Starting Up

Wow! – It has been a really long time since I have posted anything. Not really sure why I haven’t been active and blogging, but I kind of miss it. I’ll have to start blogging, at least somewhat more frequently.

It’s been a great month – family, friends, travel, weddings, work, etc. I’ve been to weddings in Milwaukee and rural Indiana. I’ve been with my family to Niagara Falls and Detroit. I have started working on a new health plan in New Hampshire. All of it has been great- and I am constantly amazed at how time flies by.

I am feeling good about life right now. I have some big plans. And a lot of ideas. I’ll try to start doing a better job of sharing my thoughts on here.

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My Birthday/”We Are Young”

Today is my 24th birthday! It’s kind of crazy how much can happen in one year. This past year held so many milestones and amazing memories that I don’t know how next year can possibly beat it. I know it will try though. I am thankful to all my family and friends for their well wishes and for being positive influences in my life.

Yesterday I watched Tuesday’s episode of Glee. The song at the end really sums up some of the conversations I have been having with a few friends lately. I want to live life to the max and make the most of the time I have…

Girl give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me just across the bar
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies, you know
I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friend are back
So let’s raise the toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry home tonight (Nananananana)
Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)

The moon is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight

I Close My Eyes And Smile

I close my eyes and smile.
Not because something amazing just happened.
Just because.
Just because I was thinking.
I was thinking about what makes me happy.

I close my eyes and smile.
You see, I was looking at old pictures.
Old memories.
Old memories of meaningful times in my life.
I was thinking about the people who are important to me.

I close my eyes and smile.
I hear music from my earphones playing softly.
Playing meaningfully.
Playing meaningfully through these memories.
I was thinking about how our senses are intertwined with memories.

I close my eyes and smile.
Not because someone just did something extraordinary.
Just because.
Just because they were, they are.
I was thinking about what makes me smile.

Looking to the Future as I Finish Winter Quarter

I am currently in the middle of my final exams for Winter Quarter.  As finals end and I head home to St. Louis this weekend, I am going to be spending time with my family – the most important people in my life – and positioning myself to make some big decisions for the future.  I thought this would be an appropriate time to share one of my favorite pictures that has been taken of me.

This picture is of me hiking the mountains above Eilat in Southern Israel.  It really embodies who I am in terms of the future opportunities the picture represents and even what I am wearing – a shirt from Boy Scout camp, a water bottle from the University of Denver, etc.

11:11

It’s 11:11 and it’s time to make a wish.  Here it is: a future of happiness, health, prosperity, love, family, and friendship.

I am in an interesting place in life.  I’ve finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver.  Yet, I am still here.  I am here working on a Master of Business Administration degree.  I really enjoy what I am learning.  But it’s different.  Mostly good different, but in some ways, just different in that I miss the way it used to be.  I have to start looking at the rest of life.  Next year no longer implies the classes I will be taking.  Now it means the rest of my life.

My social circles are constantly evolving.  I have recently spent time with both old and new friends in Denver.  I have gotten to know so many people over the past few years that it is sometimes difficult to balance all of my friendship commitments, but I certainly try my best.  I have grown with many great people whose friendship I value strongly and with whom I hope to stay friends for a long time to come.  I have also connected/reconnected with some wonderful people this past year.  I have found people who encourage, challenge, and love me.  I have found people who share and listen and support – relationships in which I certainly reciprocate these activities/feelings.  These are people not only from Denver or the United States, but all over the world.

I also talk with many of my good friends from home (St. Louis) on a regular basis.  People who I grew up with.  People with whom I have relationships and inside jokes that sound outrageous to everyone else.  These are people who I cherish and whose support I have appreciated while not always being physically present.  I am incredibly blessed by the people in my life.

Scouting has been a huge piece of my becoming who I am.  Many of the values and skills I have learned and acquired have been developed through the Scouting program.  My summers at camp led me to some of my best experiences and best friends.  I miss camp.  I miss the experiences, the impact we had, and the friendships we built.  I hope that I can reenergize my involvement with Scouting after graduation that my future children and millions of other youth will have the same amazing experiences that I had.

