Passion

I work and occasionally play in a city that is broken. Detroit is full of abandoned buildings and broken homes. Despite articles from the big guys like New York Times and Forbes about Detroit’s resurgence all connotations surrounding Detroit are negative and shattered.

Detroit is turning around. Slowly, but it’s happening. A city that just a few months ago appeared to be a post apocalyptic world is springing up with new life.

To be in Detroit right now, a special passion is a must.

Cities like New York, and the San Francisco Bay are full to the brim with people who are passionate about tech, startups and the next big thing. They want to change the world, the way we communicate and the way we live.

Never would I ever say they aren’t passionate– because some of those people are my best friends who are accomplishing amazing things.

But Detroiters have a different kind of passion. We’re rooting for a team that no one else is on surrounded by millions of people who don’t believe in us and don’t care– but quite frankly I don’t care. I love this city, I believe in it and I know it will shine.

Every day I fall more in love with my job, the people that surround me and the experiences I’m having — all centered around this city. I can’t wait to prove everyone wrong.

Why I Care…

I care. A lot. Probably too much in some cases.

I care about your job, your childhood stories, your new puppy, your broken vacuum. Whatever. I just care.

Most people don’t understand why. The answer is simple really — you deserve it. If I’m lucky enough to have you in my life, I sure as hell want to keep you there. I’m lucky to have you — and I’ll care about you to the ends of the earth, because you deserve it.

I am so terribly grateful to have a world surrounded by incredible people who allow me to be in their lives. So I’ll listen to your story I’ve already heard about that stupid boy, or your crazy ex-girlfriend, because you deserve it, and because I want to. Because I care.

Life is so fucking fragile, and if we don’t care about those who are closest to us, we may regret it.

Listen, even if it bores you –

Laugh, even if it isn’t funny –

And dream, even if they aren’t yours to dream.

So go. Care and be cared about — but never forget to listen, laugh and dream.

Write the first sentence of your autobiography.

Before I talk to you about my nonexistent autobiography you need some background information. 

This book exists, as do a lot of books, but this one is special. It’s the Q and A a Day Five Year Journal.

It’s simple – you flip to today’s page in the book, and answer the question it asks you. You do this for five years. 

For example: On July 9th I’ll answer the question “Today was delightful because _____” for five years.

Which is cool, because once you complete one year of it, you’ll get to see what you thought a year ago and how you’ve changed.

Now— cue the Autobiography part.

June 20th says “Write the first sentence of your autobiography”

When faced with that task, a lot of things ran through my mind. It’s difficult, and by far the hardest task this book has thrown at me (I’m 8 months in).

My answer was simple, “I’ve always known I’ve led an enchanted life– not the fairy tale kind, but the kind where amazing things happen and I don’t know what I did to deserve them.”

There you have it. The first sentence of my autobiography that doesn’t exist.

It’s an incredible thing to realized and put into words. And I want you to do it.

I want you to buy this book, and have as much fun as I’m having. Hell, if you won’t buy it, I’ll buy it for you. Seriously, I love it that much.

Go do it. Now!

Security and Health

The Maslow’s heirarchy of needs classifies basic needs and their importance. Within these needs are things like food, which I touched on in my last post, health and property.

I don’t need to tell you twice that food, health and home are important. You’re not stupid– you know that as well as I do.

Security

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful home my entire life full of love, laughter, family and almost anything I could dream up. I’ve been given a lot in my life and I know how lucky that makes me.

I currently have two homes to call my own, one in Novi and a home in East Lansing.

I rarely visit East Lansing for many reasons but one thing that East Lansing has lost for me is a sense of security while I’m there.

With 3 sub-leasers, 2 of which I barely know, I feel like a stranger in my own home. Foreign faces surround me an ask me odd questions like ‘did you just move in?’ and ‘who are you?’ when those are things I want to be asking them.

Last night, with a party in full swing to celebrate someone I don’t know 21st birthday my laptop and Steve’s iPad were stolen. I’m not sure how it happened, but it’s assumed to be the friend of a subleaser who did the dirty work and well– people just suck, eh?

It’s scary knowing your things in your home aren’t secure. I’m not really upset about the laptop — it’s replaceable. I’m upset that I was in danger. Strangers in my home. Who knows what else could have happened — I’m so thankful everyone is ok.

But the realization that I don’t feel safe in my home, when I have two, made me see how scary it is for those who have no home, or ones that are unsafe.

I’m so lucky.

——

Health

Recently I signed up to be a bone marrow donation candidate. A lot of people told me how painful it is, but there is no amount of temporary pain too great to save a human life.

I may never be a match for someone, but someday I may be a match and will have the chance to help change a life.

I know that I’d certainly want a match if I’m ever in the situation where I need a bone marrow transplant, as would anyone.

