2017 eclipse. My friend, Zach, told me about a group that was going up to the Basin to watch the eclipse and invited us to tag along. We were within the band of totality, which allowed us to see the full eclipse. Seeing the sun disappear, and watching the sunlight gradually fade was incredible. It was as if someone had pushed a dimmer switch on the daylight in the middle of the day. Seeing the full eclipse was also an awesome experience. Pictures of an eclipse really don’t capture the experience of actually being there. The Basin itself had an otherworldly feel to it; we camped on a rocky plateau that was sprinkled sparsely with odd looking trees.

 

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It was a really cool experience, and aside from the five-mile line of traffic we were stuck in for nearly two hours (!), it couldn’t have been better. We were well prepared for the trip, and I can’t wait to go backpacking again.

It’s only 9:35 A.M., but I’m going to get started on this first day off of my four-day weekend (!!!). Until tomorrow,

-Will

Motion Blur

The distinguished and highly reputable Wikipedia defines motion blur as:

“…the apparent streaking of rapidly moving objects in a still image or a sequence of images such as a movie or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single exposure, either due to rapid movement or long exposure.”

The last few weeks of my life have gone by so quickly that it’s difficult to recall individual events in detail. It’s like a fog of emotions and movement and time all melding into one continuous blur, starting near the beginning of the Summer and continuing on through the present.

I was checking the weather today when I noticed that today’s sunset was around 15 minutes earlier than it was a few weeks ago (the first day of Summer was June 20th). We’ve passed that high watermark of sunshine, and now we’re heading toward increasing darkness until the first day of Winter. Each day will be shorter and shorter until then.

It’s a depressing realization, but it’s also very narrow-minded. There is more to life than sunshine. I haven’t gotten out to ride nearly as often as I wanted to this Summer, but that’s my fault. I should have made more of an effort earlier. There’s still time to lay down some miles before the roads are covered in snow…

I’ll write more soon. Writing during the week is difficult, and it’s nearly impossible on the weekends. I’ll find a way though.

-Will

Life Moves Fast…

My last post was on July 14th, and I had the audacity to end it with: “I’ll write another post soon. Stay tuned.

Obviously that didn’t happen. It’s been almost three weeks since that post, and a lot of things have changed since then.

The weekend after my last post (July 15-16) was mostly uneventful. I went for another hike with Alex, and Eli came along for once. We left later on Saturday evening, and ended up running down the hill in the dark. The path we were on was very steep, and the trail is significantly overgrown in many places. There are also lots of little holes, and the trail is mostly loose dirt and gravel. In other words, it’s a deathtrap. We made it down without anyone getting injured (shockingly), and then went downtown for some drinks with some new friends at 317.

The weekend following that (July 22-23) was very eventful, to say the least. Kelci and her roommate, Ashlee, came up from Billings to visit us. It had been a few years since Kelci last came up for a true weekend visit, and we were all excited to go downtown and have a good time. We ended up dressing up for a classy dinner at the Copper, then pre-gamed back at the apartment, and went back downtown afterwards. It was a crazy night, and we had so much fun.

Kelci and I ended up breaking off from the group for a second to catch some air (we had been dancing) out on the back patio of Bar IX. We locked eyes; there had been sparks flying between us for most of the night. We ended up kissing on the bridge under the fairy lights (it was a cliche scene out of a shitty John Green novel [in the best way]).

After that happened, we went back to the apartment for an afterparty. Everyone passed out at around 5 AM, then got up a few hours later to get brunch. It was a helluva weekend.

Here are some shots from that weekend (thanks to Ashlee & Eli for sharing these pics):

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After everything that happened that weekend (and the literal years of buildup), Kelci and I decided to date. It’s been amazing so far. I couldn’t be happier.

I fill you in on what happened last weekend tomorrow (pinky swear). Thanks for being patient with my inconsistent posts!

-Will

A New Approach

Author’s Note: Until things in my day-to-day life become more interesting to write about, I think this blog will be better served by posts that are more spread out than daily blogging. For now, I’ll post at least once a week. I apologize for the shift in approach, but I think this will improve the quality drastically.

I’ve taken a new approach toward my daily life that I believe will lead to better things over time. I’m working on building greater self-discipline. To start, I’m simply doing the daily tasks required to keep my room clean & tidy that I used to ignore (ex. making my bed, keeping up with my laundry, vacuuming, etc.). These aren’t drastic changes, but they do instill an inkling of personal pride. The lack of clutter is refreshing, and it provides a physical representation of the improvement I’m working toward. Yes, there is obviously more to do, but this is a step in the right direction. I just have to keep moving forward, and eventually things will get significantly better.

