Embarrassingly Overdue Update: I’m Alive
Hello there to my loyal readers: my Mom on her laptop and my Mom on her iPad! It’s been too long, way too long. I’ve almost forgotten how to come on here and post something that actually has a point. Going to try and knock the rust off over the next few paragraphs.
I’ll get to the most pressing issue first: Yes, I will be continuing Texagon despite the fact I’m no longer in Oregon and the “GON” portion of this blog title is now forever ruined. I should’ve concepted a more long-term title when I began this thing but here we are. Now you know why brand strategists get paid a lot to do what they do, and I am not one of them.
Who likes undated, summer photobooth pics in a disheveled guest bedroom?
Next, I shall give you an exhilarating run down of what I did since moving back to the Big D EFF DUB.
- Visited my sister in Nashville on two separate occasions.
- Got romantic at Stu’s wedding.
- Went to Japan and South Korea for two weeks.
- I took a lot of selfies in Japan (I was by myself, forgive me).
- Visited Grandparents from both sides of the family.
- Spent time telling friends back home everything I’m telling you now.
- Redesigned a professional portfolio and portfolio site for myself.
That’s pretty much it. Sprinkle in long walks around my hometown, lounging by the pool, a few job interviews, patting my dogs’ heads profusely, and murdering my Dad’s liquor cabinet and you will have the full story of my life post-Portland.
I start my new job on Monday as a senior designer for Top Golf along side my fellow bro designer Carter Martin who demanded I work there and overpaid me by 40 grand to make it so (I kid). I got myself a new ride last week, and I just got approved for a super rad apartment (tiny photo) today that I will be moving into in a couple weeks.
So things are exciting. Life has me excited. I did drink 7 red bulls today but that is not the point on why I’m excited. I did mention in my “I’m leaving Portland" post that I desired to settle in Fort Worth. Long term, I still do, but short term I know living in Dallas is a better plan. Career-wise, there’s too much opportunity in Dallas to pass up versus the very limited design opportunities in Fort Worth at the moment. That could change in 5-10 years but right now The Lord has paved a way for me to get established with good community in Dallas.
That is a point I can’t state enough. God has been so good to me during this transitional period back home. I remember when I got to my house after my one-way flight from Portland. I sat there and thought to myself, this isn’t a temporary vacation this time around. It’s long term. I had one life in Portland with life-long friends and amazing community at work and church, but all that was in the past now. I may never see some of those people again, and I felt numb and sad as I realized how permanent things now were.
But The Lord picked me up, showing me over the course of all these weeks how precious these past five months have been. I may never get a time in my life like that again where I can spend five months having strong conversations with my Dad on the back patio, or sharing dinner with my Mom and younger brother several times a week. I got to travel and see other parts of the world, understanding their way of life and struggles. I helped lead a small men’s bible study that opened my eyes to the needs of close friends right around me. If all that isn’t enough, God provided a job for me along side a good friend who has already invited me to visit his church in Dallas.
I could go on and on, but I know I will look back at the summer of ‘14 and have nothing but thanksgiving for The Lord. It started with an empty feeling, but is ending with all my needs fulfilled as the next chapter of my life begins next week. It’s been quite an extended break, but I’m ready to have a normal routine again. I desire to be surrounded by close friends that I love and can do life with daily, just as I had in Portland.
I will leave you with this word about staying on the lit path amongst uncertainty:
"(6) God "will give to each person according to what he has done." (7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality he will give eternal life."
GOING AWAY PARTY FESTIVITIES
Hello all. I know I threw this on Facebook earlier this week, but in case you missed it here’s the hilariously awesome video Ryan, Braden, and co. put together to send me off to Texas. To be clear, Ryan interviewed me about a number of my Portland experiences to get all this audio from me. I had no idea what he or anyone was doing with it until they unveiled this puppet performance in front of everyone at the going away party. I don’t have the words to really convey how appreciative I am for this. It took a lot of creativity, time, and personal sacrifice to pull it together.
Some of you may be wondering, so did you get to keep the puppet? That answer is yes, and the mini Blake is currently being shipped back to DFW and will arrive within the next couple of weeks. I cannot wait to dress him up for the summer and take him on walks to Taco Cabana.
In addition to this, the talented Amy Graves was kind enough to shoot photos at the going away party photo booth. All of these have been uploaded to Flickr HERE (a few examples below).
Feel free to check them out and save whichever ones you want. I’ve browsed them all and there’s one thing I would say about them, I badly needed some sun. Thankfully I got burned pretty good during my first couple of days back in Texas.
Thank you all again for everything! Texas is going well but I miss my fellow pale Portland friends.
