The Year in Review & My Farewell to CharlestonPosted: June 14, 2011
I definitely have a “live life at the extremes” type of mentality. What does this normally include? A life filled with plenty of laughter, a few tears, incredible friends, a lack of sleep, and a seemingly endless amount of crazy stories.
There’s a great quote by Jim Valvano that pretty much sums it up. Jimmy V was a basketball coach who spent a year battling bone cancer. In a speech given at the 1993 ESPY awards ceremony he said,
“I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm,’ to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.”
I have a reputation of never saying the word “no”. Why? Well simply put, I love experiencing new things and I love helping out friends. Plus, throughout my entire life…I don’t have one crazy store that began with me saying the word “no”.
It’s unbelievable to think how much happened just over this past year. In only a few short days I’ll be making my way back up north. Moving is one of the best times for reflecting on the past, so I decided to jot down a few highlights from this last year.
Co-Founded a Nonprofit
HUG (Helping the Underprivileged Grow) is an event planning nonprofit. It was all sparked from Melissa Carr‘s idea to throw a single charity concert. There was such an outpouring of support behind the event that it quickly expanded into many, many others. Melissa (top left) is one of the most inspirational people I know and she constantly surprises me with the things she’s able to accomplish.
Met with the Mayor
That’s right, the same man who gets medals from the president and has a stadium named in his honor. The meeting was to pitch an art fundraising campaign. The campaign highlights local artists while raising money for Crisis Ministries.
Mayor Riley called it a great idea and then asked his staff “who do we need to talk to, to get this moving asap?” The concept came from an article sent to us by Ryan Walker and then refined by Melissa.
Traveled to Ireland
That’s my big sis.
P.S. I love Ireland
We were lucky enough to grab the last jump of the day which made for some great sunset pictures. The experience was truly unbelievable and I would recommend everyone try it at least once.
Fun Fact: While attempting a mid-flight “Hello” my parachute collided into Christie’s…we survived, but this is one more reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to drive anything.
Dated One of the Most Amazing Girls I’ll Ever Meet
She was a pageant winner/bikini model who was also religious, charitable, and planning to be a doctor to help her younger sister who was in and out of brain surgery. Couldn’t make this stuff up, folks.
We met on a plane in New York when she accidentally sat next to me in the wrong seat. The plane ended up having technical difficulties which left us both stranded for the night in Atlanta (middle picture.) I helped get her flights situated and then we spent the whole time exploring the airport, drinking frosties, and talking about life.
After six months we went our separate ways. It’s true that timing in life is everything. Still, I’d be lying if I said my fingers weren’t crossed to see her again every time somebody sits down next to me on a plane.
Produced a TV Show
“Joey’s Town” is a sketch comedy hosted by Joe Girard that highlights viral videos found on the internet. I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been putting these shows together. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a five minute demo we created of clips from the first two episodes:
Fun Fact #2: Many TV shows are able to afford stunt mats, we are not one of them. In that scene where Joe side-blinds me with a football tackle…it was on concrete…and it was the second take.
Wrote an Article for the City Paper
The op-ed is titled: A newspaper should not belittle the community. I was asked to write it by a City Paper editor after I voiced my disagreement with one of their previous articles.
Amanda Click from TheDigitel wrote an article following it up (Op-ed piece asks why ‘Best of Charleston’ brought out the worst.) She wrote in her article that it was “a well written op-ed piece by first-time contributor Brian Rogel.” It’s tough to beat getting a compliment from a writer you respect.
Hung Out with Miss South Carolina United States
I’ve had a few chances to sit down and chat with Valarie one-on-one. She genuinely wants to give back to the community and help people. It’s refreshing to see since it’s a bit of a rarity now-a-days. I’ll be rooting her on in this upcoming Miss United States pageant.
Saved the World from Aliens
Ok, so this one didn’t actually happen…probably because aliens didn’t want to invade a planet that had a potential rapture looming, and because I’m not Will Smith.
What was the best part of the year? Easy, it was…
Making Lifelong Friends
My friends mean everything to me. The nonprofit, the TV show, the newspaper article, and meeting Miss SC and the mayor all happened while trying to help out friends. Almost every great experience in my life can be contributed in one way or another to my friends.
It’s been an incredible journey filled with ups and downs.
- Am I in a financial hole? I’m on my way to catching up to the government
- Did things work out with Chelsie? Sadly, long distance and timing got the best of us
- Am I depressed that I’m leaving Charleston? I’ve already fashioned a noose from a pair of croakies
- Am I going to miss my friends? Epically
- Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat…and I wouldn’t change a thing
I hope that one day I’ll be back living in the Lowcountry. Until that day you can expect to see me visiting as much as possible.
One thing is for sure, after all the amazing things that happened this past year…it’s exciting to think what I might be writing about twelve months from now.