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Thursday, August 2, 2012
As I walked to work today, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe. Almost one year ago, I packed up my first car load and drove up to DC - not as a visitor, but to become a resident.
To say that the past year has flown by is an understatement and to try and revisit everything that has happened in that time would take the better part of a year to do, so I'll try my best to sum it up:
Richmond was my safety net, my comfort zone, my home. My friends were there, my extended brothers and sisters, My Ducks, my Bills, my DOA'ers. I watched as my friends coupled up and started getting married. I couldn't be happier for them, but I felt like I was losing my place in their lives. I knew that a change was coming, my gut was screaming that much. I knew when I showed up for my first pick-up game with the DC Gay Flag Football League on a cold, but sunny day in the winter of 2011, that this was my place. I met the men and women who would make up my new family. I found a place where I fit in. I felt like I belonged.
I fought tooth and nail to make my way up here permanently. I finally had landed a job and - in the whirlwind that followed - found a place to live and I made it my own. I did public relations for the first time, I tried my hand at accounting, and I love that I've been given the chance to explore both, though I still fall back on the "but I'm an engineer" excuse in case there are typos that spellcheck didn't catch.
I have met people who work to better our country by political means, I have met others who will change the world in their own way who are no less significant. I have met toxic people and, upon realizing their intentions, I expunged from my life. I have realized that this is the place for the super driven and some people will stop at nothing to further themselves, some in good ways, others in bad. I am a better man for the lessons these people have taught me. Hopefully, I have had the same impact on them.
I have become more optimistic about the future, perhaps recklessly so.
For the first time since college, I became credit card debt free and was able to start saving. I felt relieved.
I ended a relationship. I have had things ended with me. I have dated guys that have challenged my thoughts as to what I'm looking for in a partner. On the other hand, I have dated guys that have reaffirmed others. Regardless, I still wear my heart on my sleeve.
I have cried. Once.
I have signed up for my first marathon, granted, over my second pitcher of margaritas. I have not used that as an excuse to back out.
I have learned to fully embrace and be proud of who I really am, that I'm an amalgam: a meathead, a video game nerd, a jock, an engineer, a gay man.
I have become more vocal about things that matter to me. This place has helped me find my voice and I speak it because every. single. voice. matters.
I have celebrated my nephew officially being cancer free. He still continues to shine as my beacon of strength and hope.
I still feel a sense of pride and inspiration every time I pass by the Capitol Building. by the monuments. by the statues.
I'll be walking, driving, biking around the city when it'll randomly hit me: I'm really here. This is my home.
I take a deep breath.