The year of 2014 took me through a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, and adventures. From losing the woman I loved most to landing an incredible new job at WBI and moving from Orange County to San Diego; I wouldn’t change a thing if it meant I couldn’t be where I am today. As I look at the next 365 days of my life, there is still so much unknown as to what the future will bring. But one thing is for sure… These 15 things are but a small fraction of what I’m most looking forward to in 2015.
1. Moving Into My Own Place
I’ve grown up in the Orange County bubble my entire life. All of my family, friends, support systems, church, and memories have been in OC. However, when I was approached about a job opportunity in San Diego back in August 2014, I was ready for a change. The only thing that was holding me back would have been myself. I was so thankful for two of my best friends who lived in Spring Valley that let me live with them through the end of the year. They had one and a half year old twin girls, so I got to play “Uncle André.” All I have to say is that this was birth control in itself. This January, I will officially be moving into my own apartment in the East Mission Valley area (close to Qualcomm Stadium). I’m super pumped for this transition. Where do I pay for a live-in chef?
2. Turning 25
I’m already at a quarter of a century?! So crazy. March 1, 1990, was when it all began. That’s right, I’m a 90s baby. I will legally be able to rent a car without having to pay any extra fees. I’m also crossing my fingers that my car insurance premium goes down… and hoping that all of my previous speeding tickets magically disappear from my record. I haven’t planned anything for my birthday yet. However, I do have a few friends already hinting at some ideas and saying it will be the best one yet, but that unfortunately I won’t be remembering any of it.
3. The Growth of WBI
I was hired on as the REDcareers Sales & Support Representative back in August. With a solid four months of learning the ropes under my belt, I’m excited to help take REDcareers to a level it’s never been before. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be a part of such an innovative, stimulating, and successful company like WBI. We’ll be looking to build our team this year with the hiring of other talented and like-minded individuals. Bringing on new hires means the company is growing and moving in a positive direction. Also, the long anticipated wait is over. The official launch of WingWire will take place this year and the real estate industry will never be the same.
4. February 1, 2015
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of when WBI was founded. I know I’m the newest team member, but I am constantly blown away with all of the accomplishments that Casey and Corey have achieved throughout the years. I am in awe of their vision for this company, their work ethic to help get us to where we are today, and their servant leadership that they exemplify each and every day. We also wouldn’t be where we are today without our awesome team; each member serving an integral role in this company. I can honestly say that each morning I look forward to coming into work knowing that great things are in our future. Those of you who have been to a WBI party in the past know that we don’t mess around when it comes to celebrations, and February 1st will not disappoint.
5. Having My Brother As My Roommate
Who knew that our sibling rivalry growing up would one day bring us back together under the same roof? Except this time we’re out on our own. My brother, Bryan, is 18 months younger than I am (he got the height, but I got the looks). He has been working as an EMT for the last 2 years in Orange County and came to me in December saying that he is interested in transferring to the San Diego County department. Looks like I found my new roommate, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to pay the majority of our rent, do my laundry, cook my meals, and clean up our place! Can’t wait to live with one of my best friends.
6. Church and Community
I’m an outspoken and grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I grew up in a household that practiced Christian values and taught me the importance of being a man of integrity. Am I perfect? The farthest thing from it. I mess up all the time. I went through the motions and didn’t fully believe what I was taught up until about two years ago when my life got turned upside down. Each day proves to bring its own challenges and struggles. Since making my move to San Diego, I’m excited to get plugged into a new church home (I’ve been checking out The Rock, Journey, and Flood), joining a small group, and building strong relationships with other believers. I’ve learned to take things one day at a time, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing in 2015.
7. Wedding Season
I’ve already been invited to five weddings taking place in 2015, and I’ve been asked to be a groomsman in two of them. Both of the ones that I’m in are in May. Bring on the bachelor parties, free rehearsal dinner and wedding reception meals, paid time off, and expensive tuxedo rentals. Consider this my request for the entire month of May off from work.
8. FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015
The real “fútbol” fans will be made known this summer when we all tune in between June 6th and July 5th to watch the women show us their skills on the pitch. Let’s see how many of the bandwagoners from last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil hop on this time around. On July 10th, 1999, Brandi Chastain scored the final penalty kick to give the United States the dramatic win over China in the final World Cup match. I was only nine years old, but seeing Chastain pull off her jersey and fall to her knees in her sports bra is an image that can’t be unseen. “I believe that we will win!”
9. The First Annual College Football Playoff Championship Game
Mark your calendars for January 1st and January 12th as these two days will go down in history as the first time we have ever seen a playoff system in college football. This has been a topic of discussion for many years, and we finally get to see it in full effect. To bring in the New Year we have two semi-final games on January 1st where we’ll see No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State followed by No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State. The two winners will face each other in an epic showdown on Monday, January 12th. I have to stick with my PAC-12 on this one… “SCO Ducks!”
10. The Travel Bug
In my (almost) 25 years of life, I have yet to leave the country except for a few trips to Mexico. In all honesty, I don’t see that changing this year. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t still visit familiar or new places. I have family in Arizona and am starting off the New Year with a trip to see them. In fact, I am actually posting this blog from the Phoenix area. I also have family in Colorado and am planning on taking a few days to visit them in April. Throw in a wedding up near the San Jose area, Keller Williams Family Reunion in Orlando, and a long overdue trip to Las Vegas… and we’re only in May! Stoked to see what the rest of the year looks like.
11. Back-to-Back Office Football Pool Champion
Each year we do a snake-draft and pick teams that we keep all year. We pick them as a “winner” or a “loser” for the whole season. For every win that a “winner” gets, you get a point. For every loss that a “loser” gets, you get a point. You cannot change the winner/loser designation at all throughout the season. This season I picked the Cleveland Browns to lose (7-9), the Jacksonville Jaguars to lose (3-13), the San Francisco 49ers to win (8-8), the Tennessee Titans to lose (2-14), and the Pittsburgh Steelers to win (11-5). It’s pretty fun… Especially if you win. With a total of 55 points, you’re looking at the 2014 champion right here and I’m coming back in 2015 with more confidence than ever to hold on to the title.
12. Special Olympics: Los Angeles 2015
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for those with special needs. Being an athlete myself, I am so encouraged by the incredible athletes that turn out every four years. The last time the Special Olympics was held in the United States was in 1999 in Raleigh, NC. It’s taking place this year from July 25th through August 2nd, and there will be 7,000 athletes from 170 nations competing in 25 Olympic-type sports. I’m currently looking into ways of volunteering at this event (I’m pushing for a Thankful Thursday), but either way, you can count on me to be cheering loud and proud as these Olympic athletes pursue their dreams!
13. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Don’t mind me as I geek out over this for a second. But come on, 38 years after it’s initial release date, Star Wars keeps coming back for more… and so do I. (Van, how was it seeing the first movie, “A New Hope,” in the theaters?) This comes out in December so I pretty much have to wait an eternity for it. But as long as I don’t have to see Carrie Fisher in a tiny gold bikini this time around, then I’m good.
14. Friendships and Family
As I look back at the last year, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the constant love, support, and encouragement from those closest in my life. They have helped get me through some very dark times, and have also celebrated with me in my victories. In 2015, I plan on being much more intentional with those relationships. By spending quality time, engaging in meaningful conversations, giving generously, and affirming daily, I hope to be a blessing to them all as they have been to me. I also look forward to building new friendships in San Diego and can’t wait to make some awesome new memories this next year.
15. Professional and Personal Growth
I consider it a huge honor to have been hired into a leadership position at WBI. I also know that this comes with a lot of responsibility. This year I plan on stretching myself to be the best that I can be in the areas of business and sales. The app “Audible” is amazing for people who don’t like to read, like myself, but don’t mind listening to audio books. I look forward to learning from experts in these areas through multiple books this year (not just because we’re incentivized and paid for each book we listen to, although that plays a small factor). Personally, since I will be a bachelor living on my own with my brother, I want to grow in the areas of cooking, cleaning, and handiwork. Those of you that know me well will understand that the simple act of picking up a spatula would be a huge improvement on my cooking skills in itself.
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