7 Days Later

Being home feels weird. 

I'm not 100% sure what I expected, but ever since I returned to Ohio it all just feels like "business as usual". I was ready to field an endless number of questions from friends and family, but very few people have even asked me about the trip. In many ways, it kind of feels as if the whole thing was some sort of dream I had, since so much remains unchanged. I did manage to organize 12 months' worth of receipts and tax forms though. So, I'm well aware that it really did happen. 

Then again, since I'm in that weird lull between ending our journey and beginning the next chapter of my life, perhaps I'm just getting anxious about things. I'm definitely ready to get myself a car, a new apartment and hit the ground running. Yet, here I am waiting and waiting and waiting. I have made a lot of progress over the past week, but it just doesn't feel like enough. 

The thing that makes it so stressful for me is that I'm heading back to Charlotte for a week to visit with my brother. While I'm excited to spend some time with my family, I already know it will be a lot of wondering and worrying on my part. Every time I find myself sitting for more than an hour, I just kind of feel as if I'm wasting time. 

I know this isn't the most eventful of updates, but I do want to keep everyone abreast of how things are going as I readjust back into the "non-traveling-every-month" lifestyle. So, stay tuned as I continue my job hunt and all that good (and surely exciting) stuff. 

-Steve-

Day 390 (aka Christmas)

Merry Christmas everyone (who celebrates Christmas)!

This is actually the second time I’ve spent this holiday away from my family. The first one happened the year I moved to NYC. Since I arrived in the city at the end of November, I thought it kind of silly to pack up and fly home a few weeks later—plus it cost an arm and a leg. I spent the day wandering around Times Square, which was completely empty. Let me tell you; it was a sight to behold. I bet very few people out there have ever seen Times Square without thousands of people mulling about. It was actually a really special moment, because there was a light snow coming down and the weather was just perfect. It’s an image I’ll never forget. Though I followed that up with a visit to this random diner in Queens and the food ended up making me sick. So, I like to chalk the whole thing up as a wash.

But despite its flaws, I’ve decided to try for a similar adventure today. This afternoon I’m going to walk around Market Street in the Financial District, as I assume it’ll be rather empty as well. I then plan on picking out a new movie to see (I say new, because I ended up watching The Interview online yesterday) and heading to one of the city's many diners to chow down. Hopefully, my stomach will be more forgiving this time around.

Those are my plans for the day and I’m sure they’re far different than yours. I just ask that whatever you’re doing today—whether celebrating or not—enjoy it. Every holiday is unique and you should never let it pass you by just because things don’t go as planned.

Merry Christmas everyone,

-Steve-

Day 246

Sorry to get a bit personal today, but I feel this is a blog I should’ve written awhile ago.

I have so many people to thank for making this project the success it is. From sponsors and agencies to friends and family, so many incredible individuals have helped me along the way and I will always be grateful to every single one of them. And yes, that includes those I haven’t even met yet. But above everyone else, I need to send the biggest "thank you’"of all to my parents, John and Connie Taylor.

You see, I’ve led a very interesting life and they’ve always supported me at every turn. Whether it was my attempt to become a multi-sport superstar as a child or something as simple as dying my hair neon orange, they always let me be who I am. Hell, in high school, they even did the unthinkable and let my band takeover their house on a daily basis—something that surely would’ve cracked the brains of some other parents. When all was said and done, they endured it for nearly three years and never once asked us to “keep it down.”

But the things they did for that band go far beyond anything I could’ve imagined. They got us a van, so we could travel to and from our gigs. They funded a large majority of our studio time, when we decided to record an album. They helped us get the equipment we needed and always kept a fully stocked pantry for us. They provided endless feedback and criticism and never once questioned our worrisome fashion choices. With all their help, we were able to thrive as a regional band and ended up creating a lot of memories we won’t soon forget.

Now, I should also mention that my parents aren’t rich. But for as long as I’ve known them—pretty much my entire life, I’d say—they’ve always worked extremely hard to ensure my brother and I had a good life. They went well out of their way for us and that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay. Yet, I do want them to know that the work ethic I have is a direct result of growing up under their influence. And that's especially true for my dad, who has always worked harder and longer than anyone else I know—and still does to this day. It turns out I was listening to all that advice and knowledge they imparted on me after all.

I could go on and on about the things they’ve done for me over the years, but I think the whole band thing accurately sums up the type of people they are. They’ve always understood my passion for things and do everything in their power to help me succeed. It’s why all my friends love them and why they're so adored throughout the community. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that if you met them, I know you’d love them too. 

The caveat to all of this is that I wasn’t the most well behaved child and I haven’t always been the best at showing my gratitude for things. But I do hope my parents know how much I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. Even now they’re helping me with an endless number of things for #TGAA. When it comes down to it, I just want to make my parents proud. And this project is only the beginning of what I hope to accomplish in my life. I love them more than I will ever say out loud and just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for (nearly) 30 years of non-stop support, care and understanding.

I know I’ve been gushing about my parents the whole time, but I do need to thank my Grandma, my Aunt Theresa and my Uncle Dennis for being so kind to me throughout this journey as well. They’ve been instrumental in helping it thrive and continue. That's why family always comes first. Although I feel I should apologize to everyone mentioned that I didn’t select a more lucrative career.

Thank you! None of this would’ve been possible without any of you.

-Steve-