Monday, July 14, 2008

Great Start

So, happy Sunday evening friends. I loved writing my last post. It was good for me. It was a necessary catharsis. I loved knowing that people read it, too. That made me feel pretty good. My post did some good things for me, and I think that in a small way, it might have made the world just a little bit of a better place. I'm calling it a success.

So I'm back. Maybe for a while, maybe for a brief moment. I'm here for a bit of a journey. I mean that both in reference to this particular post and for the remainder of the summer. I can't guarantee you'll see much more of me here. I'm discovering that I still benefit from blogging, but I don't know if I will actually make it back here. I know I'd like to. But I don't know if it'll happen or not. I know that's not a great outlook for either of us here. But, well, I'm here now, so I'm going to take advantage of that.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now. We had a big family meeting tonight, talked about a lot of stuff. It was a good meeting, and I feel like we moved forward on some issues that we needed to move forward on. The last thing we talked about was my housing payment for Utah State. I didn't do a good job being on top of stuff, and totally blanked the fact that I had a 960 dollar payment due on July 1st. So, I got a phone call from Mama Withers that afternoon asking me about it, and I had no idea. So, surprisingly enough, I didn't have 960 dollars lying around. So I'm accumulating a late fee. It's not a huge deal, but, well, it's a failure.

And that's what is getting to me here. The first payment I ever really have to make in my whole life, and I'm late on it. I'm already screwing up. And it's not so much that as it is the fact that I didn't have a realistic shot at it from the start. Before this summer, I hadn't worked for three years. I did carpet two summers, made something like 1800 bucks between the two of them. The first summer went almost entirely to building my computer. I think that was a good investment. The next summer I actually deposited in the bank, and withdrew it as was necessary. My parents payed for almost all of my high school expenditures, but the carpet money payed for the few things they didn't. I'm left with 155 dollars of that. I started working as soon as my summer free'd up. I only grabbed 39 hours of work for June. Partly because I had three weeks that were dead, and partly because I was a bit of a slacker and still have trouble putting in an eight hour day. That scored me about 450 dollars.

So, that's not 960 bucks. When I get paid at the beginning of next month, I'll certainly have enough. Of course, that's a little more than two weeks away, so pops is going to step in and bail me out on this one, and I'll pay him back as soon as I get money to do so. By tomorrow afternoon, I'll be about 500 dollars in debt to my pops. Of course, I've been in debt to my pops for my whole life, but he's never expected repayment.

Before we continue on my financial path, I want to point out that I lay absolutely no blame on my dad for any of this. I'm not at all mad at him. I think he's a great and studly man, and he's doing great things for me here. Just in case anyone had any other ideas.

And, I guess I'm not really complaining here. Even though that's what I'm doing. I just want to lay the groundwork for a few thoughts. I've failed on this one already. And, really, unless I had had money saved before I graduated high school, I would have been dead anyways. This failure extends back to the very last time I had 1000 dollars sitting in my bank account. That was a very long time ago. My fault, obviously.

Yeah, I've got a full tuition scholarship. I get a pretty hefty pell grant, and stafford loans look nice too. I scored a thousand dollars off of another scholarship, but I don't even know if I'm going to get that now. Yay for me being terrible at making phone calls. Those funds aren't available yet, so I'm stuck being 14 days late on a payment.

Add to the fact that I'm supposed to be watching Andrew's back while he's out of the country, and there are two of us that are late on that same payment. I'm not expected to pay for Andrew, but I think that had I been more on top of stuff, things would be better for him.

I'm a little disheartened by it all. Just, realizing that even if I work full time for the rest of the summer, I'm still not going to be able to reach my financial goals. Realizing that I'll be living off of someone else's dime for the next six years of my life, and there's not too much I can do about it. I mean, I've known for a long time that I wouldn't be able to completely fund my own mission. I knew I wasn't even going to get close. I was shooting for 3000 dollars of it a couple of weeks ago. I'll be lucky to get 2000 now.

