The Spice of Life

I’ve always enjoyed variety.

When I was young, I loved trying all different kinds of food and sampling various hobbies to see if they struck a chord. My family and I traveled all over the country on vacations, and sometimes out of America as well. My life was filled with a spectrum of activities from art to sports to music to video games.

Even into high school, I had a diverse group of friends and dated men of all races and personalities. I have never been in a clique. There was a world of fun and opportunity out there, and I wasn’t going to let any of it pass me by.

The question becomes: How do you keep a youthful passion for variety into adulthood? How do you maintain a childlike spirit with the commitments of a person in their late 20’s?

The end of this month marks three years in Tucson.

I remember when my fiancée Sky and I first made the choice to relocate. I had just quit my first full-time job in journalism.

“So what do you want to do now?” I asked him.

“I don’t know, whatever. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”

We had both wanted to get out of the state for quite some time. Flagler was amazing, but Florida itself was a different matter.

“Want to move to Tucson?” I asked.

We had been there earlier in the year and fell in the love with the city.

“Sure, sounds good to me,” he replied. “Let’s do it, what the hell.”

“Alright,” I said. “I’ll start making plans tomorrow.”

And I did.

The move was daring. Perhaps even stupid. But a couple months later, we found ourselves in Arizona and happily moved into our new home. I had applied for a reporting job at the Tucson Citizen before I left. The day I walked into our apartment, I got the call that I was hired.

After working for the Citizen in the sports department for awhile, the newspaper went under. So I went back to school to get certified in Web Design, since newspapers are moving online. I also began reporting for independent online news sites, all the while meeting people around the city at various social events. I helped run a couple community organizations around town and broke into Tucson well. I found a doctor, a church, friends, specific restaurants and places I like to frequent — all the things that make a home start feeling like home.

Now at the three year dash here, I continue to love this city. I am still in school for Web Design at the Art Center Design College and am inching my way toward certification. The student body size is about 400, which is slightly small for me but has 15-25 students in each class. Much like Flagler, the campus is all of about four buildings, so it’s easy to get around.

In May, I started working as a sports reporter for the Tucson Sentinel and am continuing my independent work for online news sites. My good friend Eli and I even started a social group called Tucson Connect this summer that has a membership of about 100 people at this point. We do all sorts of fun things around the city together.

So going back to my question about how to stay a good-natured and carefree person who embraces variety, even into adulthood — I think any way you want to do it is fine. For me, it was a new city, Web Design and forming Tucson Connect. I have also taken to Mexican food since moving here and began cooking more. Board gaming has become more prevalent in my life as well.

But whether it’s taking up a new hobby, expanding your circle of friends, trying something different at work, taking a class that you never thought you would, or simply sampling a new restaurant or beer brand — it’s all good.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly not discouraging commitment to the things or people you love. Nor am I saying that it’s a good idea to force yourself to do things that hate, just for the sake of variety. That’s silly.

I’m simply encouraging an openness, if you do like some spice in your life. Some people highly enjoy routine and like things staying the same, and that’s cool too.

Regardless of your stance, my point is that life is for fun. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “People often forget that the point of life is to enjoy it.” I’m with him all the way on that one.

Because there’s a world of fun and opportunity out there, and I’m not going to let any of it pass me by.

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