Day 3 of 94

I was thinking about the blog today, and I realized that I hadn’t quite clearly defined exactly what I’m doing here. Yesterday’s post was kind of phoned-in, and I don’t want this blog to turn into a random assortment of posts that I half-assed over the Summer. Sure, there might be a few golden nuggets in the pile of crap, but that’s not the point of this exercise.

Back in 2010, this blog’s purpose was to record how I spent my last summer as a high school student (hence the blog’s title– it was my “final summer” before graduation). It served to mark the beginning of the end of a significant chapter in my life. My desire to catalog what I viewed as a pivotal point in my life was so strong that it bled into another blog, the twentyeleven project, that was built to “capture the senior year experience.” The mix of emotions surrounding that moment in time was so strong that the only way I really processed it was through writing.

I feel as if I’m currently entering a similar period in my life now. I’ve been in Bozeman for almost six-years now, and I’m beginning to run out of reasons to stay here. I love so many things about Bozeman, but I feel like I’m no longer growing here. Additionally, I’ve become increasingly isolated as my friends leave Bozeman to start new lives in other towns after graduating from college. Bozeman itself isn’t the reason why I’ve stagnated, but there are more opportunities for growth elsewhere. Plus, I don’t want to live in the same place forever; I’ve already spent considerably more time here than I expected to when I originally moved.

I have returned to this blog to record this moment– one that will hopefully be a period of progression.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this blog over the coming months, and I invite you to comment with any suggestions or feedback you may have in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading The Final Summer.

– Will

Revival

…and just like that, the long dead blog I forgot about for the past three-years came back to life.

Welcome back to The Final Summer: a seasonal daily blog where I write about the events of the day, my interests and aspirations, and a myriad of other things (including original writing pieces and photography). This blog has over 100 posts from previous active years (the blog was primarily active during 2010; the most recent post before this one was written in 2014), which should give you a decent sampling of what this year’s run will look like. I plan on being markedly more consistent this year than my last few attempts.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s dive into a brief recap & today’s post:

SINCE THE LAST POST….

  • I quit my job at the hardware store last summer. I now work at a guitar factory. Today was actually my one-year anniversary there. I have mixed feelings about my “new” job, but it’s better than my old one (I never got a free guitar from my old job).
  • I bought a motorcycle early last year. The picture you see in the header is one that I took whilst on a group ride with some friends. Owning and riding a motorcycle on the street has been an extremely rewarding experience so far. It’s an experience that requires your mind to be completely focused on the present. The result is complete liberation of the conscience– a kind of temporary bliss that you never want to give up. I racked up around 5000 miles on the bike last year alone, and I hope to ride more than that this year.
  • I’m still living in Bozeman. I’m still single. I’m still OK with all that (though I hope to move somewhere else by next year– more on this later).

As I mentioned above, today marked my one year anniversary at the guitar factory. Working at this job has been an interesting experience (and an incredibly mundane, brain-atrophying one as well). I get to work on guitars that cost thousands of dollars, and are considered by some to be the best in the world. I enjoyed wood shop class in high school, so getting to work in a similar environment is kind of neat (though not something I would have ever expected to do back then). While the job is incredibly repetitive, I have the freedom to listen to whatever music, podcasts, and/or audio-books that I want to while I’m working (which does help to counteract the mind-numbing labor).

I feel that working there is holding me back, though. I currently work an evening shift during the weekdays, and this prevents me from meeting new people, as most folks work during the day. The work itself also isn’t very personally satisfying, and I often wish that I was working somewhere that took advantage of my talents. All that being said, I am still thankful to simply have a job, and I don’t think that I’m above working there (or whatever other conceited notion my previous comments may have implied). There is a certain satisfaction that comes with doing an honest day’s work, and I often feel like I’ve worked my ass off at the end of the day. My hands take the brunt of the abuse, and I can feel the carpal tunnel setting in at the end of each shift.

As a writer, this is particularly concerning (for obvious reasons).

It also makes it difficult to play guitar (ironic, eh?).

Outside of work, I haven’t done much today. This job is also the perfect crutch for my night owl tendencies– another reason to get a day job. It’ll take a few days to get back into the groove of blogging, and I promise that future posts will be more interesting than this one.

See you tomorrow,

-Will

The Lonely Club’s Day Off

Today was a waste.

I watched a ton of ’80s movies for the first time (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and St. Elmo’s Fire). None of them were particularly great, but they also weren’t terrible. I was expecting more from these movies. Cult classics usually have more to offer (see Fight ClubKill Bill, and/or Office Space and you’ll understand what I mean by “more to offer”). These movies have scenes and characters that are iconic in pop culture, but the storylines themselves aren’t particularly special. Perhaps the evolution of storytelling over the past few decades has raised the bar for exceptional movies, and these classics can’t really compete, or maybe I’m just no longer in the target demo.

