Three Years Down

I’m sitting on an outdoor couch in a stunning villa overlooking a bay and the entire city of Acapulco. It’s probably 75 degrees out, 2:30 a.m. local time. In less than 24 hours, I’ll be back in Seattle. For now, however, I’m surrounded by the droning chirp of crickets, a bevy of urban lights in the distance, and the occasional mosquito looking to feast on me. The world, it appears, has gone to bed. I’m the last of my travel mates — all coworkers of mine — awake. And yet for now, I can’t sleep.

It’s an odd picture, I imagine. I shouldn’t be on a laptop in paradise. Wearing jeans, no less. And a blue button-up shirt. These are all things I typically wouldn’t wear in warm weather. Fact about me: I get warm easily. Heat is not my forte. We just got back from a night out and I’ve been too lazy to change. Laziness > body temperature.

Today (well, by now it’s yesterday) is the third anniversary of the day I conceived this website. I don’t really know what to make of it. I never thought I’d last three years with a domain name and my thoughts in print. But that appears to be the case. It’s kind of weird. You never grow up thinking to yourself, Okay, one day when I get older I’ll have a job and in my spare time I’ll be writing everything I think about down for others to read. No one imagines that happening. And upon picturing that scenario, if by some strange chance you do happen to picture that scenario, you never figure that people will actually want to read the things you’ve jotted down. It’s odd, unique, perplexing, all of the above.

Every year I’ve made it 12 more months, I reflect on my existence since the last anniversary of this site’s birth. November 12th. It’s a date that has an inordinate amount of significance to me. I don’t have kids, so for now this URL and these words are my baby. They are what I take care of every day. I just do. I don’t know why. It’s not really out of obligation so much as it is love. I love to write. And I love to write here. Perhaps that’s the most important thing. I’ve been asked to write elsewhere. I’ve been offered opportunities here and there. I’ve even capitalized on those opportunities on occasion. But I’ve never found the words published anywhere else to be as valuable to me as the ones that appear on this page.

I know to many of you, this is just another website. It’s a place you go when you want to key into my thoughts — why you want to key into my thoughts is beyond me, but I appreciate the endorsement — or read about sports. To me, though, it’s more than that. This is my heart and soul. These aren’t just words. They are my emotions, my true feelings, and they are real. I’ve never wanted to be anything less than real when it comes to the things I write. It’s just not in me to act otherwise. And what I’ve found over the years is that people appreciate authenticity to an unrivaled degree. You can be the best scribe in the entire world, but if there isn’t a pulse to your writing — a genuine pulse — then your words are shit. You cannot fake passion and devotion. You can try, but you won’t succeed. Without passion, we are unhappy individuals. Without devotion, we are committed and accountable to nothing and no one. The value of our lives is found in the honest, passionate, devoted moments we afford ourselves.

I am very fortunate. I know how fortunate I am. I’m surrounded by amazing people. Those who have supported me, mentored me, raised me, encouraged me, shaped me, and allowed me to do this every day. I say it often, but it can’t be said enough. I am nothing without you. As it is, my thoughts are insignificant. They’re just thoughts. What matters to me is the people who read them and reflect upon them. Who are inspired by them and moved by them. Who share them and promote them. It is the people that matter to me. More than the URL, more than the letters on the screen, more than the effort of writing, itself. I do love to write. But I mostly love to write because of who reads the writing. It’s that simple.

When am I going to stop doing this? The other day, I was lucky enough to be interviewed about Dawg Pack Dirt, my one lasting contribution to the University of Washington (sorry I don’t donate more…or at all. One day it’ll happen. But if nothing else, you got thousands and thousands of dollars from me over six gloriously average years of education). The journalist interviewing me asked when I would essentially retire from publishing the gameday info sheet. I paused, then stuttered. I had never given this any thought. Just like I had never given any thought to quitting writing. And frankly, I still don’t know how to address this issue. I’m overly-invested in this website. One day I might have a wife and kids, or a different job that demands all my free time. But for now, I have the luxury of being able to do what I want with my spare hours in the day. And so I’m married to this thing. It’s my outlet. I know I want more. I want much more. But this isn’t a bad companion for the time being.

It’s 3:10 a.m. local time. I should go to bed. I have to be up in four hours to prepare for a flight back home. I miss Seattle. I shouldn’t. It rains there too much. And I’m in a tropical paradise right now. But for better or worse, that’s where my heart has chosen to settle. Damn geography.

Thank you for letting me be selfish enough to write this. Once a year I have to reflect on things. I mean, I do this other times, as well. But on November 12th (13th, in this case), I need a long second to look back and make sure I’m seeing this all correctly. I honestly don’t know how we got here. I feel like I’ve been out partying for three years and all I have right now are the clothes on my back and a content smile on my face. I feel good about this writing thing. I feel good about the people around me. We often entrust our hearts to one person. I’ve entrusted it to thousands. It’s insane. And yet it makes perfect sense. So thank you. You’ve been good to me. I really appreciate it. On to Year Four…

 

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