Birthdays come and go. It’s just another day on the calendar, but it is the day tied to you. Month, date, and the year meaning something to only you and those who also know the day is your birthday. I have seen birthdays come and go, some grand in celebration while other modest and honest. My birthday, which just happened to pass, closely follows Halloween so there always is a little ruckus involved. Upon adding one more year of experience under my belt, I typically tend to reflect on the year in the rearview mirror and looks towards an upgraded version of the following year. I am thinker, for better or worse, and can get lost in my mind very easily. Thoughts racing like an F1 car in and out and in loops. Twenty-four was no different, as I looked back on a pretty crazy year.
I started off the year stressed. I am very much a person that accepts fate and tries not to dwell on much, but I welcomed in twenty-three unemployed without any plan of how to escape this ditch I had been stuck in for a month. With funds dwindling and not much on the horizon, it definitely was a darker time. While every bad comes with good, I would not be stuck in this hole for very long. But for the time being, I was constantly thinking about impending finances and also not really knowing what I wanted to do for work. Twenty-three ushered in the real world, as this would be my first complete year sans school. Getting the ball rolling was tough. Ask anyone, looking for a job is not fun. All while having no source of income makes it even more of a troublesome task. You could look for hours, apply a bunch of times, and hear absolutely no communication from the other side. I experienced this often. Luckily, I would land on my feet with a retail job that would help pay the bills while exploring other options.
The year would come to an end in a weird way. I would be out in California for the holidays. I then tried to go out on New Years but the lines were so long I went to bed before twelve. I would wake up in 2019 ready to tackle a new 365 days. 2019 began the way it should: with surf. Terrible waves, but it set a precedent. A new year was a blank canvas in a sense, but the thing that doesn’t get reset is the past and present. The blank slate is the future, and I was still unsure as to what mine was to be. By the end of the month, I had found a job, still worked weekends at catch surf, and had my parents coming out to visit. Things started looking up as we came out of the cold winter months.
After quality time with family and friends, I was back in it. I started to have regimented weeks, and really started to like the grind. Surf, work, gym, eat good. Write a little. Have fun on the weekends. A cycle I was growing fond of. I would get a couple new tattoos to commemorate the start of a career (Side Note: while I mostly say my tattoos have no meaning, every one is tied to a moment in time). Life was good and only getting better. Summer was creeping in and south swells were starting to bump up. Add this in with warm weather and longer days, and you’ve got a recipe for success. This was my first full summer living in Newport, and fully took advantage of living so close to the beach. Biking down to the shore for a little slide or posting up for hours on end just to soak up some sun. Newport is already a crowded zone, and this is the only crux of summer. Crowded lineups, minimal parking, but waves on tap. Going out became more of a chore, and I honestly feel like we pumped the breaks due to this. I was able to hone in on surfing, my health, and work with finite focus. I would cap off the summer with a quick trip home to see family and friends. Then I would arrive back to work and the next week (or maybe it was two weeks away) I was enlisted to go on a three-day work trip to Waco, Texas. Talk about work perks. If you told me I would surf BSR in year twenty-three, I would have questioned you.
By now I think we are in October, my birth month. I knew I had no extravagant plans, so I kind of just ran with a whole birthday month vibe. I had a ton of fun and got to share good times with all my closest friends. October was a little bit of a whirlwind: it can in fast and swirled and twirled on its way out. I would enter twenty-four in a good space. Mindset is everything, and mine is fined tuned. I would say this was my first year where I had such a regimented and structured day to day I got to jump out of the fast lane and put on cruise control. I really do feel as though I learned the most about myself in this year, as I didn’t have homework to dwell on or tests to study for. When work was over, I could be with myself and work on me. Schooling kind of takes that away from you. Also factor in on top of the actual education I was involved in a decent amount of social interactions and also surfed a TON, so free time was abundant but used in those areas. Now, when it’s past 5 I can only do so much, and it tends to revolve around me. Life in the right lane is a good place to be in before merging back into the left.
My birthday comes and goes, as with Halloween, and we immediately get sent into the holidays. Thanksgiving slides in and out, and then we get Christmas, and the ushering of a New Year. I looked at some resolutions, and while some will remain uncheck (like landing a full rotation air) while others have an X in the box. I tend to make more new habits or ideas come to fruition in birth years rather than calendar years, which I have noticed. Twenty-four should be a good one, as I am almost a year deep in a young career and feeling pretty fit. I read more and use technology less. Or at least try my best to. I write, and write, and write. And enjoy it. I listen to new music and dive back in the crates of older music. I will continue to surf, work out, read, write, take photos, post photos, and spend time with great humans. As we age like wine, the life we live just get sweeter.