If I watched these movies while I was in high school, I probably would have loved them. The exaggerated drama and emotion, the commentary on the social castes in the high school environment, and the dumb acts of rebellion would have been right up my alley (it’s the only logical explanation for why I loved the US/MTV version of Skins so much). Sex, smoking, drinking, and other “adult” activities that are generally forbidden fruits for teens are alluring when you’re in high school. When you’re finally old enough to do these things legally, the novelty is lost.

Suddenly, smoking cigars in the parking lot isn’t cool anymore.

St. Elmo’s Fire did capture the experience of the gradual decline of friendships after graduation quite well. Time, distance, work, and growing up throw a wedge between friends. It’s sad, and it sucks, but it’s a part of life. It doesn’t get easier though.

As an inhabitant of a recently deserted apartment, I’ve been feeling pretty lonely. Stories about people drifting apart aren’t making me feel better, oddly enough.

It’s 1:35 AM. I should get to bed.

– Will

….and we’re back. (again.)

Hey, Internet! It’s been awhile. How’ve you been?

Summer 2014 is officially here, and TFS is back for another three-months. If I’ve learned anything from the past three-attempts at a reboot, it is to keep my goals for this project extremely modest. Daily posts are difficult to keep up with, and it’s almost impossible to produce consistently interesting content on a daily basis. I will do my best to post regularly and consistently this time around. As I get back to the project, bear with me; it’ll take a couple of days to adjust to posting on here regularly, and I’ll also try to find the best time of day to post. After I work the initial kinks out, I’ll focus more on the content.

Now that the boring and lame introductory paragraph is behind us, here’s a brief recap of what’s happened since last summer:

  • I’m still working at the hardware store. I’m beginning to grow tired of the evening shifts, and the summer workload is just as bad as last year. My boss will soon be leaving for a “real” job (he recently graduated from MSU), and I’m currently in the best position to be his replacement. I’m not sure if I want the job, but I could use the extra money. My boss doesn’t have any solid plans as to when he’ll be leaving yet, so we’ll have to see what happens as the summer progresses.
  • I’m single. I have been since last September. (Last September was an especially shitty month for me; I totaled the Focus the day after my birthday, and I got dumped a week after that.) I’m trying to focus less on romance, and more on personal improvement.
  • My living situation this summer is much better than last summer. While I loved my old roommate, we had different lifestyle habits that didn’t mesh well. My new roommates and I get along great, and the past several months have been awesome; both of them are currently back in Billings for the summer though, so the apartment is empty. It’s pretty lonely, but I don’t have to worry about waking anyone up if I stay up late. I can also play my music loud and walk around my apartment in my underwear if I want, so it could be worse.
  • I’m back in school again, and it feels great. It’s nice to be working toward a solid, long-term goal again. I’m majoring in biochemistry again, and while that might seem silly, I really think it’s the best fit for me. I also have a clearly-defined goal to keep me motivated this time around. I’m trying to take a class during the summer session, but I still need to work out the details with my adviser. I’ll let you know what happens with that later.

I’ve met a few new people over the last year, but Bozeman still feels deserted during the summer. I really want this summer to be different though, so I’m going to try and get out more often, and hopefully meet new friends. My time as a lonely guy who stays at home and watches too much TV is done. It’s time to get out, live life to the fullest, and finally defeat boredom.

May we all be victorious against that bastard.

– Will

Work, Work, Camping, Work

In the ten-days that have passed since my last post, I have been very busy.

I’ve been working more at my hardware-store job, and I just started working at my new merchandising job this week. Last weekend, I went on a backpacking/camping trip to Mystic lake with Elijah, Katherine (Elijah’s girlfriend), and Sara. And in between all of that, I’ve been either sleeping, watching episodes of Adventure Time or Regular Show, or calling people about the apartment I’m planning to move-in to in August.

Arguably, there was probably fifteen-minutes or so in the midst of all that stuff that I probably could have used to update this blog, but alas, I did not.