This voicemail from my G-Mom is pure gold. It has everything: despair that I can’t drink milk with her cookies, an emphatic “YAYYY” that I’m about to be back in Texas, and a legitimate nod to my passion for Chili’s. She sent this the day before I flew back to Texas, and I’m honored to post it. Enjoy.
The Last Page of the Chapter
The last page of the chapter. That’s what these next five weeks are for me in 97214. In short, my time in Portland is done. It almost feels surreal to type that, but I’m sure I will feel many surreal things between now and March 10th. I’m going to save a sappy goodbye post for later, but for now I’m just going to discuss reality.
I was 23 when I first got to Portland in 2008, and I couldn’t have cared less at that time where this journey was going to take me. My life then revolved around landing a job at Nemo, finding community, and getting stabilized. Eventually I had those things, and then was able to settle into a steady routine out here. At that point, as much as I enjoyed Portland in a lot of ways, I could tell that my stay here was probably not permanent.
Driving a U-Haul to Portland in the spring of ‘08.
The only thing that would’ve kept me here longer term is probably marrying someone from here. You know how that story would usually play out. You marry someone where you move, you end up having kids and starting a family together, her family is already from there, and then boom…before you know it, this is now where you call home. It happened to my Dad as a matter of fact. He came to Texas from Ohio for college, he met my Mom, he married my Mom, and then they had my sister and I. Next thing you know, it’s been 30+ years later and my Dad is a Texan. He still loves Ohio, but he’s not going back.
I was certainly open to that playing out for me as well, but it isn’t and it won’t. I love my home back in Texas, and if it was up to me I would’ve eventually ended up back there regardless of my family situation. I love the people there. I love the relatability. I love the lifestyle. I love the BBQ. I love the Tex-Mex. I love the familiarity. I love being closer to friends and family. But most of all, I love that it’s home. I desire to be there until I die, and I can’t say that about Portland or anywhere else for that matter.
There’s a time when you let things play out. You’re feeling like a change might be coming but you need to see more to be sure. And then there comes a time to pull the trigger. The situation is what it is, and you either embrace that whole-heartedly or you re-rack and go for something else. I was in the “let things play out” stage exactly one year ago, and it’s a year later now and the trigger has been pulled. I’ll be in Dallas by early March and I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t have time to list all the reasons why not Portland and why yes Texas, but I do know is this is the right move at the right time and long term I’m going to be happier.
I don’t have a graphic design job lined up back home and at this point I don’t even care. That will come, and when it does I’ll be back to the grindstone. For now, I’m going to go home, travel internationally for a couple weeks and decompress, and then spend some time with family before ramping up my portfolio/interview efforts. I’ll be in the ‘burbs for a little while before hopefully making Fort Worth my permanent hub. I love that city, and I want to commit to it. That’s another long post in itself that I won’t bother with right now.
As excited as I am, this decision was obviously extremely difficult. The Lord has provided such a great work family and church family that setting all that down for something else was something I agonized over for an entire year. My community here has been unbelievable, and I know I have been loved. There are many things about Portland I will miss when I’m back home, and I know I will never experience what I had here again. From a great job at Nemo, to a great church at Door of Hope, to Undertow art shows, to experiencing Ryan and Mary’s new daughter Calvary, to learning to snowboard, to Mancation, to seeing a gorgeous part of the world…the list does not end. Well, I guess it technically does…
…Because in the end I couldn’t fake it any longer. My heart isn’t here, and it’s not anywhere except Texas. It’s been six years that I don’t deserve and that I will cherish forever, but I know now what I suspected back when I first got here. My stay here was in fact not permanent.
I’ll sign off with this quote that wraps everything with a nice little bow:
“Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.” – Donald Miller
FAKE-CONFUSING TYPOS WITH STU: PART VI
I’ve got a rather large backlog of these, so here’s six new ones. As always, here’s how it works:
My close friend Stu and I keep in touch daily while working via iChat. It’s a pleasure really, talking about each other’s lives, sports opinions, work-related things, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes typos occur in this format, and we’re both always ready to pretend to be totally confused by each other’s mistakes.
This is the sixth installment, and I’ve got more installments ready to go after this one. Sadly, the more I’ve saved the more I’ve realized Stu makes 90% of the mistakes. Oh well, enjoy anyway. If you want to circle back here’s the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth installments of “fake-confusing typos with Stu”.
Let this be a reminder to think twice before you make rash decisions about the sacred Taco Bell hot sauce packets that are resting in the fruit bowl.
Hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas holidays. I haven’t written as much as I’d like to lately on here, but I’m excited to tackle some stuff when I get the chance. In the mean time, I wanted to take a sec to share a pretty rad gift Ryan got me for my birthday.