Another step I’ve taken (and one that is probably more substantial) toward improvement is learning how to code online. I started working on an online code camp last Sunday, and already blew through the first part of the Front End coursework (which was supposed to take 10+ hours to complete, and I definitely finished it in less than half that time). Getting through the entire coursework will actually give me a marketable skill that I can use to get a significantly better job.

Suddenly, there is light at the end of the tunnel…

Outside of that, not much has changed. I’m not dwelling on that though, because some improvement is better than none. Breaking free from the rut of stasis I was in is an achievement in it’s own right, even if I’m the only one who cares about it.

I’ll write another post soon. Stay tuned.

-Will

The Accidental Hiatus

So, it’s been eight-days since my last post on what was supposed to be a daily blog…

That’s obviously not supposed to happen. I fell into a slippery slope of procrastination (to the chagrin of absolutely nobody who knows me personally), and it just got easier to not update the blog. I initially planned to write a post for each day I had missed (backdating the posts to the missing days), that way I could maintain the facade of this blog for posterity. But that seemed dishonest, and it also seemed like a lot of work to maintain a dumb lie.

The truth is that not much happened. On the 29th, I woke up late, went to work, and grab a few drinks downtown. I went for a hike over the weekend (see the photos below), and I also went for a decent ride on the R3. The 3rd, Monday, was another day at the factory. I went to Butte for the 4th of July (again, not a surprise to anyone who knows me), and also spent some time with extended family at my aunt & uncle’s house. I got some nice shots of the Madison River while I was out there. The days that followed consisted of more work days and little else.

The lack of action and variety also contributed to my absence. It’s difficult to write about the same things over and over again (and worse to read them). As I’ve said before, I need a change. The weekends provide some relief from the monotony, but not enough.

I’m still working on it. Stick with me.

-Will

Tackling Tiny Annoyances at Home

I finally broke down a few days ago and ordered a bunch of small items off of Amazon that have been lingering in the “Saved for Later” section of my cart for months. Everything I ordered came in today, and I wish I did this earlier. The following small issues were fixed:

  • My desktop PC is finally back to 100%. I finally replaced the mechanical keyboard I spilled bore cleaner onto months ago. I also got some new PC speakers.
  • I got a network switch to overcome some annoying issues I’ve been having with our wireless router (and they’ve only been affecting me). It also fixes a shitty bootstrapped solution I was using to connect my Philips HUE hub to the network (via a wireless network extender that was also unreliable due to the aforementioned WiFi issues).
  • New adjustable levers for my motorcycle (to replace the ugly stock ones).
  • 2 extra USB C cables for charging my S8+ (prior to this, the only one I had was the one that came with the phone).
  • 2 aftermarket batteries for my DSLR, so I can go out on longer photo excursions and not worry about dead batteries.
  • A new guitar tuner (so I can play my new acoustic guitar in-tune).

That’s basically it. And even though basically everything on that list was non-essential, it feels good to have finally taken care of those tiny problems. It’s a small semblance of progress in the midst of this period of dreadful stasis.

I’m going for a hike tomorrow, and I’ll be taking my camera out with me to take some pics while I’m outside. Look for some awesome photos tomorrow.

-Will

The Sound of a Broken Record

This blog’s purpose is to record the events of my life during the Summer. Everyday, I struggle to find something new to write about. My days during the work week are essentially identical, with almost nothing changing between them. I wake up late. I go to work. I come home from work. I stay up late and update the blog. I go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The cycle never changes, folks. That’s the problem. I know this. You know this. But it’s like a Chinese finger trap that I’ve walked into, and I can’t seem to find a way out. It’s driving me insane.

I’ve been working on my resume, and I’ve thoroughly scoured the job classifieds on Craigslist. There are other opportunities (to absolutely nobody’s chagrin). I will fill out the applications, and I will fill out some more, and I will not stop until I have escaped.

In the meantime, while I’m still stuck with the evening shift, I need to do something with the earlier part of the day that is available to me. I’m thinking about going for hikes in the morning. Physical exercise, getting out of the house, maybe taking a few photos… sounds like a decent plan to me.

I just need to break the habit of sleeping in until noon.

Brighter days ahead, folks. Keep the faith and stay tuned.

-Will