Anyway, I’ll dive into some more specific details about the stuff I mentioned earlier now:

  • Backpacking to Mystic Lake was a really fun and awesome experience. It was my first backpacking trip, and it was my first time camping in a couple of years. I definitely appreciate how difficult it is to chop wood with a semi-dull hatchet (and basically zero prior firewood chopping experience)– it was definitely more difficult than I anticipated. Despite my laughable attempts at gathering firewood, we still managed to have a decent campfire, and we had a fun time in the great outdoors. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go backpacking again soon.
  • My new merchandising job has been really awesome so far. While the online computer training is about as exciting as any other online computer training I’ve done for every other retail job I’ve had (translation: it was incredibly boring), the other aspects of the job have been great. This job has a lot of perks and privileges that I’ve never had with any of my past jobs, and a lot more personal responsibility, but I like it so far. I went on my first “real” day of work today (nobody else was there to supervise me or guide me), and it went well. The work is pretty easy, and somewhat mundane, but it’s fast-paced enough to keep me from getting too bored. It sounds like I’m going to be doing some traveling for this job as well, which I’m kind of looking forward to, and also dreading at the same time. I love the idea of being paid to drive places; I hate the idea of how much of my free-time that might consume.
  • The home-improvement store job has been giving me more hours lately, which is great because I need the money so that I can move into my apartment (in addition to various other expenses– like rent for my current apartment). However, it also puts more pressure on me to develop some sort of a time management system, because my free time outside of work is being compressed between both jobs. I might buy a planner of some sort after I get my paycheck next week… that would definitely help.

That’s basically all that’s been going on since my last post. I’ll try to post another update soon (maybe with some pictures from the backpacking trip?)– but no promises!

Until next time,

– Will

Post #100:

Before I dive into another “exciting” post about what’s happening in my life, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the very minute accomplishment of reaching 100-posts on this blog. It’s taken a few years to reach, but I’ve finally hit 100-posts on here. (Wow. That is a lot of time wasted WELL SPENT.) Thank you for reading this blog, and I hope you stick around for (hopefully!) the next 100 posts.

I’m beginning to fall back into the cycle of sleeping until the afternoon, wasting time until I have to go to work, working for a number of hours, and going to bed late.

It is an incredibly boring cycle to be in, folks. (I miss my friends; they gave me the motivation to get up and actually DO something.)

Fortunately, the day was not a total waste. I contacted the recruiter for the new job I’ll be starting next week, and I scheduled my pre-employment drug screening for tomorrow. (There’s nothing quite as fun as peeing in a cup at a clinic, guys.) I also got all of my tax-stuff for my job filled out, and I’m basically all set to start my new job. I just need to pick up a new pair of khakis and some dress shoes, and then I’ll be good to go.

I’m very excited to start this job simply because it will be something new and different. While I appreciate my other job (I’ll call it “Job #1” from now on, and I’ll refer to the new job as “Job #2” to prevent confusion), it is incredibly boring and somewhat frustrating. I’m hoping that this new job will bring an end to this boring cycle that I’ve been stuck in, and hopefully spark some motivation to do new things (like read, work out, and write regularly).

I’m also hoping that it will encourage me to begin organizing my life, and schedule everything out. One of the biggest difficulties I faced in school this year was a lack of organization, which caused me to start on assignments late, study for tests and quizzes at the last minute, and even miss a few online assignments. Juggling two jobs will require me to maintain some sort of organizational skills– I’m just hoping that they crossover to my academic life.

Anyway, I should probably be heading to bed (it is 4:30 in the morning; I should have been in bed hours ago). Stay tuned for another post in the near future!

– Will

P.S. By “near future” I mean sometime later this week. I’m trying to keep my writing goals modest as I come back to writing on this blog regularly, so I don’t want to make any promises about writing a post tomorrow. So while that does mean that a post could be on here tomorrow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a post here tomorrow. I will definitely have at least ONE new post on here by Friday though, so tune in sometime between now and then if you want to stay current with the blog. Alternatively, you can subscribe/follow this blog (to subscribe to this blog, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address in the form underneath the box that says “Subscribe”) to stay updated on when new posts are posted onto this blog. (I really hope this didn’t confuse you, but if it did, please let me know in the comments section below, and I will answer any questions you have. Thanks!)

Motivation to Keep Moving Forward

Yes, I missed another day. No, I don’t have a legitimate excuse for missing a day.

Instead, I’ll fill you in on what happened.

I had an eight-hour shift at work as a cart-pusher, and it was exactly as exciting as you can imagine it would be…

If you have a poor imagination, you could recreate the experience by pacing back and forth in a confined area, carrying a rock from one end to the other, over and over again, for eight-hours (oh, and you get two fifteen-minute breaks, and a lunch break).

After work, I drove an hour-and-a-half to come home for a few days. Now, I’m in Billings, spending time with my family.

The point I was trying to get to at the beginning of this post was how incredibly motivating it was to spend an eight-hour shift pushing carts… I’ll get back to that now.

As I pushed shopping carts back and forth, I couldn’t help but to think about how incredibly menial the task was. I kept thinking about how I could have been spending my time doing something so much more productive, and interesting, and just better than pushing carts.

