Avoid the Drift

Life is funny in the way that it ebbs and flows. There are times of incredible stability, where everything goes as planned, and times of radical change, where nothing seems certain. Since the twentyeleven project, things have been less certain. I think college and twenty-something life is fraught with ambiguity most of the time. Distant goals and dreams exist, but the path forward is rarely ever clear. A vague notion of moving in a certain direction is usually all one has to guide them.

Amidst all this change, it’s easy to lose your sense of direction. Without something to move toward, you end up drifting aimlessly. The drift can feel pleasant for a short while, as simply floating along requires little effort. Eventually, the lack of anchors and solid ground will leave you feeling hollow and hopeless. Floating isn’t nearly as pleasant and carefree as it sounds; it is an ocean of anxiety, despair, and listlessness.

Post-college (and after any other period of focused effort toward a specific goal), it’s easy to lose your bearings. Whenever you feel lost, don’t lose hope. Find your anchors again, and point your ship back in the right direction. Despair will melt away, and a sense of purpose will return.

Keep moving forward, my friends.

-Will

P.S. Look for another post here by Thursday (11/16). I’m committed to posting on here regularly for the foreseeable future.

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Six Years Later…

It’s been awhile since we last spoke, but I think we can skip the awkward small talk.

My life has gone in a vastly different direction than I assumed it would back in 2011. Looking back at this post, I can’t help but laugh– I was so naive. I was so convinced back then that biochemistry was the major for me. After nearly failing my first chemistry exam, I soon realized that I didn’t love chemistry as much as I thought I did. College in itself was a different experience than I assumed it would be back then. I thought that MSU would finally present an opportunity to explore the topics I loved, with challenges that went beyond boring busywork. College, I thought, would finally eliminate the things I loathed about academics from past experiences.

College turned out to be a completely different beast than I anticipated.

Writing the first draft of this post lead to the most depressing catalog of events that happened since 2011. I don’t want to sugarcoat the past and pretend everything has gone according to plan (because it really didn’t), but the last six-years haven’t been entirely terrible either. Great things happened. Awful things happened. Life happened! Focusing too much on either the highlights or the pitfalls would be disingenuous.

Distilling the past six years of life into a single post is nearly impossible though. To keep things brief, I’ll hit some of the important details here:

  • I’m currently living in Bozeman. I work for Gibson Acoustic. (If you would have told me six years ago that I would be making guitars, I wouldn’t have believed you.)
  • I’m dating my best friend, Kelci. (Another thing I probably wouldn’t have seen coming back in 2011.)
  • I totaled the old Focus back in 2013 (RIP in pieces). 2013 was a shitty year (for numerous reasons that I might dive into in a later post).
  • I have not graduated from MSU (yet). Changing majors multiple times, taking time off to avoid student loan debt, and other reasons have led to this delay. It’s something that really bugs me, but I do plan to finish my degree soon.
  • I finally got a motorcycle last year. Motorcycling has become one of my favorite hobbies. The mental clarity and presence you get on a bike is difficult to find anywhere else.
  • I’m an uncle! My nephew, David, is four-years old. He’s the best. (I don’t feel old enough to be an uncle, but it’s a pretty cool experience.)

Many other things happened since 2011, but I’ll leave some of those details for later posts. For now, I’m happy to be back with you all. This reunion of the twentyeleven crew was a total surprise. I want to thank Kelci for making this happen, as well as all of you who’ve come back and written a post on here. You guys rock.

I’ll write on here again soon. Until next time,

-Will

P.S. For a delightfully incomplete record of some of the things that happened since the twentyeleven project ended, you can check out my personal blog, The Final Summer.

Hello, It’s We. (get it, because most of our titles were disgusting puns.) AKA [[>>REBOOTING<<<]] AKA Kelci learned how to type!

In 2010, a man most of us know and even more of us love decided to collect some friends and force us to write about the proverbial “Senior Year” of high school through the lens of many. There was the perspective of actual Seniors yet to graduate, a Junior (me) yet to enter senior year, and several College Freshmen having just finished their Senior Year. That man is an incredible human being, and this is an attempt to give something back.

