I was writing at a café this weekend when I noticed a nearby couple setting out an elaborate spread. At first, I was baffled by the size of the assortment because they were two wispy individuals who didn’t look like they would be able to name a carb with a gun to the head. But it all made sense once, upon elaborately staging the food and beverages, they pulled out a large camera and began a photoshoot.
Target. What do you picture when you hear that word? A store celebrating holidays months before they arrive? Stylish mothers surrounded by Hearth & Hand products worshipping an effigy of Joanna Gaines? I’ll tell you what I picture: a nearly empty store giving off some intense Left Behind vibes.
A little less than two years ago, I could be found sitting in my bedroom frantically trying to figure out what to write about before midnight. No, I wasn’t experiencing a bizarre Cinderella in the cornfields of Ohio scenario; I just had to get something posted so I could keep my goal to “Publish a blog post once a week.” Ultimately, I wrote about books, and while it was nothing earth-shattering, it ranks as one of my favorite posts because it kept my goal going, which ended up producing some of my most cherished blog articles.
As of eight days ago, I officially became a twenty-five-year-old. Since it’s often viewed as a milestone year, I considered using this post to wax poetic about how I’m now a quarter of a century old. But after some thought, I realized that’s probably been done before, so I should instead just go ahead and share this year’s list of goals…
It’s been 144 days since I wrote Thank U, Next (the blog post, not the chart-topper sung by Ariana Grande). And while I wish I could come on here and write about how the past few months have been full of aha moments and unwavering positivity, I’d be lying if I gave that impression.
You may be here expecting to read salacious details of my recent resignation, or you may be here simply because you love a good Ariana Grande bop and are hoping for more of her in this post. I hate to disappoint you on both sides, but this won’t be a detailed hit piece explaining why I left my job, and there won’t be much more Ari in this post.
I figured the best way to finish out this year of goals would be by sharing a few statistics/reflections on what I’ve written this year.
“Hey, Dan? Calm it with the sports references.” I know, this is my third sports-referenced blog post title in the past few months, so I guess you could say I’m one overtly-masculine grunt away from being a full-blown athlete. But let’s save the conversation about my transition into a sports icon for another day so we can get on to the actual matters at hand.
Having recently made my way back into the world of academia, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by leafing through some of the papers I wrote during my time as an undergraduate student. One that stood out to me was a book summary I wrote about Susan Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire.
My second year of college found me doing everything I could to be involved on campus. I wanted to have the quintessential college experience of rushing from activity to activity as a student, but the only “activities” I rushed to and from were ice cream and pop tarts. It wasn’t my best year. So after some soul-searching, I decided to apply to write for the school paper.