Another Birthday

My birthday seems to roll into my world carried by an existential fog that compels me to sit back, reflect and compose my thoughts. Basically for my own edification. That’s what silly personal blogs are for, right?

It’s a bit overwhelming to actually reflect on the last year of my life, since so many large things have changed. I have moved into my own apartment, a great little one room I posted pictures of last week, I’ve found (and left) a great job that I never thought I would have a chance at, and I’m looking at my future in a way that I never really have before. It’s actually hard to compare my 20th year with my 21st year.

What my workstation tends to look like, at night.

After an internship at a think-tank last summer (where I discovered I am not one for regular office work) I went back to working design and communication work at a nearby church, while doing freelancing work on the side. By the end of the year I had landed an opportunity to work with a very cool company called Element Fusion, where I enjoyed working for the first part of this year. Now I’m back to freelancing, although now full time, and I’m very happy about that.

When I say freelancing, I mean that I make websites for awesome people. I try to write when I can, but oftentimes it’s just design and code.

My favorite photo from our one pictures, taken by our friend Trent.

Ah, the girl. I’m lucky enough to be celebrating two years with my girlfriend Ashley in just a few days. The picture above is one of my favorites from the set of photos our friend Trent took for us to celebrate our one year together. Since then I’ve visited her family a couple of more times, she has met more of mine, she has joined the flock on Twitter (for better or worse), and she actually hasn’t gotten tired of me yet. Go figure.

Ashley made this for me for my birthday. nom-nom-nom

Ashley was wonderful enough to create what you see here (above) for my birthday this week. It was an apple cheesecake, and it was spectacular.

Hot or cold (and wet), she loves it in there.

The other lady in my life, my cat Indie, is now about one and a half years old, and as cute as ever. She’s made herself at home in my apartment, especially enjoying her time on the top of the refrigerator, in the dryer, or now, lately, hiding in the entertainment center behind the cable box. She claims that it’s warm, but I just think she likes unplugging cables when Ashley’s trying to play Wii or watch TV.

Shot this with my iPhone at an awesome coffee house in Peoria, Illinois.

Shot this with my iPhone at an awesome coffee house in Peoria, Illinois.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot, working full time for myself so far this year. There is still a lot that, while I think I do know it, I need to remind myself of more often. I’m doing much better at managing my time (read: managing distractions) and getting things done (read: one small thing at a time), although there is still a lot that I would really like to do. There is a site or two that I would like to try my hand at, and I love the idea of being a part of some sort of digital publication. Perhaps these things must wait.

When it comes to the distant horizon I find myself, this year, seeing things a bit different than last year. Last year I was happy to be a part of a church, at least in some way, and was fond of the idea of pursuing something church-like in the future. Right now it’s not really something I think about, nor something I find myself very passionate about. Last year I was realizing more and more that the web was going to be a large part of my life and how I would make a living. This year I realize it may hold all of the living that I want to make. And in the most general of terms (since this is, of course, a public blog that anyone could stumble upon and read) I find myself no longer afraid to question things that I once was afraid to, and more than ever willing to push myself beyond the comfort limits I used to have.

A shot of me with my new specs and haircut, taken by Ashley in the backseat of a car.

The picture above is me, taken a few hours ago by Ashley after checking out a local band (the Homeless J) playing at a local benefit. Notice the new specs I mentioned a few weeks ago, finally in, and a stylishly awkward in-between hair length that only the distant promise of beautiful long curly locks can deliver.

There are lots of things that come to mind when I reflect on the past year. I love my new desk, and I’m pretty psyched about the color orange surrounding me all the time. I also made the switch to the Mac this year, and picked up a new iPhone this summer to boot. I find my note taking habits and storage of information transformed by Evernote, and the way I process and get things done greatly helped with tools like Omnifocus. And if I’m sitting here in a year, or someplace half as cool, I’ll be pretty happy knowing that I must have gotten something right.

Happy birthday, me.

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2 thoughts on “Another Birthday

  1. You certainly have been through a lot of changes this year, some that you listed and others you haven’t. As cliche as it may sound, the good and the bad have helped you to grow. And no, I haven’t gotten tired of you!

    May we celebrate more of your birthday’s together.

    Love,
    Ashley

  2. Ryan.
    My name is Eduardo, and I am an pastor from Brazil, we all love the logo you did for the burning light ministries, can we use the Icon (flame) in our church logo in Brazil? It would be a blessing to us.
    Thks!

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