I work part time on campus and collaborate with students, staff, faculty, and administrators from across campus.  I have been very fortunate in the relationships I have developed over the past five years.  I have learned a lot and grown immensely.  I am understanding the value of individuals and groups and connections between them all.  It has been awkward at times though when I’ve gone out and interacted socially with other students who I have supervised or met staff or faculty “off the clock” – especially when they think I work full time for DU.

My field of diversity/inclusion programming, training, strategy, project management, etc. is incredibly rewarding and at the forefront of social change, while remaining incredibly challenging at times.  I can see the positive impact of my work.  I was once told by a mentor to think about my work, my capabilities, and my opportunities and utilize them in shaping and creating a positive lasting legacy at the university.  I believe that I am being successful at doing that.  Hopefully, others will agree.

In the midst of this I am looking to the future: what are my options for long term employment post-graduation (June 2011)?  I am trying to do everything I can to best utilize all of my resources, network, explore opportunities at every turn.  In this process, I am trying to determine my personal worth (read: what type and quantity of compensation am I seeking) while determining my values and the weight to assign to each of them.  Among the plethora of things I am working to consider are: family, friends from home (St. Louis), friends from Denver, friends from everywhere else, job function, job duties, living location, company culture, long term impact of short term decisions, company/job prestige, opportunities for personal and professional growth, and much more.

I have had conversations recently about how to represent yourself online.  I have professional and personal profiles online, all of which offer accurate depictions of me and my life.  Nevertheless, I am constantly impressed when I find people who can write honestly about their feelings and beliefs without fear of how they might be interpreted or any potential future repercussions.  I’ve tried to be honest in sharing my feelings in this post.  I hope to challenge myself to continue to do so.

So, here’s to the future!  While the future may be uncertain, I can always reflect on where I am, where I came from, where I am going, and the people and experiences that have supported me along the way.  If you are a part of my life, thank you!  I am who I am because of you.  There is so much more to say, but who yet knows what those things will be…

In the meantime, perhaps the following song will offer some insight into this path we call life:

How the time passed away? All the trouble that we gave
And all those days we spent out by the lake
Has it all gone to waste? All the promises we made
One by one they vanish just the same

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

Now it all seems so clear, there’s nothing left to fear
So we made our way by finding what was real
Now the days are so long that summer’s moving on
We reach for something that’s already gone

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

We knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how
We would end up here the way we are
Yeah we knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

 

End of Winter Break, Beginning of a New Year

[This post was written while on board a plane from St. Louis to Denver]

I am sitting on a plane again.  This time for domestic travel.  I’m on the way back to Denver from St. Louis for the beginning of Winter Quarter.  I’m also heading back to Denver at the end of my last winter break – and I have to say, I’m not a big fan of that one.  I cannot believe that winter break is over.  Simultaneously, I feel like winter break just began and has been going on for quite some time.  Of course, winter break has been about six weeks long and I have been to the other side of the world and back again – literally.

I have no regrets about this winter break.  While I would have liked to have had more time in St. Louis to spend with people, I had some amazing experiences that I would not have wanted to pass up.  In my time at home, I spent a lot of time with family – something I am very happy about.  As well, I got to catch up with friends all over St. Louis.  I traveled to Israel where I saw new and old sights, reconnected with old friends and made some new ones, and attended an amazing wedding.  I traveled to England where I traveled the country with a friend and saw some of the most amazing (and old) places I have ever been to.  I was able to experience England and what it has to offer.  I spent time looking for and Interviewing for jobs (hopefully with some results soon).  I did a bit of reading and time to reflect and prepare for the new quarter.

The past few weeks have taught my several things.  I can rely on my instincts.  I know more that I realize sometimes.  It can be okay to go with the flow.  While planning is necessary, some adjustments may be necessary.  Change is okay and can be a good thing.  Relationships may change and morph.  We have to be okay with this.  Friends and family are important.  Treat them as such.

I graduate from the University of Denver with a BA and a MBA at the beginning of June.  This June.  With two degrees.  Wow!  I cannot believe that 2011 is here; 2010 just flew by!  The first half of this year will be filled with what promise to be the most difficult classes I have taken in college.  This new challenge should prove to be of benefit to me and I plan to rise to the challenge and exceed all goals and expectations.

