Another Year Gone

How could it be that I’ve already been out of college for a year (still wonder how I graduated lol ha)? This year has been crazy…defiently the year of transition. Transitioning to “real” life, a new state, a new city, new friends, new job and new challenges. Overall though I think I have been able to adjust quite well to all these new changes. Was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be when I left the oasis/hidden gem  that is Bowling Green, Ohio.

This past year has truly tested me in a bunch of ways that I’m glad I have gone through. With the biggest test (don’t want to go to in-depth for personal reasons) being my whole situation with not doing a DTS with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) really was crazy but glad I had to deal with some of that stuff. Honestly, I still struggle a bit about what if I would have gone anyway. But on the contrary I’ve been able to meet some awesome people and have some cool experience up here in Kalamazoo.

Moving to Kalamazoo has been interesting to say the least ha. I didn’t know anyone moving here, a friend of mine knew someone who lived here but that was about it. Glad I met up with my friend’s friend haha, he’s one of my best friends up here. Through this one church I kind of attend I was able to meet some awesome people that have made my transition to living here a lot easier and better. So thankful for all of them who have welcomed me and what not ha. Like seriously, some awesome men and women that love the Lord and are always fun to be around and cook great meals lol.

I’ve been working at Western Michigan Universities athletic marketing, communication and engagement department and it has been alright. Glad I am here cause I’ve been learning what it’d be like doing this full-time and this has made me realize I don’t see myself doing this long-term. Hate sitting at a desk all day, don’t get to be one on one with people and interact with them and just isn’t for me. Thankful I’ve been able to realize this and try to start figuring out what I really want to do to impact as many people as possible through whatever career path I go with.

By far the best thing I have done this year was coaching freshman baseball back at Aurora HS when I just got out of school. I was trying to organize a summer baseball team through a facility I used to train at but that fell through and luckily the owner knew about an opening at the high school. It was so much fun coaching and hanging out with these high schoolers. They were a very interesting group of kids haha. We had some fun times for sure that I miss a lot, love when they text or Snapchat me. Plus we were G’s on the field think we went 15-3 or 14-4 something like that. Should have been undefeated but whatever, still had a great year. Stoked to see how those kids will grow into better ball players and a little bit more mature men haha. Already seen a few of the kids commit to play college ball which is awesome so I’m really excited for them.

That in-between time from moving back home to moving to Kalamazoo was hard at times. Just readjusting living with my parents and all that but also only having few people around to chill with. Thankfully those people are dope so made it easier ha. During that time I got to explore Cleveland a lot more than I had before. I would skateboard all around the city from Ohio City/West Side Market to Prospect Ave to the bicentennial park near the shore. Then doing prayer walks with a buddy of mine downtown who knew some other cools spots as well and friends from my church downtown  who knew spots as well. Man Cleveland in the summer is wonderful ha.

Had plenty of adventures this year that made great memories. My few trips back to BG to chill with my homies were always great. Then the greatest tradition ever…Jimmy Buffett concert with my friends ha. Going to Chicago solo dolo to see Kid Cudi haha (thanks Callie for being sick lol). Another great summer of softball with Chester (s/o to the champs haha…still waiting for my t-shirt).

To finish…2017 was a rough but good year ha, the times of struggle have shaped me for the better and I know it sucked and some things still linger but getting through these things have/will make me a better Godly man. The Lord is good ya’ll, He loves us so well…He provides when you least suspect it so remain in Him and never loose hope. Excited to see where God will send me in 2018. Love you all…have a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

 

Psalm 73

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever.

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Bowling Green, This is for you!

Against all odds, against all odds I will be graduating from BGSU next week. My oh my have things flown by from when I was just a young blood freshman back in 2013. Feels like just yesterday I was moving into Centennial Hall here at BGSU. Now I’ll be moving out of the Arubbah House which has held so many great memories. Who would have thought how much I would have grown here and learned the things I have here. I mean I thought I had a lot of it down back in the day. I mean I could make my bed, do laundry, clean up after myself, and swipe into the Oaks. But I learned quickly that there where things I had no idea about and things I needed to know to grow as a man. I never would have thought when I first got here that I would be saying I was going to be extremely sad to leave this place. For Pete’s peppers this place is soooo cold in the winter, the wind has no chill and makes things way worse, there is literally nothing around here, and no beach near by. Luckily, I have been able to find some amazing friends and mentors that have helped my time in BG be such a blast and so impactful!

