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  • Writer's pictureJake

Dancin' On My Own Into 2018

The year 2017 has come to an end in a manner that seems all too fast. Across the year, I’ve reflected on life’s struggles with other amateurs out there, all in their early 20’s, who have been attempting to wrestle for control of a life all their own and on their own terms. I cannot help but admit my feelings of excitement for this new year and its challenges as I reflect upon the stories and people from the year that has passed. For me, this year has been about goals, moving forward, and finally discovering who I am and what I want to do with my life. As in any year, there have been obstacles, but none that killed me and I’m proud to say that I’ve come out of 2017 a better person than when the year began and I have earned many more stories to tell. With that said, I cannot wait to move on in 2018!

Earlier this year, I was celebrating one of my dearest friend’s wedding engagement in Cleveland, Ohio when I was pointed out of the crowd as the guy who “didn’t have his life together.” It was all in good fun but it was basically true. At the same gathering, I had the opportunity to speak with Robyn, who told me that she looked forward to my posts on Amateur Lifestyle because she felt I was speaking about her life. Grappling with school, relationship ideals and career goals, she, like most of us, was unsure if she was heading in the right direction. More recently, I had the opportunity to connect wi

th an old childhood friend, Rashelle, who by happenstance shared a flight with me from Pittsburgh to Nashville. Bringing my goals for Amateur Lifestyle together with Robyn’s words of encouragement, Rashelle said something that I can’t shake. “If you’re not running around to different jobs or different places in your early 20’s, are you really doing it right?” I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps all the financial woes and instability are worth the the experience and lessons learned.

Coming full circle, I have moved 3 times this year! I escaped the money pit of Chicago, returned home to Pennsylvania, did a stint in Alabama, until I accepted my new position in Baton Rouge and I’m still not satisfied. I am thankful for my great job, co-workers and newfound disposable income but I’m still looking to the future to climb higher. There are always obstacles that will need to be traversed but I I don’t think its too much to yearn for more. Its just important to keep pushing through the hard times. Relationships that I attempt to cultivate continue to fall flat on their face, most notably my most recent shot at it in Baton Rouge that has just only begun to unravel itself. As I write this, I am 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico still wondering wtf!? Am I cursed? Its all a part of the experience I suppose and I’ve definitely been through worse. I’ve learned enough at this point to know to just keep my eyes on my goals and to just keep moving forward.

So what comes next, now that I got over the past and fell forward? Now I continue my dance into my future with a love for myself, my goals and my closest allies who are scattered about the country. I’ve learned that is really all you need after all. I have the best friends in the world but I really only see them every now and again when geography permits. For me, it makes for great road trips and it has taught me to dance through life on my own, without the constant support and need for approval from friends. It has made me independent and allowed me to learn how to entertain myself, create my own happiness and not complain about every stupid thing that inevitably will happen to anyone who is trying.

I've been to the bottom, been broke, been lonely, been dumped and ignored but I’ve also experienced love, success, friendship and excitement. 2018 is going to be about more of the latter and less of the former. I will keep dancing, on my own if necessary, toward the life I feel that I deserve. I may not be the best dancer, but I’m not trying to be, I am just an amateur after all. Many smiles to you as you dance your way into 2018 and may you see all your goals become successes.

Musical Inspiration:

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