I focused so much of my last journal on things I was struggling with; I wrote the whole thing about rough parts of this new reality, things I’d been struggling with, and things that were really weighing me down.
I’m proud of what I wrote, because it sure as hell wasn’t easy putting those thoughts onto paper for anyone to read, not knowing what the reactions may be or how people would take it. It was therapeutic, though, to look at myself in the mirror (or paper) and really be honest with myself about how I was really doing. I wouldn’t take on word back.
Now I want to look at some good things, though. Because all in all I’m blessed in a lot of ways to be where I am and the man I am today. So I want to focus this journal #2 on the things that maybe I didn’t appreciate before I had the time to think about them, or maybe I didn’t have the chance to realize yet. So here goes…
I’m blessed with just about the best roommates a guy could ask for. When I transferred here this past fall of 2019, I went into a completely random group of three other dudes knowing absolutely nothing about how we would get along, how we’d bond, or how we’d be able to function as a collective apartment unit, if you will.
And boy, did I get lucky.
These guys have been here for me through thick and thin. I hear horror stories of bad roommate situations filled with fights, arguments, jealousy, and so many petty disputes that in our apartment we’ve never even sniffed. The biggest arguments we have revolve around whether the game is called “bags” or “cornhole”, who the best receiver is in the NFL, and if water is wet or not. These always end in laughs and someone calling the other one an idiot. These boys are my best friends, and I don’t know how I’d be the man I am right now without them.
I’m also blessed with amazing teammates. We’ve managed to stay close even though we’ve got boys from all the way down in Texas up to Indiana. This group is such a close collective unit and it’s a true blessing. At my last school, Truman State University, I thought the team was close, and we were. That was one of the reasons it was hard to leave. But it was nothing like it is here.
This is such an amazing group of guys that are always pulling for the best for each other. Guys are genuinely cheering for every player to do well, and sometimes it’s the guys that just lost their jobs to a player that are rooting for that guy the hardest. I’ve never been a part of such a selfless team that cares so much about the happiness and well-being of each and every guy from top to bottom on the roster. This is the embodiment of when coaches try to preach that a team is a family. Exhibit A: The Millikin Big Blue.
I’m also thankful for Apple Music. Apple Music, you say? Yes, Apple Music.
I’ve been able to really take the time to explore the music I’ve always wanted to delve DEEP into. The biggest figures in the history of country music that laid out the groundwork for guys such as Alan Jackson and George Strait to become the gods that they did, have always been people I wanted to take the time to go deep into their musical catalogs, more than just the songs everyone knows. Man, could these guys do it, too. Some of the most incredible songwriting I have ever heard and it’s a shame it doesn’t get the credit that it is due. It’s made me really appreciate every word of my favorite genre’s remarkable history.
Last but certainly not least, I’m thankful for my family. Similar to how I heard horror stories about roommates, Lord have I heard some family ones to top them all. This has also made me realize how freakin’ awesome my family is. My mom is just an absolute saint. And anyone who’s met her can attest to that.
Just an absolutely heartwarming woman who I could tell anything (for instance when I FaceTime her as soon as I’m done writing this to show her the mustache I just shaved on my face) and she will still be proud of me.
I’m lucky to have a brother and sister who I love and can be myself around. They might make a stand-up comedy routine out of me not being the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes, but hey, if you see some of the stupid stuff I do, so would you.
All in all, as I did in my last journal, it’s easy to let this new reality and way of life get your spirits pretty low. Lord knows I’m just as guilty as anyone on that. But my new challenge for myself, and I guess anyone reading this, is to find joy in the simplicity of things. Find joy in music, tv shows, movies, memories, making horrible paintings, or whatever comes across your mind. Give someone a call you ain’t talked to in a while. Let someone know you care about them. The joy they get from talking to you will surely bring joy right back to you. So… to whoever is reading this, I say this from the bottom of my heart:
I might not know you, but you can do this. You will do this. Because you can. And whatever you do for as long as we are in this state, I wish you joy.