Truthfully, as many of you know (sorry Mom and Dad) I haven’t put my academics at the highest level of my concerns here at school. Coming to school I said I was going to focus on school a lot more than I did in high school, but that mind set didn’t last that long. In fairness I had my best year of school ever my 1st semester here. To summarize things a bit with a quote from the rapper Asher Roth, “I can’t tell you what I learned from school, but I could tell you a story or two.” Okay well honestly, I have learned some things from school but most of the things I will take away from BG has been the things I have experienced/learned outside of the classroom. Yeah sure I should have done better in class but when it’s beautiful outside and the sun is beating down you know I’m skipping class to go work on my tan haha. I remember times my friends would rag on me and what not but I’d always tell them the order of the things I find important here, 1. Jesus things 2. Working out/physical activity 3. hanging out with friends 4. Surf Club 5. School. I’ve passed all my classes so that’s all that matters lol. I’ve been extremely blessed with mentors I have met here who have helped me out in school and out of school. I have gained valuable information and knowledge from their successes and failures that they have shared which have helped me through situations and just life overall.

Coming to school I was excited to be independent from my parents and just be in college and have a great time. I didn’t know what to except, I was new in my faith as a Christian and was seeking to find out more about this whole thing. All my friends back home I pretty much met playing sports throughout the years and I had a lot in common with them and now I was in this weird Christian culture I had no clue about.  I was playing the game RISK, which I had no idea about and know love, with people that I would not have hung out with back in high school. Honestly, most of the people I was hanging with and associating with I never would have hung with before. So glad that I kept coming around and got to know all these amazing people that I love so much. People where just so honest with me about getting to know me and understanding what I was all about. Just like being real with one another and honest with one another has made my friendships here mean so much and it’s going to be so hard to not be around them. I won’t forget the spontaneous adventures, weird adventures, parties I’ve been to/thrown, and other memories that I’ve made here. And like I started a surf club in Ohio…legendary…yes…should I have a statue of myself on campus or to show the little school spirit I have a falcon riding a surf board… probably. Then have something dope engraved in it ahhh s/o to all the surf club homies, ya’ll are gnarly as frick would love to hang ten with you guys anytime anyplace!  Anyway those memories have made Bowling Green, Toledo, and Perrysburg (never forget Parker Coffee) grow on me so much. Northwest Ohio is a lot cooler than you realize and when you have nothing to do and go exploring for cool places and things to do you’ll find them here.

My faith has grown tremendously since I started coming to college. A friend of mine always brings up this time my freshman year where I sprained my ankle playing basketball and a few of my friends wanted to pray for healing and I was freaked out. Like now I’m that person to go to people wanting to pray healing over them ha! Through my experiences in Cru, going to the Dominican Republic with AIA, spontaneous Monday nights of United, every Tuesday at Ember in Toledo, and church at Brookside and occasionally City Light has made my faith grow so much and build this fire inside to just see the world changed by Jesus Christ. On a side note, I’d like to retire from the Brookside softball team. It has been a blast playing with and getting to know all of those men. We’ve had some good times…as always win loose booze haha. My mindset on just how I view life and my values has changed and now like sure I am looking at jobs in my major (sport management) but more I pray into it and what my heart truly wants, the more I realize I want to do work for His Kingdom. Sure I can do that anywhere I am but I feel like I want to do something radical that will change a lot of people’s lives and show them that inner peace, joy, love, and laughter that I get from knowing Jesus.

Welp as I head back to the Cleveland area I’d just like to say to everyone that I’ve met in BG and during my college years that you are amazing and have made a big impact on my life. You may not know it, but you have and I’m so grateful for everyone in BG. I know it’s going to be hard to leave all ya’ll, I hope don’t to cry when I’m leaving (I could because of the coldness though) because this place will always have a place in my heart and on my right thigh haha (free tattoo story). As for what’s next for me, I have 2 things on my mind. The 1st is I am waiting to hear back from an athletic communication job in Florida, the other is going to Australia with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for 6 months starting in September. I know the road will be rocky but because of my experience here and my trust in the Lord to provide I know I will be okay. Maybe one day I’ll return to bask in the glory (obviously not when it’s winter) that is Bowling Green, Ohio…Peace and love…Coops out!