I scored in the top 10% of the nation on my ACT’s. Why the hell am I pushing carts?!?

It bugged me. It made me frustrated. It made the shift drag on for a small eternity.

….

I can’t wait to go back to school.

 

The Lonely, Bored, and Restless Summer

Today was an especially depressing day.

I awoke late in the day, due in part to an evening spent drinking rum and playing video games (it was Thirsty Thursday, after all). After realizing that I woke up late, my motivation to do anything fun, or creative, or exciting quickly waned, and I lost my drive to go out and do just about anything. I probably wouldn’t have even left the apartment today if my hunger didn’t stir me to pick up some fast food for dinner.

Yes, I do realize that is kind of pathetic. All I can say is that I’m in a bit of a rut.

Being in Bozeman when school is not in session is a different experience. Some things are good: the weather is amazing, the trees are finally looking alive again, and I can work as much as I want without worrying about falling behind in school. Other things, however, are quite bad: Hyalite is closed until next week, most of the people my age went home for the summer, and I don’t have a lot of friends staying in Bozeman for the summer.

Also, I have a fairly large amount of free time (which is nice), but I don’t have much motivation to do anything fun with it (which is not nice).

There are plenty of things that I know I could be doing with this time; I know I could be reading a few books that I’ve been meaning to devour, for instance. I could also be writing more, or at least coming up with some ideas for an extended piece of writing (ex. a novella, or a full-fledged novel). I could be working out. I could be going out for photo shoots.

I know that I could be doing all of those things– I just don’t feel like it.

I don’t know why that I feel this way, either. It’s like some sort of weird funk has descended upon my usually happy and upbeat personality, and I don’t know how to get away from it. I can still force myself to do the things I enjoy, but it definitely feels forced, and I don’t enjoy those activities as much as I used to.

I was hoping that being away from school, and out in the sunshine would help me to break through this, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much.

On the bright side, there’s plenty of summer left to get out of this weird funk. Hopefully, I’ll be over it soon.

Until next time,

– Will

Work, Sleep, Repeat.

One day into my daily blogging venture, and I already missed a day. Whoops.

I would feel more disappointed about missing a day/post if yesterday was more exciting. I spent the first half of the day watching movies and sleeping (my sleep schedule has been really messed up lately), and I spent the second half at work. Fortunately, I have two-days off (today and tomorrow), so there should be plenty of time to do some fun stuff (as well as catch up on all of my “adult” responsibilities– like cleaning my apartment).

I’m debating whether or not I want to spend the early hours of today taking care of all of my responsibilities, OR just going outside and enjoying the nice weather. I charged my camera battery yesterday, and it’s looking beautiful outside…

Maybe I should hop on my bike and head to Hyalite? (Or at least throw my bike in my car, drive to the trailhead, and then bike up the mountain.)

Hmm… decisions, decisions…

I’ll let you know what I did with the day later this evening.

Stay tuned,

– Will

It’s been awhile…

Hello Internet,

It’s been awhile since we last spoke here, and I’m sure you didn’t expect me to come back. And while I know that my last attempt at a reboot didn’t work out, I’m sure this one will.

A lot of things have changed since my last post. I moved out of my parents’ house, and I’m now living in Bozeman. This will be my first summer away from Billings since before we moved to Montana, and I’m not sure how it will turn out. I’m hoping for a fun-filled summer that recharges my enthusiasm, creativity, and thirst for knowledge; I’m also trying to keep my expectations of this summer realistic.

It’s a bit of a struggle.

In addition to moving to Bozeman, I started dating my girlfriend, Sara, in January. She will be living close by (our relationship thus far has been long-distance, as she goes to school in a town that’s nearly three-hours away), and I look forward to enjoying the summer with her.

The last major change in my life since we last spoke is a bit more difficult to talk about. Jon, my best friend since third grade, passed away in February due to complications with diabetes. His passing has left a very large hole in my life, and nearly three months later, it’s still difficult to believe that he’s really gone. Summer vacation was one of the few times during the year where I could hang out with Jon regularly, and it’s going to be especially weird to go through these next few months without him.

But life must go on, and I’ll do my best to remember the good times I shared with Jon during previous summers, rather than dwell on the fun times we’ve been untimely robbed of.

(Many other things have changed since my last post, but they either weren’t worth mentioning, or I plan to share them with you in a later post.)

I hope to reignite the original spark behind this blog during this go-round. I want to write at least one post daily for the entirety of the summer. I also want to keep the content fresh, exciting, and worth reading.

I also want to have a summer vacation worth writing about.

That’s it– that’s all that you need to know about the blog. Hopefully, I will see you again tomorrow (or sooner!).

Stay tuned,

– Will