Saturday, June 25, 2016

Successful Night

It's been a while since I've seen my friend Maria smile and truly glow with life. After we both graduated high school and then undergrad, I've always hoped I would see her with that spark in her eye again. A spark that says "fuck yeah this is what I'm capable of." It has been a long time since I've seen that smile. School, friend, and boy drama always seemed to drag her down. But tonight was different. I got to see a fire and spark in her again for the first time in what seemed like forever.

Tonight was one of those rare nights where Maria, myself, and Christine were all in town, and tonight, we had a fourth joining us for dinner. Maria, for the first time, had a true boyfriend that made her giddy and truly enthused with the world. Let's call this new man Jack. Maria and Jack met through Tinder and had chatted for months while she was still at law school half way across the country. Jack was in DC, hundreds of miles away. Their romance grew over time, first texting, then nightly face-timing, and now that Maria is back in the DC area for the summer, actually hanging in person. If Tinder needed an example couple for their marketing materials, I think they may have found a prime example. But I digress.

The reason I was so excited for dinner tonight was a simple one. Tonight would be the first time I would meet Jack in person. This meant a lot for me because:

1. Maria has always told me that if I didn't like a potential suitor, she couldn't continue the relationship. Big pressure on him and me to have that male-bond "click"

2. I wanted to size this guy up since I have high standards and expectations for Maria (I'm protective, what can I say?)

3. She's been hyping him up for months so I kinda need to meet this dude in person, y'know?

So the four of us met for sushi in DC and immediately hit it off. He's a pretty soft spoken guy but good looking and charming. He rolled with the punches and the jabs Christine and I made and even made  few jokes back himself. He had a deep voice and muscular arms and protector vibe to him that made me comfortable that Maria would be safe.

We were really starting to get comfortable when I got a call from the BF. Except, it wasn't the BF on the other end of the line. It was one of his coworkers.

He had gone out on a day trip earlier that day with some of his coworkers and was sick. A combination of too much drink and sea-sickness got the better of him (they were out on a boat). His coworker was worried for him and wanted to make sure he made it back safe and that he wasn't alone. Getting that call ended up being the end of the long await night for me. I had gotten through maybe a third of my drink when I got the call and my food wasn't even close to arriving. I asked my waitress to have my food packed to-go, said my hurried good-byes, and I Ubered back to my apartment to await him and his ride.

Was it upsetting that everything came to an abrupt end? Yeah. I had been looking forward to meeting Maria's new boyfriend all week, and after the last few weeks of hell that work has been, I was excited to unwind with some old friends. But that said, even for the short time I was able to see Maria, Christine, and Jack, I could see in Maria's eyes that she had truly found someone that made her happy. That brightness was back, the smiles were genuine, and the laughs at Jack's bad jokes could not be faked. Thankfully my BF is ok as well. He's embarrassed, upset, and will probably have the hangover from hell in the morning, but he too is safe and curled up in my bed. So with the twists, turns, and unexpected bumps, one good thing did some out of tonight, and that is being able to know that my best friend is finally, truly, happy. That made tonight a successful night.

All the best,

JP

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Remember Me?

Remember me?

The guy who promised too many times he would be writing more often on this blog but then didn't?

Yeah, I'm kind of an asshole and liar and really over-promised and under delivered on that front. But that being said, I found myself once again browsing through the blog and really getting nostalgic of all the things gone past. I read about my past crushes and loves, the old high school dances and regattas that once consumed my mind and consciousness, and more than that, all the crazy life events I was so sure would alter the path of my life irreparably but never did. This brought so many things into perspective for me, realizing and remembering the lesson that in the long term, everything works out. It also made feel like I should write again (for real this time) to keep this journal going, so one day, I can hopefully look back again and see just how far I came.

Since my last post, things have (predictably) deviated from my expectations. Let's break it down, shall we?

"He's a special guy and we've made it longer than almost all the other gay couples I know have gone, so three cheers to us and many more to come."