Hi, Guys. It’s been a very, very long time. Although in the grand scheme I suppose it’s been less than a blink, we have lived, we have accomplished much, and most (if not all) of us are a completely different person than the last time we shared with each other in this format. We have loved and lost, we have moved, we have learned lessons we will carry (and ideally, pass on) for the entire rest of our lives. My hope for this blog is that we all write as many posts as we individually care to write concerning what we’ve been up to since the adjourning of The Twentyeleven Project™ and whatever else strikes our fancies, I guess. I don’t know Will’s reasons for choosing us all to contribute to 20eleven, but as I found myself in the middle of a very rough day a couple weeks ago, I turned to the words we all wrote nearly a decade ago (sorry, the fact that we all age equally is still blowing my mind) for comfort. It helped bring me from a point of near-tears to literal elation and sarcasm, my Final Form. If you haven’t been back since the last time you wrote something on there, please take a brief intermission and do so now. I believe you can click on the name at the top of each post to filter by author. It all began here.

Are you back? Did you do the thing? Do you feel what I felt?? That ineffable longing for “The Good ol’ Days”? You know, like when you go through a particularly nasty breakup and re-watch your favorite childhood movie for the nth time, or when you hear a song that you love but haven’t heard in years? Or was that your personal hell, you’re far, far happier now, and like I have always presumed, I peaked in high school? Either way, is it safe to assume that we all had no idea what kind of shit-flavored Green Bean Casserole adulthood would come to serve us? I think so. I don’t mean to suggest that life now sucks more than it ever has by any means, but it certainly seems that proportionally, problems now are much more of a well, problem than they were before. Then by contrast, our personal achievements, those little moments where you feel invincible, those (to me) feel so much stronger now than they would have in the days of yore. Everything I experience today has much more weight than it did yesterday, whether good or bad, and I genuinely hope that means tomorrow will have more gravity than today did, and if you *gag* look back at some of my posts, I obviously was trapped in a glass case of emotion. I still am.

A few of the posts that stood out to me aside from all of them; (because it seems every time I’ve read back over the years, I always do so with a really dumb shit-eating grin) were these. (In no particular order whatsoever.)

Also, Spencer, I hope you don’t feel left out, dear. I really could not narrow your posts down to a favorite. You’re too wonderful.

I am bringing this new-yet-familiar blog about as a surprise to Will (aka Opie, aka boss-man, aka many many more) for his 24th birthday. I have never been able to celebrate his birthday with him properly, and he deserves something fantastic. I cannot stress enough that this is a surprise, so please don’t mention anything just yet. He’s always been a phenomenal writer, (maybe I’m just biased because he’s my bestest friend) and he seems to be stuck museless as of late, and it is wearing on him. I want to remind him a little bit of a time in all of our lives when hashing shit out in blog format was incredibly constructive both for all of us but more importantly, people who related to us. The authors will consist of myself, himself, Spencer, Joshua, Molly, and the remaining original authors (if I can get a hold of them), as well as a few additional literary wizards that I hold very dear to my heart, in the interest of perhaps getting this one off the ground where we never really quite could with the previous attempt. If you know a guy, say something and that can and should definitely happen. I don’t know how long this will go, but you all agreeing to contributing a few posts is more than enough for me. I plan to be posting semi-regularly, as I find myself at a point in my life where literally everything is changing. (More on that later.) Your frequency and commitment are entirely up to you alone. No Pressure, Dawg.

If you need ideas for what you might talk about, I thought this might serve as a “Where Are They Now” edition of 20E. Our currently imaginary and quite possibly extinct readership might be interested in how our lives are different from where we left off. This could cover any number of subjects including College Degrees, (or not) jobs held or dropped, new and interesting geographical locations, hobbies new or old, whether our music taste is exactly the same, important life events, I could go on but you are all intelligent humans, so I will neglect to do so….

As the 4:00 hour draws ever closer and my caffeine stores fart out the last remaining molecules of the black-as-night coffee I chug all morning and for 2 hours after lunch, I think I will leave off here. Write whatever you want, as much as you want, as often as you want. There are no rules. Other than obviously, be yourself. (WordPress does not have Emojis, and i’m real upset about it.) Enjoy, kids. and Welcome Back.

Love, Kelci