Before you keep on reading, I just want it to be known that this is the most emotional article I have ever written. If you’re one that reads it all, thank you and much love to you.
To start off, I’m going to explain a little bit of my story and why I’m the person I am today. For starters, throughout my entire life, I have struggled with the feeling of being accepted by others. Even though I know there are those that care about me and love me, the feeling just has never fully sank all the way in.
With this being the case for me, I’ve grown up always having the need to prove myself to everyone. From trying to play kickball back in elementary school during recess, to being able to play basketball in middle school to being in the front-row at football/basketball games in high school. I feel that I’ve always had to prove to my peers that I belong and am cool.
Now, I can sit here and complain about having to do so and all that, blah blah blah, but I’m not. If anything, I’m happy I grew up feeling this way. Its given me that chip on my shoulder that I’ve always meant to have and has helped bring out the competitive side in me throughout time.
Like anyone, I’ve grown up wanting to mean something to people and just matter. Not saying I have to have a following like a celebrity or anything remotely close to that, but just have always wanted to make people’s days better and basically, treat others the way I would want to be treated.
Feeling this way has helped shape the person I have been up to this point in my life. It’s challenged me, brought the worst and the best out of me, but more importantly, has built the confidence in me to be the person I have always meant to be. As I’ve said to my close friends recently, you haven’t seen who I truly am. No one has met the real John.
Throughout college (which I’m going to get into that here very soon) I’ve spent the last three years trying to make a legend out of myself. Well, not really myself, but Johndo. That’s a story for another time, but the name caught on very quickly when I first arrived in Athens, Ohio and sorta just went with it and ran.
Throughout these past three-years, I’ve tried to live life to the fullest and have the time of my life while doing so. Instead of doing that as John, I messed up and was going by a nickname I got from an old Machine Gun Kelly song. That being said, however, Ohio University, members of the Alpha Tau chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity and all the other friends I have met along the way have given me that time of my life so far and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Going into college, I felt like I would be one of those kids always looking for a party and trying to figure out what it is I’d do every weekend. Instead, I was the one who would be asked where the party is, if we’re doing anything tonight, so on and so forth. That’s what it’s been about for me, having a good time and making memories.
However, just like in life, you have your ups and unfortunately, have your downs. My down came fall semester of this past year. I wasn’t happy, felt like I was reaching for something that I shouldn’t have been and for starters, I stopped putting myself first. In addition, I got away from the one love that has never let me down, which is sports. I started getting away from them for the first time in my life and over time, it made me absolutely miserable.
Not going to sit here and say I was depressed because I know of those who really have struggled with that, but without a doubt, I was at the lowest point I have ever been in my life. That being said, with every down, there has to be an up, right?
Well, things started turning that way as soon as I came back from Christmas break for spring semester. It all started with the fraternity doing well and I finally could sit back, relax and let other people do the job that I had been doing for the past two and a half years and watch the growth. Then, the highlight of the semester came when Disney happened.
I grew up into Disney and once I started going through the application process, I knew I was destined for this opportunity. It’s ironic to sit here and say Disney is basically my life now, despite eight years ago, I was on a trip and told my mom I was bored of it. The resurgence in my passion for Disney was a gift and haven’t taken it for granted. As I’m about to start this seven month internship, I have one goal and one goal only. To excel. Which reminds me, I have to shoutout three important people that helped me get the internship and made the entire process as smooth as can be: Gabi Lenger, Kamryn Peters & Jillian Dzieciol. Without your help and guidance throughout this process, who knows what I’d be doing now.
Like I said though, life has its ups and downs, but at least for the short term, it’s been nothing but ups. Even though the Disney thing is a major up, my biggest up has been meeting and growing with the people in the picture below. *Chris, you’re not pictured here, but lord knows, you belong in this picture with us.
When I first step foot into Ohio, I knew of no one and no one knew me. I didn’t know what to expect and had no idea how the people would be like. Fast forward to today and I can confidently say I have found the best group of people I have ever been apart of. I say it’s the best group because of two things: 1. Never in my life have I been with a group as fun and down to earth as this one and 2. Never have I been with a group that has taught me so much and inspired me to grow without any of them really knowing their impact on me.
This past semester was the best 3-4 months of my life. Everyday was a ride, I experienced new things, got out of my comfort zone and it’s because of those experiences, that I’ve gain so much confidence in myself. Now, I’m going to explain how each and every single person made a positive impact on me over the past few months/years.
To Chris, you’ve been a real one since day one. It’s almost like someone took someone out of my hometown and brought it with me to OU. Our sports talks will never get old and I cherished every moment we spent together. Whether it was at your crib, the 6, the Summit, wherever. You exemplified my hooping side and was happy as hell I got to meet you. As we said the last time we saw each other, it’s been an honor and a privilege to call you my brother.
To Wilson, I will never forget my first year of college because of you. You and I were a duo and got each other right from the beginning and those memories will last us a lifetime. We’ve always been on the same wave when it came to going out or staying in and what not. Thank you for bringing me home with you that first Thanksgiving. Even though I was quiet, I appreciated that day so much and you will always be a brother to me no matter where we are in this world.
To Jarred, I’ll never forget that one day when we “walked” around Mill Fields and just hung out the first week or so of being at school. You’ve been about that smoke since day one and definitely brought out the little thug that I have in me. I missed you like crazy this past year at school and still do everyday. Thank you for showing me Cincy. I can stand here today and tell you I fuck with the vibe there and can see why you love it so much. Stay up bro.
To Shaylee, even though we didn’t hang out as much, but just seeing the projects you had to do all the time pushed me to want to be better in school. It made the work I had seem easier and made it even more possible for me not just to do the work, but to get it done right. I wish you nothing but the best at your job for the summer and keep on grinding!
To MK, you taught me that it’s ok to put yourself first. The way that you would grind day in and day out, while staying on your own schedule, going to the gym, studying, going to sorority functions, whatever it is, you made time for it because it’s what you wanted to do. As you can tell from this article, I wasn’t putting myself first and that’s what made me miserable in the end. Thank you for being a light and an inspiration.
To Shy, you taught me that it’s ok to sprint instead of walk. Beforehand, and I guess you can still say to this day, I’ve been one to say it’s a marathon not a sprint. You brought out a side to me I didn’t know I had and am happy you did. It’s only helped boost my ego and confidence. It kills me I won’t be at OU next semester to live in our house together. However, just know, if there is anything you need, I’m only a call away and will help you out with anything I possibly can.
And last, but certainly not least, to Austin. My man, I can’t thank you enough for all the experiences this past year. You got this lazy son of a gun off the couch and got me to hike, camp out and even go to a damn rodeo… Lol. All things I never thought I’d ever do, but accomplished all of it within a few short months with you. I’m going to miss you bro. I hope Alaska is a blast for you and live it up out there everyday. Thank you for all the good and real times together. It’s been an honor to call you a friend, but it’s been a privilege to call you a brother.
To all of you, I wish you all a happy, fun and safe summers. Keep being yourself and keep being great. You guys are the closest thing I’ve had to having a family of my own and because of that, I promise you all a trip to Disney World and am in the process of getting that going. Whenever that may be. So, I’ll be in touch here very soon. The title of this post reads “Time flies when you’re having Fun” because of you all, time has been flying.