#HoustonStrong

I’ll begin by saying all my family and friends are safe and suffered no major damage from the hurricane. Some were close, some evacuated, but all were fortunate. Being a native Houstonian living in Austin, it was very difficult to watch the news and see the images of our wonderful city in turmoil. I struggled at not being there to provide physical assistance to those in need. Of course, I made my donations and will continue to look for ways to help in the coming months, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of helplessness I experienced.

This week I drove down to visit with friends in some of the impacted areas. I was encouraged to see the city operating at full force. I did pass many houses and businesses with piles of debris and rubble on the curb. Neighbors were helping neighbors, strangers were helping strangers, there’s been plenty of stories and pictures. The contributions and donations have been amazing and too many to list. I must mention one in particular, J.J. Watt. This guy, a star player for the Houston Texans, began a fundraising campaign with a goal of $750,000. As of writing this, he has raised over $17 MILLION. And he hasn’t just spearheaded a monetary fundraising event, he has been physically working with volutneers to sort, stack and distribute. And the guy has a NFL season starting this week! Shout out to his teammates who are helping as well.

We went to the Astros game and there was excitement and energy and pride, an abundance of pride!  As a native Houstonian, I felt it. My heart swelled with hope and pride. Volunteers and responders were recognized, the mayor threw out the first pitch, the players wore patches, and the Astros swept the weekend series.

There are many areas outside of Houston that are dealing with enormous repercussions of the hurricane. Places like Rockport, which still has no electricity, water, or operating infrastructure. These people and places need to be remembered and assisted also.

I still feel I can personally do more to help the city that raised me (technically I was raised in Spring, NW Houston, which suffered major damage as well). As the weeks go by and the urgency and awareness begins to diminish, as happens with all major world disasters, I will pray and search for ways I can contribute. Until then…#HoustonStrong!

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I visit the Ozarks…

So I’ve been meaning to write about my most recent trip for a week but, as I said prior, with the new job and a more intense MBA class, I’m still finding my groove in managing my time. I wanted to write about my cool little trip into the northwest area of Arkansas a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never been to Arkansas. The landscape was beautiful and what you’d expect. Rolling hills of green forests. The reason why I was out there was to attend the wedding of my cousin’s daughter. I haven’t figured out what that makes me in the family tree – is it a combo of niece/cousin? Any case, it was a great time. The wedding itself was different than any wedding I’ve been before and, quite frankly, was actually nice to see a couple take the tradition of marriage/wedding more seriously. I’ve been to so many weddings where it was show up, say a few things, pronounce the couple, and hit the reception. These folks took this seriously and it was refreshing. They spoke on how they met, acknowledge family and history, and spoke of their future as a couple. I really enjoyed it. I also really appreciated spending time with extended family that I don’t see very often. Visiting family is so nice because it’s really when you can truly just be yourself with no judgement or anxiety of how you look or act. Everyone just appreciates you for you and there’s that family bond, no matter how long it’s been, of we all understand each other’s history and roots. We also visited the University of Arkansas, which is a great little compact campus including a cool outdoor Greek theater unlike anything I’ve seen on any other college campus. Of course it reinforced my desire to work in higher education. The locals in this quaint area of Arkansas were polite, respectful, and friendly. I enjoyed this trip much more than I originally anticipated. So now I’m back to grind of work and school and it’s going well. I just need to keep my attitude positive and my faith strong. Happy summer!

 

Man I got busy…

Last I wrote I was starting a new job after 5 months of me time. I forgot how busy you get when you work a full time job, and full time is relative to me because, one of the few aspects I enjoy about being an outside salesperson, is being able to regulate your time to a less than 40 hours a week of actual work. That being said, It’s been an adjustment. The worst is soooo much driving. I’ve been all over small town central Texas from Waco to New Braunfels and every old Texas community town in-between. Some of it has been pretty cool though. Lockhart has been my favorite spot so far. Cool old original buildings & an fantastic county office right in the center of town. When I travel from town to town, I always find the public library. Somewhat surprisingly, every town stills has a public library and some of them have this great classic charm. The Lockhart library also easily my favorite as it’s inside this original 1800’s building complete with crickety old wood floors and giant stained glass windows. Georgetown also has a cool library with a great cafe in the middle.