So, I guess I'm just not very excited about all of that. I've been reading a lot about personal finance over the last couple months or so, and I've been thinking about frugality and all that good stuff. But, really, that's beans to actually making money. The truth is that I haven't really worked before now, and so I have no funds. I suppose I should have seen this coming, but I guess I didn't really man up to it till tonight.

And, really, I haven't manned up to it yet. When I man up to something, I feel like I can face it down, like I'm capable of doing it. I'm consigned to my fate, but I'm ready to kick it's butt. That's manning up to it. Right now I'm just whining about it.

And so, maybe by the end of this post I'll be able to man up to it. That'd be great. I can already feel a few rays of hope poking through. It's really not that big of a deal. I mean, it's a thousand bucks. It'll be payed tomorrow, hopefully, and then things'll be alright. We're calling Utah State tomorrow to see if they'll let some of my financial aid go to pay for it a little early. Chances are that won't work, but it's worth a shot, right? If that's the case, things are absolutely peachy, and I'm sitting pretty for a while. If it's not the case, well, I owe dad some money as soon as I can get some. That's not so bad.

Work is going really well. I've been averaging something like five and a half hours a day. That's not nearly the eight I'd like, but it's about what I can handle. I'm keeping track of my own hours, and so I always err to the lower side anyways. I have trouble showing up to work on time. Waking up at 8:30 shouldn't be that hard, but my motivation and willpower isn't there in the mornings. So I stumble into work late every day. I do good work though, and so I feel really good about that. I'm doing stuff that will really help us in the future, I think, and I feel awesome about that. I've been working here for a full four weeks or so now, and I'm still worth less than one sale. That means that if the work I've done makes it so we get one more sale than we would have otherwise, I've been a good investment. If my work nets two sales that we wouldn't have had otherwise, I'm a dang good investment. So, you know, I take some satisfaction in that.

My big brother gets home in nine days. That's incredibly exciting. I'm very happy about that. It'll be good to have him back in an active role in my life. I think he'll fill something that needs filling right about now.

I'm going to be an uncle any day now. Steph is going to pop out a baby soon. At the latest she'll start on Sunday, but we're sort of expecting it before then. I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm excited about that. That'll be new for me. I've never been around a baby for longer than a minute. After 18 years of being mom's favorite, I'm about to be replaced. But that's okay, I think I can handle it. I am a big boy, after all.

I guess what's getting to me tonight is that whole concept of, "You have no chance at success. Sucks to be you." And I know that's not true, but tonight has sort of felt like that. "You want to go to school, and save 10,000 dollars for a mission? Nope, not gonna happen, not in this country, not with your life decisions." Yeah, had I thought about this eight years ago, I probably could have made it happen. But my parents and I decided that I wouldn't get a job. And, well, I feel good about how I did in high school. I feel like I did a pretty good job. I accomplished most of the things I wanted to, and I think it did some good stuff for me. I'm really upset that I didn't apply to any other schools aside from Utah State, but that's in the past now, so what the hey. I did well in high school. Whether or not I shot myself in the foot by planning to go to Utah State is a discussion for another day.

Moral of the story: I'm not going to hit my financial goals. And I'm sort of regretting a few decisions I made. But not many. And I know it's going to be okay.

Last post was sort of a beacon of love and hope. This post, not so much. But sometimes it's important to just get it all out. And, well, if I can't get it out here, where can I get it out?

I decided two nights ago that I don't want to major in marketing anymore. Just, looking at the way I am, who I want to be, what I want to do, and marketing isn't it. I guess I've been taking some crap for it lately, but it got me thinking. If I see a problem, I'd rather be the guy to say, "Alright, how can we fix this problem?" instead of the guy that says, "Alright, how can we sell this problem?" It just didn't seem to be a good fit for me.