This year will also contain a major decision that will likely affect the rest of my life (the next few years, at a minimum): what job to take and what city to live in – the two are linked.  Everything I have done these past 23 years was effectively preparing me for this moment.  This year I will need to make a decision based on my past education and work experiences that will set me up for my future – work, friends, family, etc.  I do not take this situation lightly and I hope to make the right/best decision possible.  I pray that will indeed be the case.

Other than what I have written here, I do not really have any new resolutions for 2011.   I generally have the same goals for each year that will hopefully lead me to being a better person:

  • Try my best to understand people – i.e. increase my empathy and open-mindedness
  • Rely on my values
  • Do my best
  • Learn
  • Talk less about people behind their backs
  • Do what I can to make the world a better place
  • Be the best friend and family member that I can be and trust my friends and family
  • Be happy and healthy

I have no doubt that 2011 will be my best year yet.  They each get better and better.  Every year also seems to go by faster.  I hope that I will be able to create new memories and relationships and value and retain them all.

Happy 2011!

Quote #16 – Mitch Albom

My friend posted this on her blog and I wanted to share it with you as well:

“When someone is in your heart, they are never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.”
– Mitch Albom, in his book For One More Day

How true this is…

Back in Denver

Yesterday, I arrived back in Denver to get started for the new school year! I moved in to a townhouse about a 15-20 minutes walk from class/work. I am renting a room from a friend who graduated several years ago. We met at Chabad and he is originally from St. Louis! It’s a nice place and after relaxing from moving in taking longer than I had thought it would (of course!), I like it a lot.

I am trying to catch up on life in Denver and with friends. This week is orientation, but because the schedule overlaps with Rosh HaShanah, I have to make up some sessions with other (earlier) groups which makes my life these next few days a little hectic. I have a lot of reading for orientation that I still need to do and prep work for my Statistics class, that I am a bit worried about. I’m sure everything will work out well though.

It is strange not living in a building that surrounds me with students. It is definitely a different feeling that will take some getting used to. Many of my close friends are not here so I will need to reevaluate what I am doing with my time – new friends, homework, involvement, job search, etc. After being unsure about spending all summer with the family at home, I thought it strange when I realized that I actually miss my family a lot, now that I am back here. Soon enough, I will be too busy to think about all that!

As I get ready for the new year of MBA classes and programs, I look forward to the future!

I’m Going Abroad!

I’ve been wanting to go back to Israel and travel elsewhere and last night I bit the bullet and bought a set of plane tickets!  From November 29 to December 21, I will be traveling to Israel and England!

Winter Trip 2010 Flight Map

Hopefully, I will have a job when I graduate and so after saving during the school year and throughout the summer, I decided to take the opportunity my long winter break presents and go abroad.

In Israel, I will be going back to some of the places I saw when studying abroad, going to some of the places I missed, seeing new things, and visiting friends.

In England, I will be staying with a friend (he is serving as my tour guide as well) who I worked with last summer at Boy Scout camp.  I will be going around London (hopefully including places my grandma remembers hearing about from my great-grandma who was from London), traveling the country, and perhaps briefly checking out Scotland and Wales.

I am very excited to this trip.  Now I need to relearn Hebrew.  I think my English will suffice!  Any input on places to visit is definitely appreciated. 🙂

Washington, D.C.

I have not posted anything on here lately because I have been on vacation with my family.  We went to Washington, D.C. for several days.  They were certainly action packed but I really liked what we saw.  That included:

  • National Mall
  • A lot of monuments, statues, and memorials – WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Boy Scout monument, Ulysses S. Grant Monument
  • Washington Monument – rode up
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of American History
  • Air & Space Museum
  • Freer Art Gallery
  • Smithsonian Castle
  • National Archives
  • The White House
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • U.S. Capital
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Pentagon
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Chinatown
  • Georgetown
  • DuPont Circle/Embassy Row

Basically, it was a great vacation and we saw a lot.  I would like to go back and see more/some things again when I have more time to do so in a more relaxed manner.

I am looking forward to actually relaxing for the first time this summer.  That is not to happen yet though as I am leaving to go to a wedding in just a few minutes.  Hopefully after getting back on Monday, things will slow down or at least allow for sleeping time before I go back to Denver for school.