With working, I’ve had to make sure and pay close attention to my MBA schedule and block out set time to study and complete assignments. My current class is Managerial Accounting and it’s as difficult as is sounds. I’ve always been good with math but challenged with accounting and finance subjects. It’s gonna be a battle for an “A” and I’m not there right now. But I’m going to keep fighting and stay committed to keep driving for my goal of a career in higher education.

Now to watch some Stanley Cup action….can’t wait until the first game in Nashville. The home playoff games in Nashville have been in the top 5 home crowds I’ve seen in playoff sports. From the anthem to the chants to the local support, game 4 and 5 are going to be incredible!

 

It’s been a fun break!

I start a new job tomorrow. I relate starting a new job like the first day of school. Meet new co-workers, get your materials together, set up your work space, supplies, folders, instructions, paperwork and anxiety with a mix of excitement. And just like the first day of school, I have my gear and clothes all picked out for the week. I haven’t had a full-time job in five months. Which seems like a long time but went by fast. I did have quite a bit of fun. Went to Vegas twice, caught some live sporting events, took my annual ski trip, and hung around doing hood-rat stuff.  And I worked as event staff during SXSW. That was awesome. Met some fantastic people and really enjoyed being a somewhat important person facilitating crowd control and helping music attendees have fun. So it was a chillin’ few months but it’s time to change things up. I’m tired of being bored and broke. I’m going to attack this job with positivity, persistance, and prayer. Oh and the hockey playoffs start this week and that’s always rockin’!

Last night of classes

So tonight is our last night of Leadership Self Seminar and Marketing Management class. My team (the one I spoke so highly of a couple of posts back) are presenting. I try not to be nervous, I’m really comfortable before I speak but when I start talking I do get nervous and have a tendency to present really fast and leave things out. I’m going to try and instill a little humor in this one so hopefully that will go over well. I’ve really enjoyed these classes and somewhat sad they are ending so quickly. The whole MBA program seems to be going by so fast. Well, if anyone is reading this….wish me luck.

Strange things are afoot…

So I was awoken very early this morning by my former boss at my most recent job. I really like this boss and when she was reassigned, I was very disappointed and it basically kicked off my downfall. I haven’t been working since I got let go in November. However, the company was just bought by someone I know in the business world who works with my former boss and they are interested in bringing me back on. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this. I had mentally moved on. And, of course, I just throughout all my old files, folders and supplies from that job…maybe that’s a sign. But there is also some great potential for this to be a big opportunity for me.  I haven’t officially spoken to them about the opportunity, just that I am interested. So we’ll see where it goes.

This needs to be short, I have a Marketing plan to finish and a Leadership manifesto to right for the last day of class.

Keep chasing those dreams…and stay away from the nightmares.

I Lucked Out…

So I spent most of today working on a Marketing plan which is due Thursday for my Marketing class. I’m working with two other students as a team. This is the 3rd or 4th project we’ve worked on together. I am so fortunate to have met these two wonderful individuals on the first day of class. Timing is a crazy life aspect. I just happen to walk in the first day and sit down next to these two and we immediately hit it off. We had a light-hearted, but very sincere and warm, text exchange last night about how fortunate we all are to have met each other. We are a team on this project, we are a team on this journey to our MBA, and I hope (and truly believe) we will continue to be friends after graduation. We have supported each other since day one and I cannot image what this MBA adventure would be without these two. They are awesome and I hope they have the most fantastically blessed lives possible!

