I decided this morning to shut down this website when the domain expires later this month.
Four years ago, I developed a personal website as an outlet. Unhappy personally and professionally, overweight, I was always angry or, at the very least, irritated. I wanted to shake things up. So I wrote about personal development and politics and economics and whatever else I was reading or thinking about.
It has been a rough stretch. Failed relationships and bitter political defeats and financial hardship. I’ve had to come to terms with a lot: mostly that, despite everything I believed, the fundamental laws of humanity do- in fact- apply to me.
I’ve had to forgive myself and others for our respective roles in breached personal and professional relationships. I’ve had to come to terms with the crippling student loan debt that, it turns out, gave me the freedom to do what I want to do professionally. I’ve had to learn to live alone, which I avoided like the plague for more than a decade.
Five months ago, I declared on this very website that I wasn’t interested in pursuing political office. It was true when I wrote it, just as it was true when I went through the motions of preparing a run for political office. My gut had always told me that I wasn’t prepared- personally, financially, spiritually- for such an undertaking. I was doing it for the wrong reasons, and was fortunate enough to find my exit ramp. My position papers are available for anyone who is interested because I have a unique insight into the local political system, with the caveat that I have been wrong as often as I have been right.
Blogging is a great format for quick hits designed to maximize the number of eyeballs on your website. It is no longer fulfilling, and one of my vows is to concentrate on only those things which fulfill me:
- Spending quality time with people I care about
- Dedicating an appropriate level of focus to a job that I love for a boss for whom I have a deep respect
- Teaching bright and energetic UTSA College of Public Policy students
- Serving on boards of nonprofits dedicated to public education and community engagement
- Writing has always been my greatest outlet, as those who receive my manic correspondence frequently can attest. I plan to continue writing. This weekend, I should wrap up my first draft of my first piece of long form fiction. I also plan to begin the dreadful process of developing an anthology of academic work. My great uncle served in various high profile foreign service posts under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. There is little to no scholarship about his service and papers, and I plan to change that.
- Reading all the books I have been telling myself that I don’t have the time to read. I am making my way though the works of my favorite authors: Caro and Bukowski and Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Please pass along recommendations.
- Hiking the City’s natural areas and the beautiful state parks throughout the Hill Country
- Running on the Howard Peak Greenway Trails and the Mission Reach
- Exploring whatever back roads I feel like at any given moment in my Jeep (another unfortunate financial decision that had the effect of liberating my soul)
- Collecting art (impressionism and Fauvism) and records (blues and classic rock)
If anybody wants to visit, please let me know. Whatever your poison- hiking or coffee or bourbon and cigars- I am always looking for a good conversation.
As a final note, when I started this site I thought I was seeking power or prestige or physical attractiveness or money. But I was really just searching for gratitude, and I finally believe I am one of the luckiest people alive. Practicing gratitude has changed my life.