So, back to the drawing board. I'm on this sort of pendulum thing, where I swing between wanting to do something super auspicious and nerdy, or something super super mundane and boring. I had a little bit where I wanted to be an accountant. That was definitely the extremely mundane side of the pendulum. I still haven't closed the door on accountant, but, well, I'm currently looking elsewhere.

Dak's shirt at frisbee friday had a quote from pre on the back. "To give anything less than your best is to deny the gift." Now, I'm not saying that Dak's shirt changed my life, cause it didn't. But I like the quote, and it was coincidentally on dak's back the other night. Moral of the story? I think I'm capable of a whole lot. I know it's taboo to say it, but I feel like I've accomplished a whole lot, and I think that there's pretty much nothing out there that I can't do right now. I realize that professional music is pretty much barred to me. Also dancing. Also competitive athletics. And... well, for now, I think that's about it. Oh, they wouldn't let me into space on account of the pancreas. Or fighter jets.

But, if I can go be a chemical engineer, why the heck not? Why not work in a lab coat? If I can be the nerdy statistician, why not? If I can get someone else to pay for eight years of my schooling so I can actually be the other dentist, why not? I could be a radiologist, and make bank. I could do university research, and make nothing!

So, pendulum is currently at the "shoot for the stars, little buddy!" position. I have no idea what I want to do. Chemical engineer for some reason smells good to me. Trouble, of course, is that USU doesn't have that degree. I'd have to go to BYU. I dunno, I've really wanted to go to BYU for a while now. Stupid Christopher didn't apply to BYU though. Call me arrogant, but I really think I had a decent shot at getting their smooth 1.5 tuition scholarship. I know it's probably just wishful thinking... but I could have at least grabbed full tuition, no questions there. It would have cost me about an afternoon's worth of work to fill out the app, get my interviews, and mail it all in. But I didn't, cause I was set on one thing that I'm no longer set on.

Now, Utah State looks great. Rooming with my big brother? And three of my best friends I've had since seventh grade? Yeah, that's awesome. Socially, that looks smooth. I know it's a safe environment for me there. My big brother will be looking out for me.

But, I dunno. I feel that if there's some great plan for me, I might have missed a year of it on account of Utah State. That's a little harsh. Maybe it's important for me to go for a year. Maybe I'll stay for four years, I mean, free school is free school. But, if I could go back, I'd apply for BYU. My bad.

But you know what, I think things are going to be okay. I don't plan on losing much time on my schooling. I still don't know what I want to do, but I think I probably want to end up at BYU after a mission. I've got three years to change my mind, but I'll see what happens. It'll depend on a lot of stuff. But we'll see, I guess.

You know, friends, things are going to be okay. I know I've been a big downer this post, but I'm going to be alright. I know that a lot of you are in this same position, and a lot of you are probably in less pretty situations. So you're there, saying, "C'mon Thatcher, don't even." And you're probably right. I don't wanna complain about my situation. And I hope that's not what I have done. I realize that it probably is, but it's gonna be alright. I can handle this, with some help.

I'm making good money at my job right now. Next paycheck should be pretty sweet. The best news is that by the time I get my next paycheck, the company will actually have money! We're releasing super soon. I'm so excited. I can't say too much about the company right now, because I'm still actually hitting on our google results. But, well, ask me in person. I'm really excited about it. It's stuff that really excites me.

But yeah, I'm making decent money, and so by the next time I get paid, I'm going to be doing alright for a while. I've got great financial aid, thank you government. I've got an amazing family. I've got loving and caring friends, and they've got my back. I've got guys that I respect, guys that I can joke around with. There are girls I really care about, and girls that care about me too. We're an incredible group. We're more spread than ever, but things don't change between us all. Well, maybe the shallow things change, but not the deep things. The deep things are going to remain, for a very long time.