So while I’m blessed with great health I want to try to help others. I may never be needed, but signing up and doing the hilarious cheek swab thing is step one. And it’s an easy one.

So think about it!

http://www.marrow.org

Be the match!

Ask and say “yes”

I graduated 5 short months ago, but in that time I’ve learned an incredibly important and valuable lesson. 

If you ask, people just might say yes.

I’ve found myself asking others for things — some small, some not so small. But people usually say yes– even if I assumed they wouldn’t.

This morning I was walking down a super sunny and crowded 4th Street in San Francisco headed to work when a homeless man approached me and asked me a question. Normally, I pass homeless people and almost pretend as if they aren’t there, but this man was different. He didn’t ask for money, or a cigarette. His request was simple and necessary.

Will you buy me breakfast?

I found myself 7/8 of the way to saying no, when I stopped and realized that buying this man breakfast will not only make his day, it will also make mine. I said yes and requested he pick the place.

We ducked into a little coffee shop, I instructed him to pick whatever he wanted, and we enjoyed OJ and toasted bagels together. 

Walking, chatting and providing a hearty meal for us opened my eyes. That $6 I spent on him will never impact me. But it’s one less meal he won’t have to worry about today — something I’ve never had to do.

So, ask. Even if you think the answer will be no, because sometimes people just may surprise you. 

Say yes. Even if it’s something you normally wouldn’t do. It’s good for you, and may just brighten your day.

30 Days of Letters

During the month of February I wrote a letter every day to someone in my life to thank them for all they have done for me.

I was initially inspired by a TED talk in which Matt Cutts tries new things for 30 days at a time.

I decided to embark on a 30 day journey of my own writing letters thanking people in my life who deserved to be thanked.

30 letters in total — It was easiest in the beginning. As each day passed I found myself growing to hate this task. I was writing letters to people in my life who I knew would love me regardless of this letter but I had everything mushed up in my brain. If I was writing someone a letter, I didn’t need to over think it – the fact that I was writing a letter spoke volumes as to what I thought about them. It didn’t need to be perfect, my handwriting didn’t need to be impeccable and I didn’t have to come to some profound realization — I only needed to be honest.

I’ve never felt more vulnerable.

I put myself out there 29 days in a row (I cheated on one day and sent two) and sometimes I was let down. The most frustrating aspect was the waiting. Mail takes time (who knew?) and it hit me hardest when I came to the realization that some people had received their letter without mentioning it to me. I’m not entirely sure what I expected —  I quickly changed my expectations.

I wrote these letters for me. It wasn’t a conversation. It wasn’t an email. I didn’t call asking them to call me back. I simply mailed 30 people in my life a letter and no response was necessary. Those who mentioned the letter weren’t the rule – they were the exception.

I know every letter hasn’t been delivered yet (because I can see two of them right now – I’m missing an address) but I love that I’m still able to hold on to this for a few more days.

I both hated and loved this simply because it challenged me. I inflicted vulnerability on myself by choice which is something I won’t do often in my life. I thanked incredible people and through this process I learned one simple thing — I’m blessed. Beyond blessed, even. I have 30 amazing people in my life who have helped shape who I am who I still remain in contact with today. The craziest part – I could send 15 more letters to 15 more people. I’m not alone. I’m graced with love, kind words and amazing sets of ears in my life and I could never thank anyone enough.

so thanks, to everyone – for this, that and the other thing.

Imagination

“I have found that – just in real life – sometimes imagination has to stand in for experience” – Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty

I’m flying home from San Francisco right now and I made a snap decision at those cheesy airport stores to buy the book.

I don’t know why I did it, considering I have a book, an iPad full of books i want to read and a laptop with me, but apparently I just didn’t have enough stuff to cart around.

That one sentence, which was on page two of the book, really struck a chord with me. I don’t know a lot, or much of anything, when I look at the grand scheme of things, but I do know I have a great imagination and that is the greatest gift i’ve ever been given.

If i can imagine anything, there is nothing to really stop me from anything.

Which leads me to this point in my life, right now. I’m here. I am imaging GREAT things and i’m making them happen. I love my life and thank my lucky stars every day for what I’ve been blessed with. I couldn’t possibly be happier, and I don’t know how often I’ll be able to say that in my life.

I’ve been working on thanking my lucky stars, and on February 29th I’ll tell you exactly what that incredibly vague statement alludes to. I promise.

 

Close

I’m close. Dangerously close. I’m sitting in room 158 in the Natural Resources Building (you know, the one with the random polar bear) finding myself in my last class as an undergraduate. After this class with a professor who I don’t even know the name of I’ll never sit through class again.

Two exams and an essay about my internship for credit separate me from a degree.

Three and a half years ago I was a different person. I had no clue where my life would end up and I couldn’t even wrap my mind around the fact that I wouldn’t be in college forever.