Yes! The boy and I are still together. We recently celebrated our two year anniversary and somehow have managed not to kill each other.

Since my last February update, he has since graduated and started working. And while his undergraduate status may have changed, some things don't. I still find ways to embarrass him and he does a damn good job of making me cringe in public. Having hit the two year mark of our relationship and the initial butterflies and giddiness having long worn off, things have calmed down quite a bit and have become pretty routine and even boring at times. Maybe it's just because we're both working now or that we have exhausted much of what DC has to offer, but I am trying to find new ways to make things more interesting again. I still love him and would do anything for him (well, almost anything), but a shot of energy would be great. Any ideas or thoughts?


"In other boyfriend news, we are.....get ready for this.....house hunting." 

No, we are not living together. After a long house hunting process and building tours, we decided it would be best for us to not live together. It came down to wants and needs. He and I work in very different locations and he wanted to live in the city while I wanted to stay outside of DC if possible.

So what happened?

When he graduated, he got an apartment downtown where he wanted while this past June, I moved out of the family home and into an apartment with one of my former coworkers ("former: as he since has moved on to a new job at a new organization. The boyfriend has a studio while I am in a two bed two bath unit in a high rise just outside DC. I got my master bed and bath, garage parking, gym, and location close to my friends, while he gets his city lifestyle and ease of public transport to his job. It was the best compromise and allows us to meet our needs while still being able to easily see each other on the weekends


"I need to figure out my career path and where I want to go once I hit the one-year mark at my current job and if I want to stay or move to a new company at a new location."

The roller coaster of my last few posts where I came to despise my job has taken yet another turn. I am still at the same company but I finally found a way out of the sales team and into marketing. If you have followed my blog from when I was back in college, you would know I majored in Marketing so this move was a big boost for me. I joined a six-month rotational program in the marketing team back in September and am now about half way through. My new manager is very blunt, fun, and talkative and I finally have much more freedom to be creative and do what I studied and love.

That being said, as my rotation only goes officially for another three months or so, soon I will need to once again figure out where I want to go and what I want to do. So, if you know marketing, programs, or analyst positions open in the DC area, holla at me.


So there is once again another snapshot into the life of JP. With the holiday season coming around, I hope everyone has a great December. Stay Warm.

All the best,

JP

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentines Day, 2015, and Where I've Been

Valentines Day is just around the corner again and for the second year, it looks like I will have someone to actually spend it with. I'm now officially 2 for 22 years which is a solid record for my book, V-Days spent with hookups not withstanding. I've made reservations at the Kennedy Center and if things work out, dessert at Ted's Bulletin is on the agenda. I still don't know what I want to do in terms of a V-Day gift. I think I will make a card for him and see if my crafting skills are in any way near as good as my cooking skills.

Speaking of the BF, unfortunately he was sick earlier this week but since then he's gotten better. I made him a batch of matzah ball soup which I will like to imagine has amazing curative properties, but I'd probably bet my money on the Alka-Seltzer Cold Meds I got for him which kicks Tylenol's ass any day of the week. We've been together now for a few months north of a year, give or take a month or so, and things are going pretty smoothly overall. Yeah, we have out spats and he has his annoying habits, but knowing my own stubbornness and faults, I'd say we're even. He's a special guy and we've made it longer than almost all the other gay couples I know have gone, so three cheers to us and many more to come.

In other boyfriend news, we are.....get ready for this.....house hunting. Yup. He's going to be working in the DC area after he graduates school much like I am currently and we're looking  find a place together. I'm a big fan of Arlington and Court House while he is a huge fan of Dupont and being more down town, but that is a bridge we will have to cross when we get to it. I need to figure out my career path and where I want to go once I hit the one-year mark at my current job and if I want to stay or move to a new company at a new location.

Dupont: So Pretty, So Close to Cobalt, So Expensive....