What can a guy like me really have to complain about? Absolutely nothing, that's what. I'm gonna be alright, no questions. Sure, I have no idea what to be when I grow up, but so what? I'll grow up; I can figure it out with help. Money isn't what's important. As far as things that are important go, I think I'm the richest guy I know. Yes, I shuddered because of the cliche' too, but really, I believe it! Ha, call me a corndog, but I'm gonna be alright.

Ha, look at me go, I'm happy again. Funny what a post will do to you. I hope you're all doing well. I'm going to be setting up the AP dance soon, I hope. I'll let you know on that though.

Moral of the story? Thanks for reading my complaints for a while. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being good people. I hope you all do incredible things with your life.

Friday, July 11, 2008


It's a requirement of every journal-type blog of a teenager to have at least one post titled, changes. I've known this for a very long time. I've known this for years, in fact, and I've considered starting several blog posts with that very same beginning line. I've laughed when I've seen my friends title posts, changes. It's so typical, so expected. It's got teenage stereotype written all over it. I title my post changes tonight not necessarily because my life has been changing, but rather as a monument to this blog itself, to my teenage existence. I title it changes because I'm unsure of the future, and I feel that the title accurately captures the irony and previous foresight that has been lost.

I say the previous foresight that has been lost. What does that mean? Do you ever feel like you used to understand, but that now you don't? No, that's not accurate, that's not what I feel. Hmm. The blog, that's what this is about. For now. It applies to everything else, mostly, but we'll get there eventually. We'll start small, and expand, and maybe it'll make sense.

I used to post a lot. My posting has gone through a few pretty easily definable stages. I can classify those stages based upon my reasons for posting. I wrote all this down on a yellow piece of paper one night. I love my yellow papers. They were a substitute for posting for a while. The paper is upstairs, and I'm downstairs. I was about to write a sentence explaining how I wasn't going to go get that paper, but that I was going to just tell you what I remembered. That's how I feel tonight. But that's not the kind of person that I want to be. No. I want to be the guy that goes upstairs to get the paper. Because the paper will help me understand. And the paper will help you understand better too. The paper is a significant thing. Because I felt something that night, something significant enough for me to write it down on that yellow piece of paper. I wrote it because I knew it was important, and I knew it'd be important in the future. And what kind of guy would I be if I left that piece of paper upstairs instead of using it? Why would I leave it up there? I'm lazy, and perhaps melancholy, but I can at least respect the person I want to be and the person that I have been enough to go get it. I'll fight this lazy present, and I'll go get that paper. Oh yes, I'll be back in a minute.

A few notes, before I jump into the yellow paper. You'll notice that I'm talking very separately tonight. The difference between the me of previous times, the present me, the future me, all of that. I don't think I'm dissociative, but I do use the separate model of me to recognize the changes in emotion that accompany the transition of time. I think I first detailed this in a post my sophomore year about treadmills. Oh how things have changed since then.

Now, halfway through the sentence, "I think I first detailed this post...." I stopped writing for about an hour. I was talking to a very good friend of mine, someone that's very important to me. Because of that, things have changed a bit. My emotional mindset is not the same, and the things that I wanted to explore aren't necessarily as important as they once were. However, there are still things that need to be said. And so I'm going to say them. It's 3:18 in the morning. My sleep schedule has always been a bit messed up, but summer is taking it to the extreme. I.... want to write. So I'm going to.

I never used to use elipses. I didn't like them much. I made a theorem with Nickmo once. It said that as the number of elipses in a messenger conversation went up, the level of happiness went down. It just meant that people used elipses when they were sad more often than when they were happy. I use elipses to represent moments when I don't exactly know. I like to recognize those moments, almost cherish them. I love the idea of not having words to say, or not knowing exactly what I want to say. I sort of celebrate moments where I simply don't know. There's a word for it that I'm looking for. Unsure. No, that's not it, but it's close. It's not a bad feeling. It usually happens when I'm trying to explain something to someone. Something that's important to me, and something that I mostly understand inside, but that I can't communicate well. It doesn't frustrate me at all. It's like it's a little challenge. I've recently come to really appreciate the elipses because it lets me not know, and it's okay not to know. It's okay to not understand and to not be able to always communicate exactly what you mean. It's okay to be impractical and imperfect sometimes.

