The Diary of an Unhappy Nobody: Day 1

I have no idea what I’m doing. But I know I’m extremely unhappy. So I’m going to write about things.

It doesn’t matter much how or why I’ve reached this point. What matters is what happens going forward.

I’ve been given the opportunity to work from home full time. With that a big raise would also come because of the change in hours. But one of the things driving my constant unhappiness is the fact that I have no friends. I have no relationships I’m building. Which makes this decision more difficult because my coworkers are beyond great. I’m afraid that if I work from home full time and eliminate that interaction with them I may end up feeling much worse.

What would I do with more money? I’d invest more in my 401k. I’d invest more with my brokerage account. I’d give more to charity. And I’d plan a third trip in 2018.

Guys, I don’t know what to do. I know we don’t know each other on a personal level and I’ve been absent from here for a long time, but I could really use some help.

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2017: A Lifechanging Year

Guys, let’s pretend I didn’t disappear.

2017 took me from one adventure to the next and 2018 will likely astonish me in ways I haven’t even thought of yet. I have to do this month by month. Let’s begin.

January

This was probably the lowest point of my entire life. I was unemployed and I’d worked through all of the money I’d saved up from my previous employment. I was completely lost and had no idea what to do.

Things change so rapidly, though. About halfway through the month I got the one call I’d been waiting for. Travelers. I’d interviewed 12/23 and thought it went well. I had about a month before the start date.

February

Started at Travelers on February 9. It’s been amazing since day 1. But only a few days after starting my dog Charlie attacked one of my other dogs. I got rid of him the next day. I also cried like a baby. He didn’t even look back when they took him from me.

March

A relatively quiet month. I finished my new hire training on the last day of the month, which meant the following Monday I’d finally be on my own at work.

April

The long baseball season begins! The Astros seemed poised for a great year. I embark on my first solo trip to Boston. An unbelievable experience I simply can’t put into words. But the trip told me something about myself I hadn’t yet known. I wanted someone to share everything with. I was having such a great time on vacation until I realized about halfway through that I was still alone. I had no one to share the amazing experience with. While still in Boston I downloaded Bumble, OkCupid, and Coffee Meets Bagel. Dating apps. I had no idea what to expect. I also bought my first car all on my own!

May

Another relatively quiet month UNTIL IT WASN’T. Those dating apps I’d downloaded? I’d found someone. We talked on the app for awhile and then started texting. After another little while we met in person at HALF PRICE BOOKS. Because I’M STILL ME. We had lunch. We completed a puzzle with a bear on it. It was so great. I was immediately drawn to her wonderful laugh and smile. They’re still magnetic to me.

On May 25 we became a couple. Ol’ ordinary me and oh so amazing her.

June

Many of my coworkers were going on trips and I was just chugging along at work. But I had my worst month (performance-wise) of my time with Travelers. But the beauty of working for such a great company is my manager had my back. She didn’t ask me to do anything drastic because she believed in me.

July

I easily got back on track at work. There wasn’t too much going on.

August

I began to realize my relationship with my girlfriend was really in trouble, but remember how amazing I said she was? Yeah, still thought that in August. Couldn’t just give up.

Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston. My city. My hometown. I didn’t flood, but I missed 10 straight days of work. JJ Watt showed what can happen when everyone gets behind something bigger than one person or one team or one city.

September

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey I was selected to help train a large class of new hires. Something only the top reps in the office are considered for. I finished the quarter ending in September as one of the top reps in the company. I signed my first apartment lease! I’d finally be on my own for the first time. 

October

My relationship ended, but my opinion of the girl hasn’t changed. She’s an amazing person. I dont know if she sees it, but I do. The new hire class ended their training at the end of the month. I moved into my first apartment on 10/21. I took 9 days off from work and realized how lonely I really was. I’d underestimated what it would be like to live alone after nearly 26 years of living with my family.

November

THE ASTROS WON THE WORLD SERIES! THEY DID IT! During game 6 of the World Series I went back home to be with my parents if the Astros won. They didn’t. In game 7 they took an early lead and held on to win the first title in team history. I watched with my parents and we all cried. It was incredible to see these guys we’d been supporting all season with HOUSTON in their name winning the final game of the greatest series I’ve ever seen. I attended my first championship parade.

December

Not much happened until the end of the month. My apartment complex told me that the garage I rent from them cannot handle the electricity needed to charge my car. I was/am furious. But I had no other option. The car I only just purchased in April was traded in for a new, gas powered vehicle. I spent my birthday (12/27) more angry than I’ve been in years.

I’m still really lonely. I know people are dealing with way worse things, but I still want someone who wants to share all of their experiences with me. Someone to travel with. Someone to grow with. Someone to wake up next to. Heck, maybe someone to fall in *love* with. 