I’ve changed for the better and its the people I’ve encountered during my 7 semesters here that have shaped me into the person I am today.

I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be headed, but I do know I’m ready.

All semester I’ve whined and complained about my early walk across that stage in the worlds most unflattering hat, but the night before the first day of class this semester, Ben Bator told me “it’s better on the other side” and I’m ready to cross that line.

I don’t need to know what I’ll be doing 5 years from now.

I just know that I’m happy right now. And that is what’s important.

Freshman Year | Armstrong Hall

Roommate: Casey Schipper

Sophomore Year | Abbot Hall

Roommate: Casey Schipper

Junior Year | 325 Linden

Roommates: Ashley Benson, Chelsey Frank,

Abi Cardelli + Allie Manchel

Senior Year | 325 Linden

Roommates: Jenna Stoewsand, Casey Schipper,

Ari Gould + Abi Cardelli

So close or close. take it how you chose. I’m so close to closing a door. But I know may more will be quick to open.

7 Billion

There are now 7 billion people in the world.

If the entire world was a single city that was as densely populated as New York we would all fit into the state of Texas.

If every person was stacked on top of one another our height would be 30x that of the distance from Earth to the Moon. That’s really tall.

But I suppose I don’t particularly care the population has hit 7 billion. What I don’t understand is how I’m me.

I’m really going to try and explain this to you, but its confusing, so bear with me.

For years (i mean years, i can remember worrying and thinking about this from the age of 11) I’ve wondered how I’m me. How did I get in my body and how do people in my life go on living their lives while I’m not with them? Do they just stop what they are doing when I’m not around? How do people interact when I can’t see it, and why are the people in my life there?

I JUST DON’T GET HOW I WAS PUT IN MY BODY?! Who decided who I was going to be? Will life go on after I die? Is the true end of the world the day I die and 12/12/12 (or whatever day people seem to think is the end of the world next) is my death date and because I’m dying everyone else dies?

Now, don’t get me wrong, clearly I don’t think the world and it’s existence revolves around me, but I’m only in my body so naturally after HOURS of thinking about this that is one of my conclusions.

I never tell people I wonder this, as part of me thinks I’m a serious weirdo for thinking about this, but I can’t be the only one.

I’m one of 7 billion now, but there is something different about me than the other 7 billion people in the world. I’m the only me. And you’re the only you. And that is just so weird.

I understand this even less than I understand what goes on in a dishwasher, or how gas pumps know how to stop.

Tigers: The best of the mediocre?

The Tigers are in first place. They lead the Cleveland Indians by a half-game. They have played 92 games.

A ton of super confusing calculations conclude that if the Tigers stick with this pace, they will finish the season with 86.2 wins and 75.8 losses. That’s not great. They will win the division by 0.88 games. Also not great.

That would be unprecedented. Maybe baseball should just join the club and have a lockout. But then we would have to watch boring things. Like watching paint dry, or water boil, or grass grow.

Or….
Soccer.

Kidding.

How on earth did the Tigers get to this point?

There are probably 92 reasons why, but I’ll stick with two.

Justin Verlander is the bomb.
Or phat. Or ill. Or dope. Or whatever random word people use these days for “unbelievably good.”

Seriously, Verlander is ridiculous.

In his past seven starts, he has allowed four earned runs. Total.

In 20 starts, he allowed:

  • zero runs five times
  • one run five times,
  • two runs twice
  • three runs seven times

In his other start, Verlander allowed six earned runs. But that might have been a typo.
He is so good that even when he hits a batter, the umpire doesn’t believe it. Really, if he had hit Alcides Escobar any more squarely Sunday, there would have been an exit wound.

Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball. Without him, we would be in a three-way fight for second place with the White Sox and Twins.

The AL Central is not the AL East
At this point, the AL Central is not even the AL West.

But the Tigers would be in solid contention  in the West. In the East, the Tigers would drowning in forth place. Seven games behind New York and six behind Boston.

Every team in the Central is flawed. Just look:

Cleveland isn’t allowed to win anything. (If they were, LeBron would have stayed.)

Every player on the Twins is out for the season. (Seriously, all of them).

The White Sox have a designated hitter who is hitting 24 points lower than Brandon Inge, has 17 more strikeouts than Austin Jackson and gets booed 10 times louder than Granderson playing for the Yankees at Comerica Park.. ( “24” and “17” are legit, but “10” is made up. It is pretty damn close, though).

The Tigers are far from a perfect team. 

But they have been good enough in enough areas of the game at one time — all the time — to be in first place at the break. They may have just the sixth-best record in the American League. But that still makes them the best team in the Central.

For now.

Of course, they will have to be a bit better in the second half to win the division.

Seriously, there is no way 86.2 wins is going to be enough.

They will have to win AT LEAST 87.