Reflecting on 2014, and what I learned

What song did you really expect?

I’m not a resolution guy and I don’t believe I ever have been, though I could be skipping over some random New Year’s resolutions back in 1999 or 2002 or something. As a serious exercise I don’t think they make very much sense, but I know a lot of people enjoy them because it’s fun and a thing people traditionally do, which is cool, too.

I had vague accomplishments I shot for in 2014, notably to buy a car and move to a different casino. In July I got my first STi — a black 2005 I totaled three weeks later — and then I saved a little and bought a white ’04 in the middle of October. Since I was 19 I’ve had a thing for STi’s, but now that I own one I can say it is totally bitchin’ and I love it.

On the casino front, I dealt a solid 11 months out in Coachella, and truth be told I always liked dealing cards there and loved the dealers and floor I worked with. When the audition at Agua Caliente presented itself soon before Thanksgiving, I had to jump on it —  (a) because Agua is a great casino, and the dealers were always friendly from my experiences gambling there in the past; and (b) it is, simply, a better situation for me right now. It saves about 15 minutes on the drive to and from work, and most importantly, dealers make more money by two or three times compared to where I was. Now that I’m there, I’m not sure I could be any happier.

2014 wasn’t a bad or boring year for me, but since it went without any real drama or despair it wasn’t all that interesting. I can’t dress it up any more positively or negatively than that. I accomplished what I set out to accomplish, and I didn’t struggle or have any serious roadblocks along the way. (Okay, maybe when I crashed the first STi.) Now that I’m here, I’m just hungry to get further in 2015. I can’t appreciate it as much now because I expected it, to be here, and still I expect a lot more from myself. Which is why come December 31st, 2015, if I wrote an article similar to this one, I imagine it would keep with the same tepid, point blank tone.

What I learned:

I still love sports, but I don’t need sports

I think with my hours having changed this year, from Days to the 7PM-3AM swing-shift schedule I was on (that’s now morphed into a 2AM-10AM graveyard), I watched less Texas Rangers baseball, less Chiefs football, less Virginia Tech football and less Duke basketball since I was maybe 9 years old. Back then the games just weren’t as accessible, which was the only reason I didn’t catch as much action.

In the past my sports teams more or less dictated my schedule every day or week. It’s excusable to miss maybe 20-30 baseball games a year — it’s a long season —  a few basketball games a year and a football game a year. This year, with my work schedules interfering with my ability to see every pitch, every play, I’ve realized that’s… okay. It’s good to have shit to do. Sports are still my entertainment, but money is my priority and I guess I’m a smidge surprised that my priorities are in a better position than I thought. I could also have watched less because the Rangers and Hokies were so terrible, though.

Just be nice

This one is pretty straight-forward. It is the secret to humanity. My sophomore world history teacher, Mr. Butterfield, used to say don’t mistake kindness for weakness, but I never truly applied it to my life until maybe a couple-few years ago, as I used to act tougher as means to get my respect. I’m 24 now; shit’s cool; I get along with everybody. And of everything I might admit that’s my favorite aspect of myself right now.

Gambling is an overrated excuse to have fun

It didn’t stop me from going to the casino another 40 or so times to gamble in 2014. I think that number has steadily declined since 2012 — the year my best friend and I went probably 150 times — but I’m hoping it continues. I think Trey and I are both gamblers at heart, something that’s probably never going to change, but it’s a smarter business plan to make more money and gamble less. I still get the same feeling every time I’m on a table, that same rush, and I’d be fucking lying if I didn’t say I love that feeling. I can still be a gambler, but it doesn’t mean I have to gamble.

Personal blog vs. sports blog

I wrote a lot more in 2014, kind of getting back to my prime 2008-2011 roots. One of the benefits to being happy most of the time is being able to hone in on other things. I’m not just focused on the negatives (okay if it’s baseball it’s still negative most of the time). I enjoy writing about baseball, and being in the right place to write about baseball, the same as I like jotting down random bullshit about my life again. I still don’t know what my style is on here though: Sports writing for the emo fan? Or emo writing for the sports fan?

Either way, we all win… or we all lose; either way.

Happy New Year!

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