It was in fact my golden birthday yesterday (29 on the 29th) and Ryan snagged me a pair of the Nike Air Trainer SC High’s in the Ohio State colorway. That’s not all of course. He made a “GOLDEN” graphic that he lasered both onto the box lid as well as on the side of the shoe, which you can see in some of the detail images.
The standard details themselves are pretty cool as well, including the Block O on the outsole and the buckeye leaf pattern on the sock liner. Pretty stoked in here obviously, as you can tell by the fact I staged a quick photoshoot of the shoes in the middle of my living room. Hope you all enjoy my coffee table as much as the shoes themselves.
Thanks Ryan, much appreciated and I’ll get you back next year when I doodle your name on some pretty cool Gravity Defiers.
On Sunday I went on another #sensitivewalk and saw this breathtaking clearing of the Willamette through the trees of this heavenly Spanish chateau. I decided to lay a Pendleton blanket down in the yard to take some photos for my scrapbook. I even waved to the homeowners as I got out my Bryan Adams playlist and 4-pack of wine coolers. Three of those wine coolers were eventually confiscated as I was placed into a squad car 15 minutes later.
Had a great time in Bend over the weekend. This was definitely the best photo from the trip. #frienderbender
"UGHH….GEEZ I CAN’T JUST SMELL YOU I CAN TASTE YOU!!!" Cool Water, still a crowd pleaser. Well done #Nemoween. (at Nemo Design)
I generally hate a sappy sad sad post, but my parents had to put Bruno to sleep yesterday. I promised him a final tribute ‘gram. I will miss his round head and cocky demeanor. RIP little buddy. #englishbulldog
Yowzas, I haven’t Texagon’d in a while.
Blame me having to move, me having to travel, and me being so distracted by the greatness of flushable wet wipes. It seems like it took me a good month to get everything finalized and situated in my new apt in the SE, which was easily the most brutal move I’ve ever endured. Call me stupid for not realizing my two full, walk-in closets in my apt in the NW were not going to fit in my 6ft by 2ft closet in my new spot, but practical thinking has never really been my forté – except when it comes to using flushable wet wipes of course. In light of those I’ve never been so good at doing something so practical.
Anyway, I won’t go on a long schpeel (a word?) about my current life situation, but I did want to drop by and show a pulse to my two readers: my Mom at work and my Mom at home. I’m writing right now with a half-buzzed beard because my clipper battery just died. It is currently charging and who knows if I can finish the job tonight. Luckily I work at total bro-fest design firm where I can show up in overalls with a hockey mask if I so choose to. I dressed like a woman one day and it was actually celebrated by HR.
Fall in Portland has begun. Well, technically fall everywhere in North America has begun (is this factually correct) but it’s gravely apparent when fall begins here. You know this because everyones’ skin tone turns the equivalent of provolone cheese and all those neon RVCA tank tops are swapped out for tombstone-colored Patagonia down jackets. It’s nice to wear some different clothes for a little bit, but I did say a little bit. Meaning like a month or two, not nine of them…but what are you gonna do. I’m here and I guess I will deal with it until Jeff reaches his breaking point and finally fires my arse for whistling too flamboyantly again during a critical conference call. After that I would sell all my crap that doesn’t fit into this closet anyway and skip off to the Caribbean to open a touristy t-shirt shop and put life on cruise control.
I’ve thought about this, those tourist apparel shops must make a killing because they’re fairly cheap and always in a prime shopping location. Do you have any idea how terribly designed 99.9% of all those tees and hoodies are? I will tell you, they’re terrible. Imagine if a human who has design skills started making tourist tees that actually look good for the same price. Suddenly that tourist shop wouldn’t be cliché, but legitimately fashionable.
I’d call the store “Blade’s Tees & Tacos”. Except I wouldn’t sell any tacos at all, it’d just be a front to sell flushable wet wipes at the counter so that everyone that came in looking for tacos would be like, “Dang man, I came here for tacos, but before I actually get some I better stock up on these flushable wet wipes just to make sure I’m prepared…Oh and look at all these excellently designed t-shirts!”
coming to you live, post-shower in front of my inadequate closet of Portland flannel.
Got asked to design a flag with a “Portland theme” for the Art Takeover event sponsored by Factory North and the Timbers Army. Fair enough, stay safe Portland cyclists. (at Nemo Design)
Listen up peeps. My fellow dude @stuctaylor and I are throwing a rad contest for our second installment of #2DudesAndaGame. It starts a week from today on Aug 1, so be on the lookout for how you can win a giant sign of your face at the UCLA/Nebraska game in Lincoln this year. #botoxmeetscornstalks