My Journey from Polo to YOLO
It was senior year of high school, Lil Wayne was blaring through the speakers of my Chevy HHR as I drove to my private Christian school. Something was happening, though. My preppy Lil Wayne phase of life was slowly dwindling and I was starting to listen to this guy named Jack Johnson. Not only that, but I believe my jeans were getting tighter. This was unheard of for middle of nowhere Arkansas. Skinny jeans had not yet hit this region and neither had Jack Johnson. I taught myself guitar off YouTube, dreamed of a Volkswagen van, and wanted nothing more than to travel west. You may ask where this all came from and I believe all signs point to one person… Weezy Baby!
Smoking old man pipes at night, longboarding the vacant downtown, driving hours to see live music. This, plus some college classes thrown in, was how I spent my freshman year of college. I felt as if the world was mine to take. Everything was new. I wanted to do everything yet had no idea how to do it. In college, I didn’t claim a major until my junior year. I picked health care management due not to my love of health care managing but because that is what my dad did. I assumed it would be best to graduate with a major I could get a job with.
One thing that I am most proud of from my college years is meeting Emily and deciding to marry her. People were not excited because they said I was too young. This had no affect on me. I was set to make the most exciting decision of my life.
Nashville, Tennessee, is where we have been calling home since 2015, the year we got married. I got that job working for a health care company where my ukulele sits below my desk. I have seen myself as being in a place I don’t belong, yet bringing what is me to where I am. The broken record jokes about driving a hippy van to work (got that VW), having a mustache, long hair, a beard, and playing the ukulele in a corporate environment has actually given me much joy. I wish more people wore who they were on their sleeve, so from that, I try to live up to my own idea
In the time we have lived and worked here in Nashville we have done more than we could have ever imagined. We have traveled and seen some of the most amazing things the US and a few countries have to offer. My family asks if Emily and I work. And the answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how long it will take me to drive to Panama City Beach. If we leave at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, we will be there between 12:30-1 a.m. on Saturday where we will sleep in our van at the local doughnut shop. This plan includes no time off from work, just some gas, ramen, and doughnut money.
It was actually on the way back home from this beach trip that Emily said, “Let’s hike the PCT!” I agreed that it sounded like a grand plan and we talked about how we could make it happen. The money we could save, the frivolous spending that we could eradicate. Long story short, it’s happening. Somehow, we got here. A place where most believe we have lost our mind, according to my grandfather. I think all signs point to following our hearts and trying our very best to not let that scary thing called life tell you what to do.
Also, going further I believe that I will blame all my irrational decisions on none other than the greatest rapper alive, Lil Wayne.
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