One of my favorite things of writing at night is not seeing exactly what i type on screen. I can see it, but my contacts are out, and I'm leaning farther away from my screen in my chair, so I can't see characters all that well. I can still generally feel when I've typed a word wrong, but I know that I've got an "I" up in this paragraph that's not capitalized, and I'm not going back to fix it. I could barely see it, and I suspected that something was wrong, but I sorta let it slide. That's how it goes at night. Mechanics stop mattering so much. It's more about communicating what I feel, and not so much about worrying what everybody is thinking of it.

Now, I understand that not many people read this much. Ding, that's another one of those things that every single teenage blog has to have. I've written it numerous times, in numerous posts. I'm writing it again, so sue me. But I am cognizant of that fact.

My blog has always been a parallel to my life. I love that. It lets me understand me better. It teaches me lessons about me that I didn't know needed to be taught. It's a thing of beauty. I love that I have my blog.

I've been wondering lately if I will keep the blog up. I remember that I commited to write in it at least until I left on a mission. I feel off the bandwagon. I think i had two posts last month. I haven't had a month that low since the very beginning, if I recall. But, what would I do if the need to blog vanished? What if the benefit of blogging went away? What if I would be better off not doing it, and the community would be better off without me writing? What would happen then? Would it be prudent for me to keep up my commitment? What if the facts changed, so it would be wise to not keep my commitment? Would I break it, should I break it?

Now, that's not the question that's on my mind. But, it's an interesting idea. Just because I made a commitment to myself, on this blog, that I would keep blogging, does that mean that I shouldn't take into considering changing factors?

I love my blog. It's been a big part of my life. It's been such a great tool for me. It has helped me get to where I am right now. But I don't know what its future will be. Unless I do something, there's a good chance that it will lie dormant until I got to college. This summer, well, there's less time in the evenings to blog. I used to hunt for things to write about. Now I don't think about it. I'm writing tonight because Jaron and Nate mentioned that not many people had been writing. That means me.

I'm very stream of consciousness tonight, as I've always been. I seem to be moreso than usual though. It's, well, the way things are.

I guess my question is, "who do I want to be?" It's a question I'm always asking myself. It's something that I'm always moving towards, an answer, whether I'm thinking about it or not. Every choice moves me in a direction. Is this the person I want to be? Is this the person I should be?

There are a million good choices out there. I think that blogging is a good choice. But is it the best choice? Tap dancing could have probably been a "good choice" for me back in the day. Maybe I would have been good, maybe it would have taught me something. But I didn't do it, and I'm okay with that. I guess what I'm trying to say is, just because it's good, doesn't mean that it's something that I have to do. Doesn't mean that I can't do other good things.

This doesn't mean that I'm retiring. I dont' want to do that right now. I don't want to do that for a while, in fact. It's just, something I'm thinking about. I guess I'm thinking about the reality of change. The reality of moving on, letting things go, and accepting what's new. I've been having a bit of trouble with that lately. I haven't had any problem letting go of being graduated from highschool. I've just had trouble with how that has changed my social status. When I'm with my big group of friends, things are different. That's for a couple reasons, obviously. Relationships, graduation, the fact that we're no longer compelled to be together all the time, etc. etc. But it's change, and I don't know how I feel about it.

There's a good John Mayer song. It says, "Say what you need to say" about a million times. I don't know how I feel about the song, it's a little repetitive for me, but I love the message behind it. I don't like the way those commas worked out last sentence. But I'm not going to go back and change it, because I don't really believe in going back to change what i've written here tonight.

But, anyways, say what you need to say. I believe it. Maybe I haven't been doing enough of that lately.