I’m starting to think I’m Chandler from Friends. I have a good job no one pays attention to. I have money saved up I can’t even spend. I can’t dance at all. I laugh at my terrible jokes. And I’m sometimes overly awkward. I’m me. Just looking for my Monica. I think I know where she is. 🤔

I’m still angry about my car. But in 2017 I learned so much about myself. I’m proud of who I’ve become. I’m proud of where I am. And I’m excited for 2018. I invite you on that journey with me. Come along. Stick around. Pet the dog. Sit back and watch.

I Didn’t Die

I’d been on a nice stretch of consistently posting leading up to this month. I think I’d posted everyday of the year. Then I realized I just wanted to take a break. Without having to write anything on here. So that’s what I did. I took a break. I’ll be getting back into my groove here now. But in anything you do don’t be afraid to take a step back every once in awhile.

UPDATES AND CHANGES

It appears I’m off to a nice start to 2017. So I’m going to enact a few changes on here. I’ve been thinking about these for some time now.

First, Wednesday is video day. I’ve already shared one. But I’ve actually recorded two more. I know y’all aren’t as interested in those as my regular stuff. So Wednesday will be for videos. The next two will be for A Wrinkle in Time and Things Fall Apart. Already recorded, just waiting to share so I don’t bombard y’all with too many videos at once.

The other change will be to my long-running series Saturday Selects. For you newcomers, Saturday Selects is a series of posts I typically write on the first Saturday of each month about any topic of interest to me. They’re not about books. But I haven’t been doing them. I’m not stopping but I’m also not limiting myself to just one Saturday per month for these posts. I’m passionate about lots of things, and I want to share my thoughts on those things.

That’s all. 2017 will be momentous. Just watch.

Saturday Selects: Current Events

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I usually write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss topics outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today I’m talking current events. Kind of.

I’ve wanted an outlet to discuss all kinds of different things for some time now. There are things going on in the world that I feel NEED to be discussed and addressed. Just like my opinions, my voice is only mine. But this is something I feel very strongly about. Which is how I came up with Talking Today. Talking Today is the name of my new YouTube channel. I’ve made several videos already, and chose not to share them here because I know y’all don’t come here for that.

The goal of the channel is to discuss current topics of interest. That’s it. There are no other limitations.

This is the introductory video:

I’ve also done videos on the Brexit vote, on Lionel Messi’s retirement from international soccer, and on the sit-in staged by Democrats in the US House of Representatives.

I will not be sharing any more future videos from this channel on here. I know y’all come here to read about books, but I also know from previous experience that many of y’all are interested in currents events too. It’d be nice if you watch and think maybe this is something you can get into, but I understand if you don’t.

A new Name!

I’ve had this blog since June of 2013. Many of you know I originally started it to chronicle my journey writing my first book. My first six months was a whole lot of nothing. 1200 views. Like 80 followers. No interaction. Now I’m a little more stable in the world of blogging. And it’s time for a change.

The name of my blog was thought up in seconds. I didn’t ponder it for hours or days. I just thought of something and went with it. I think it’s a nice name. But this hasn’t been a writing blog for some time. And I fully intend to expand my other social media accounts directly related to the blog in the coming year. So it’s time for those accounts to all fall under the same name. Johnny Reads. I think it’s also a nice and simple name that’ll serve me well into the future. I won’t change the name until later tonight so y’all can get a little heads up.

Nothing else is changing on the blog. I want every person doing my challenge to be able to find me. Like everyone at work.

So that’s all I have for you. I don’t think this is a shock to most of you because my Twitter background is the name of my YouTube and Instagram accounts. This is something I feel is really necessary.

Feel free to tell me your thoughts!

Who’s up for a Reading Challenge!?

Hosted by yours truly.

At the start of 2015 Popsugar released their reading challenge for the year and it took off. You couldn’t have a book blog and not know someone who was taking on the challenge. And now I’m looking to start something that’ll give me a chance to have one more thing in common with you all, and something else to discuss on a regular basis.

Here’s what you need to know. The challenge isn’t as daunting as the Popsugar one. It’s only 20 books. Which I know is more than doable for just about everyone on WordPress, myself included. And it’s really just a fun and interactive way to perhaps read some books and authors you otherwise wouldn’t have. That’s it! I’m fully aware that my girlfriend might be the only one to actually take on my little challenge, but it’d be pretty awesome if ANY of you also wanted to participate. I’ll be making videos for every book I read that’s part of the challenge.

And who knows, if you participate and complete the challenge before I do you might get a nice reward in the form of a Half Price Books/ Amazon gift card to further fund your reading for the year. How cool is that!?

That’s it! Now here’s the list for my 2016 Reading Challenge. Feel free to steal the picture and post it on your blog or Instagram account. (And send me a link too).

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What do ya think!? Maybe a little interested? Say yes. And don’t forget to tag me either here or on Instagram @johnny_reads whenever you start or finish a new book for the challenge!

For the record, I hadn’t seen the Popsugar list in months when I came up with mine. There are a few similarities, but it’s a new year and I imagine there are plenty of books that can be read to fulfill any of the requirements. Now shhh, I’m off to start my challenge! A little early. Hehe.