It’s Not Summer Yet…

It was a chilly February day in Austin today. But the sun was out and the landscape looks nice. I headed out to watch the Concordia baseball team play. It’s the first Concordia sporting event I’ve been to since I became a grad student. The game was awesome as they won in the last inning with a bunt squeeze play for the tying run and a walk-off single for the winning run. I really enjoyed watching “my school” play. A main reason I wanted to go to grad school was to be a student again. Enjoy the camaraderie of the collegiate atmosphere and taking part in the traditions of school. There was a good crowd and strong support for the home team Tornados. I met a few current and past-students who struck up conversations with me like they already knew me. That is a wonderful aspect of this school. Everyone is accepting and friendly. I’m an older student but I’ve never felt looked at, judged, or out of place. It’s nice. I want to work here after I graduate.

I hope I don’t get an F…

So today is Friday and I should have been writing daily for fulfillment of my Leadership class. I have not…I just don’t have that much to say. Hopefully my professor will not give me a failing grade for this….I will do better.

Any case, I’ve been feeling extremely stressed over the last couple of weeks. Not having a job will do that to you. I lost my job in mid-November. Fortunately, unemployment kicked in and has been allowing me to handle my financial obligations. During the holidays, it was nice to not worry about work. I just enjoyed the holidays and was able to take my annual Christmas trip to Las Vegas. I really enjoy spending Christmas in Las Vegas. Not having kids of my own, I prefer to spend Christmas alone. Thanksgiving I spend with family, parents, brothers, nieces and nephews, who I all think are awesome. But Christmas is for the kids and they don’t really care if I’m there or not, they just want presents. So I go to Vegas. I can have a great time surrounded by people that I can talk and socialize with all kinda doing the same thing as me. It’s almost like a club of strangers who are united by our escape to Vegas for Christmas. And the decorations are the best anywhere I’ve ever visited. The place is just full of energy (as it always is) but this is Christmas energy.

So now it’s February and reality has hit that I can not go much longer without a job. I’m not going to elaborate too much on that now because today I woke up feeling great. Weirdly enough, it’s primarily due to a really cool dream I had last night. I won’t elaborate on the dream (no it’s not X-rated) but I had a great night sleep that was awoken by the end of a great dream. So I feel good today. I did not immediately get on my phone and social media. I turned on some nice music, made some coffee, and sat on the porch to watch the sun and the wildlife wake up with me. I need more mornings like this. It also makes me feel closer to God,which I have been really working on improving my relationship.

So that’s this morning. I’ll do my best to keep it going…

A New Approach…

So it has certainly been determined with my first attempt at a blog that I’m an idiot. With my love of the sport of hockey, living in a non-hockey city with few hockey fans, I thought providing a simple and fun approach to enjoying the sport as a fan I would introduce new fans to watching hockey. Yea no one cares. I’m a nerdy dude in Texas who has never played one minute of the sport. My small circle of nerdy friends in Texas who also have never played seemed interested in my view. And to their credit, they did support my efforts and read my posts and a couple even re-tweeted them. So my pals have my back and I love ’em for that.

Now I’m changing things up. I recently began my quest to earn my MBA degree from Concordia University in Austin, Texas. I’m now taking a class call “Leadership Self Seminar” and part of the class requirements is to journal about my daily life and my path to success and leadership. So I changed the name of this blog to “ChasingMyDreams8” and will use it as my own personal journal.

I chose the name “Chasing My Dreams” cause it’s a saying I began using several years back as a response to any one of those generic exchange greetings you have when passing in a hall or parking lot or somewhere. You’re familiar with this: Person A: “how’s it going?” Person B: “pretty good” or “what’s up?”, “not much” and then each go your separate ways. I wanted a more creative response…so that’s where “Chasing My Dreams” comes from. Unfortunately, chasingmydreams was taken as a blog site so I added the number 8 because it’s my favorite number. Oh and the subtitle “…one nightmare at a time”, I just thought it sounded cool.

So there ya go. This blog will now be my life journal in partial fulfillment of my MBA requirements and partially for my own personal ramblings.

P.S. I still love hockey. Watching it. Following it. Talking about it. Today is February 19, 2017 and it’s “Hockey Day in American” and I’m watching my 4th game in a row. It’s been a good day!