Life is in a Box

It’s an odd feeling when you pack your life into a few boxes, some bags, and an overstuffed car. You wonder, “Is this all I am?” You wonder as you sift through old school papers and doodles when you were 7, “How do I still have this?” I definitely don’t hoard, as the five full garbage bags in the trash bin can tell you. I’m more “hoarder light.” I can throw things away, but sometimes I collect things. I’ve done this since I was a kid. I collected cards, toys, rocks, knives…things escalated when I started getting an allowance, haha.

Nostalgia looms over my dimly lit room. Continue reading “Life is in a Box”

Happy Birthdays are for Others

September 14th. It was a Monday when I was born. This day is becoming more and more of a day that I just let pass by me. Sure I like birthday parties, having others around me, celebrations, music, cake, laughing at almost nothing, staying up late, and enjoying other people’s company. Of course I love that. Still, I don’t like to make a big deal of something for myself. That’s just not how I do things.

When my 28th birthday was coming up, all I could think about was where I thought I’d be, how old I was getting, what I haven’t done, blah blah blah. But then I realised just what I HAVE DONE. How very much has happened to me. The people I have been blessed to have conversations with, laugh with, know about. I have listened to stories of pain, and joy…sat with people in their darkest, and their brightest. I have felt the weight of a culture nearly forgotten and a people fighting to staying alive. I have learned to be a better professional and a much better human.

Continue reading “Happy Birthdays are for Others”

Purgatory of Failure: My Unbelievable United Airlines Saga

So the last time I wrote, I told you all how I felt about going home for the first time in a year and a half. And rather than tell you all how it went, I’ll just say it was GREAT! Some things just can’t be summed up in words, but I will hold the memories tight. What I will instead choose to direct my energy and writing towards is something that needs attention drawn to it. Welcome! To the blog post where I RAGE OUT towards an inferior airline and poor excuse of customer service. Sorry United Airlines, but you get my hatred tonight. Unknown Continue reading “Purgatory of Failure: My Unbelievable United Airlines Saga”

A Life Lived in One Place

Imagine, if you can, living in one place for the next 24 years. Seems a little bit stretched out and distant, right? Now, I have not been able to remember living…well, anywhere until I was around five or seven. Still, I have lived in this state my entire life. I know its streets, its hotspots, the shortcuts, the favorite eats. I know Illinois. Illinois is comfortable. Illinois is well known, to me. Very soon, I will be leaving this land that I have called home, that I have enjoyed being apart of, and moving to a new world. It might as well be a new world.

I have had time to do a fair bit of thinking while I find an occupation and secure passage to New Zealand. I have thought a great deal about all of my friends who daily build me up and support me in my selfish desire to become happy. They happily oblige and humor me. I don’t know if I will ever be without friends in this life. I have met so many beautiful people in my travels and experiences. Many of these people I have known since I was little, Luke Blauw, Eric Brown, Tara Biscan, Mike Elliott, Nate Leslie, Debbie Leslie, Rose Scheid, the list goes on. Many friendships I have developed while away, David Goodwin, Jenn Bosma, Jeremiah Mannschreck, Nate DeJong, Dan Prins, Jeff Stern, Jeremiah Mallin, Matt Faber, Cody Cooper, Tyler Plockmeyer, etc. Many I have only recently become friends with, Matthew Bailey, Justin Van Wyk, Kyle Lefere, Alex Hayes, Eric Du, Alex Bourge, Katie Yockey, Lisa Marshall, etc. Also those I have met in the field of Social Work.

I have obviously left out most of my friends, please don’t be  offended. It was not intentional.

It is safe to say that with the list of friends that I am already making in NZ: Jeremy Vargo, Zach Jacobsen, Samantha Merkle, Lawrence Tuck, Leand Macadaan, Hugh Drinkwater, Elena Cleary, and of course, Corbin Elliott, in whom I’ve known since I was 15, that I wont have any trouble making a family overseas. Still, it’s not that easy…it never really is.

If moving away from everything you know is as easy as saying, “Home is where the Heart is,” making a new family, and calling home every once and a while, then anyone would be able to do it. There is additional culture shock that, even in a westernized country, will have people inside of a month buying a plane ticket home. The distance away from home can be daunting to overseas movers also. Everything about the country you live in will be a constant reminder that you are NOT home. You will begin to hate everything and just want to cuddle up on your favorite couch, or go eat at your favorite little hotspot.

Don’t. Don’t buy that plane ticket. Tough out those first months. You will kick yourself hard when you are sitting back home and letting the reality sink in that you let a perfectly good adventure slip right through your finger tips. This is self therapy moment people. I am not only speaking to you, but myself. I am the man who has lived in One Place his whole entire life. Now is my time. This is my journey set before me. I step with anticipation.

The Beard is Done, The Date is Set

Well readers, some of you got what you came for. While the event was never recorded, we still got some pretty cool images to share with you all. I had a blast, and I want to thank my amazing sister Ro Birkey for taking such awesome photos. The event went great and I also would like to thank Sean Wilson for helping me out the most and for doing the deed that HAD to be done.

I have not been able to stop looking at my de-robed face all yesterday, and to say I’ve been rubbing my chin is a severe understatement. The look will set in eventually, and it will likewise take me a while to get accustomed to my new chin. This is standard for any massive shaving that takes place.

With the money that was raised, coming approximately to $3000, I have reached 84% of my goal!!, and I couldn’t be more happy with the result. All of the proceeds will be put towards helping me get to NZ (paperwork & flight costs). This reminds me! I have set a tentative date for when I plan to leave the U.S…God willing. I will plan on leaving for New Zealand mid January. If the paperwork is not done before then, I will reevaluate my departure date. This is what I am going to try for though.

Thank You again to everyone who came out to my party and helped support me in my effort to get overseas. I could NOT have done this without you, my friends and my family. You are responsible for all the good that comes from my work in NZ. Thank You.