So how is the job going? Well, it got better and worse in a few ways. Ever since I originally posted about my first real job a few months back in September (Holy Shit, that was September...), I've seen myself kick butt in every quarter I've been in my position. I've blown away all standard metrics and I push myself to reach my stretch goals as well. So by most measures, work has been going pretty well. So why did I say that things are also worse? Well, each passing day just makes me realize that I'm not learning or growing in the job I have. Sure, I can talk about tech like few can and the sales skills I have will probably be useful in some way, but I have hit a plateau in my own knowledge, and it sucks. I hit this plateau many months back. After training and everything concluded, I've applied the things I have known and the methodology I learned in a very cut-paste-repeat sort of way. Sure, sales can be rewarding and the money is definitely good, but there has never been a day where I was actually excited to go into work. I want to be thrilled. I want to wake up and be excited to see what the day has to offer. With each passing day, my enthusiasm wanes, and I've been running near empty for a while now. Probably by the end of the month, I will start looking around for what other options are out there.

So 2015: What's on the Agenda?



Well 2015 is off to a pretty docile start to be honest. Maybe it's because I graduated and "the real world" is inherently less exciting, or maybe it's just because I'm tired of a routine which I find draining and dull. That being said, with the prospect of a new job come June and moving in with the boyfriend, there are many big life changing events in the deck of cards.

I hope to travel this year at some point. Mom and I want to take a week on vacation at some point and a cruise is our go-to option. It would likely be towards Fall or late Summer, but I have zero objections.

So where have I been?

I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but I do hope you guys have been well. I've neglected this blog severely and all I can offer is a few explanations as to why.

1. Twitter - A while back I started getting more involved in Twitter and the convenience of quick, snippy posts and interacting with life minded people really appealed to me. I've made some pretty good friends off of Twitter actually even met a few of the people I met randomly on there in person too. A lot of what I originally funneled here now gets pushed there for convenience's sake.

2. I started a new lifestyle blog which has taken over most of my long-writing efforts and time. It's a cooking and food related blog which has become a pet project of mine. I hope it helps inspire new cooks to break out of their shells and see that cooking does not have to be a scary and confusing endeavor. Unfortunately it links to a number of my private accounts so I won't be linking it here. My apologies.

3. I've become more comfortable talking with my friends. My best friend Maria and I have become even closer in the last few months since I graduated and she moved away to attend law school. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and if anything, our now 18 year friendship only got stronger after we both started on our new adventures. We talk as often as possible, recounting our successes, failures, happy moments, and our pains. We don't bottle things up as much from each other and that has helped me a lot in expressing what otherwise would wear at me.

Balancing all of these things, plus work, plus working out, plus making sure I still make time for my family and my friends has honestly been a struggle. I'm still finessing the balance as I type this and will likely will continue to do so for a while to come. As the handful of you guys who have followed this blog for a few years knows, I really like stability in my life, and uncertainty can throw me for a spin. Once I get my shit sorted, excuse me for the language, I will find a way to make sure I don't neglect things like this blog which I have so much invested so much time into over these past 6 years. I still read every comment, reply whenever appropriate, and catch up with the blogs I follow on here as well. I realized something as I was going through some of my old posts from back in high school earlier this week. For the few of you who still follow this blog and still take time out of your day to read the scribblings of some now 22 year old guy from Virginia whose graduation was chronicled twice in this blog, you have known me longer than many people who I call friends today.

In all honesty, you guys, as loose a connection and however many degrees away we are from each other, are people and friends who I have known and have seen me grow and mature (sorta) for years now. You have given me advice, provided me with support through my tough times, and for that, thank you.

I hope everyone who is reading this has a great weekend and a happy Valentines Day. Even if you are single, take time to treat yourself to a day of relaxation and fun with friends or even just enjoy time with yourself. Love your boyfriend, love your girlfriend, love your friends and family, and love yourself.