You know, there are a lot of people that I just really care about. I wrote one of my really good friends a pretty extensive note this week, and that felt really good. I really enjoyed that. It's just, weird, I suppose, to care about so many people. I think that culturally, at least in my life, I've been sorta shown and told that we generally are supposed to care about only one or two people. That our interests narrow, as time goes on. But that's weird to me. I don't know where I'm going with this, but I just want to say that I care about a lot of people. And, well, I don't know what to do about that. That's all.

You know, it's 3:34 Am. I wonder if anybody ever wakes up in the middle of the night and is like, "I wonder what Thatcher is doing right now..." and then they wake up the next morning to find out that I'm sitting here, in my chair, thinking about stuff. I don't assume that it's ever happened, and I'm not bold enough to guess that it ever would. I just thought it was interesting. What is everybody else doing, right now? It's 3:34 AM. I bet most of my friends are in bed, and I think that's way cool. I hope they're doing well.

There's been no shortage of relationshipping among the group. That has its ups and downs. But it's interesting to note that you don't stop caring about everybody else just because you've been relationshipped. You're not absolved from anything. There's no magic potion. I guess I didn't really assume that there would be, and I don't know what I'm saying with this. I dunno, I'm just thinking of my friends, how they're doing at 3:38 AM. Going through, caring about them all, not just the one or two. And I think that's the point. The relationship thing hasn't changed much about the way that I feel about all my friends. I'm still concerned about them. I know it wasn't much, or it wasn't a big deal, but I always felt a bit of ownership or responsibility for the girls in the group. Ownership could get me slapped, but what I meant to say was that I always felt that I had at least a little bit of a leadership role most places I went. In the social circle, it might have just been my ego, but I sorta saw myself as a bit of the leader. As such, I cared about and sorta felt like I had to take care of people. Not like, had to take care of them, but it was there. Well, that hasn't changed. I still feel that concern for the people, still want to know how they're doing, still hope they're doing well. Being relationshipped, it feels like everyone's perception has changed. Now it feels like people think I'm only caring about one person, but that's just not true. Huh, I dunno why I typed all that. But I guess I felt like it was a decent thing to do, so I did it.

You can tell that my writing style has changed a lot in the past couple of minutes. I began this post incredibly philosophically. I was ready to dive in and explore some feelings I haven't typed out or vocalized all summer. But, now I'm sorta sleepy, and I got pretty affectionate just thinking about my friends.

For the record, I think we dominated at high school. I just want to point that out.

It's like I'm writing to a big group of you. I'm even feeling that way enough to write "you". But, that's probably not true. I don't know who I'm writing to. I usually write to a specific person when I write. It's usually a girl. It varies, of course. I know exactly which girl I think I'm writing to tonight. I don't know if she'll ever read it, but I know who I'm writing to. Isn't that weird? I bet Nick doesn't think so. I love that I know Nick will read, eventually, maybe. He's always a good guy, chiming in.

Anyways, I'm starting to sound like drunk fellows off of cartoons. Not that I'm drunk, or feeling disabled at all, but I'm typing and writing a little weird. I could go on, but I don't know if I need to. I don't know if it'd be good for me or good for the community. I love that I can say community. I love that what I do has a bit of an impact. Maybe it's tiny, maybe it's small enough to be negligible, but I don't believe that it is.

I guess, I just don't understand some things. I don't understand why I feel the way I do about certain things. But I'm glad I do, that's for certain. Maybe I'll write more. Maybe I'll finish what I started thinking about. But, hey, for a post that started off a little angsty, it has ended up very happy. I love my friends. And I care about them, and I hope they're doing well. And I want to do a better job showing that, and doing what I can for them. Because they're good people, and they're important to me, and I care about them.

Well, 3:46, it's time for me to head back upstairs and get ready for bed. Peace and love friends. I feel humble enough tonight to say that I'd love a comment. I really would. But I'll understand if you don't.

Thanks for everything, all of you who are out there. I hope you know who you are. I'm sending you a smile. Ha.