All the best,

JP

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Update

So it has been three months. I guess I have quite a lot to catch up on, eh?

Lots of things have happened: Halloween, Thanksgiving, getting myself a new car, the BF and I celebrated our one-year anniversary, and more. Plenty of stories to be told and plenty of embarassing and triumphant moments to recount.

While I don't know how many of you out in the blog world still check in on my little corner of the internet, I am working on another post that hopefully will be up in the next few days.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I look forward to writing up an update soon. To all the people who have left comments and have been checking in on me, thank you. I really appreciate the support and feedback from the people on here.

All the best,

JP

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Hollow Men

"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."

Ends of The Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot

Some say it's one of the most quoted lines in all of poetry and possibly writing itself. It certainly is one of the most recognizable.

Those words have been applied to many a situation, and here I am doing the same.

When I last wrote, I was still caught in the euphoria that was preparing for my grand entry into the adult world. A land of milk and honey. Lavish corporate spending to make me, to make us, the new hires, feel special. Feel appreciated. Feel like we were the shiniest toys on the shelf of FAO Schwarz with dozens of doey eyed children pining for us. In the weeks since, things have changed. A mere week after I wrote that post, I returned home back East. I was excited. I was going to be joining my peers on the battlefront, courting clients, being the invincible warrior they made us believe we were.

I pined to be back East. The West coast was beautiful. It was fun, it was quirky. Sure, the people were slow and living in a hotel grew old, but now I yearn for those moments back. As much as I hated being in training all day with some questionable people in conference rooms with little real sunlight, it was engaging. It was interesting to learn. And as much as I did not recognize it as much then, it was fun.

Sitting in my cube all day makes me realize just star struck and manipulated my view can become. I lost touch with reality. The real world is not day after day of cater lunches, freshly made beds, clean wash cloths, and perfect 75 degree weather. It's hours on the phone, hours building hideously long excel spreadsheets, hours using software and tools you are told are amazing when in reality they make you angry half the time and work properly even less than that. Sure, the benefits are great and I nearly doubled the household income off the bat, but maybe I should have made sure I kept a hold on my expectations. Training is in no way realistic to the what actually happens on a day to day basis. I am not going to have brilliant conversations day in and day out. I will not have the luxury of having contacts and beautiful information to work with, bequeathed to me from my predecessor. Every day will be spent in the monotonous routine of figuring out what I want to do with limited direction and people who I can almost never reach even if they tell me to call them at any time.

I charged into the battlefield ready to take on the world. I hoped to dive into the fray with a bang, instead, I often find myself questioning and whimpering. Maybe I should have slowed down. Maybe I'm still stuck in the bottom bowl of the U-shaped culture shock curve. Not even three months in to my job and I already feel like I may have made a mistake.

I told myself  and others, "No, no, I like doing this stuff." I believed myself then. I genuinely did. But looking back, I have to think, did I just say that so much that I believed in my own lie? It's hard not to sound like a whiny brat when I'm complaining about a having a job when so many in my shoes are jobless. Thousands of college graduates would probably love to be where I am now - employed, meeting my metrics, and being so close to DC. But I always expected I would do more.

I want my career to be in a field and with me doing something that I love, and in the role I am in and in the industry I am in, that is not the case. Sure, there is plenty of room for career development in my company, and if and when I choose to change my line business, maybe it will all suddenly be better. But as of now, all I feel like I'm counting the days until I can move on to a my next adventure. I will kick ass at whatever job I'm at. The only thing that I fear more than failing others is failing myself. I set the bar high for myself because I know that's when I work best.

So maybe I will have to bite the bullet and go along with the cold routine at least until I reach the one year mark. Maybe then I can move to somewhere new. Maybe then I can find that job that clicks. And maybe then that job will also end up being not what I was hoping to do. I may go through three, five, hell, maybe even ten jobs before I find "the one," but one day I know I will find it.


And I will wake up happy and excited to go to work. 

-JP