Follow-up Friday: 1 December 2017

It’s December, y’all. We’re one month away from finishing out 2017–and what a year it’s been. I’ve been mulling around doing a post meant to look back on the last year. Seems like a good idea, but I haven’t fully committed to it yet (for various reasons). I’ve also been considering expanding the “business”, if you will. More on that below. Okay! Let’s dig into all the awesome stuff that happened this last week!

This week was an emotional rollercoaster. On Tuesday, I had an exceptionally difficult time in dealing with a potential suicide on Tumblr. After having learned that the suicide was a play for attention, I wrote an article concerning the impact of these kinds of events. If you suffer from depressive or suicidal thoughts, I suggest you read it. If you have ever used suicide as a means to assert control or gain attention, I double-encourage you to read. You can find that article here.

On Thursday, I finally won NaNoWriMo! This is especially exciting as this was my very first try, and I’m so happy to have accomplished this goal. I’ve been wanting to participate in NaNo for years, but was always scared I wouldn’t be able to finish. I wrote an article about the lessons I’ve learned from this adventure, and you can read that here!

The Journey:

Traveling the United States has been–without question–the greatest decision I have ever made. It’s made me a more peaceful person, and a person with a much broader view of the world. I thought I knew stuff, you guys. Turns out, much like our beloved Jon Snow, I known nothing. But, I’m learning. I’m learning that minimalism is a gateway to happiness, and that financial comfort is surprisingly easy to achieve. I’ve learned that the accomplishment of personal goals–even those long-standing ones–is really just the result of good, ol’-fashioned hard work.

We started this month trapped in Bozeman, Montana after being run off the highway. Our vehicle and our home were completely destroyed. We were trapped in the middle of a snowstorm, our money draining into a hostel room, while we fought with the insurance companies on getting back everything we’d lost. With winter storms approaching, we were looking down being trapped for possibly the entire winter. Without being paid anything for our troubles, we saran-wrapped broken windows, duct-taped holes in our van, and limped away from Bozeman. Only, of course, to hit a patch of ice and slide off the highway on the way out.

We drove hard until we were clear of the snow, the plastic wrap on the window roaring in our ears. We had to wear headphones just to tolerate the drive, and we blasted the heat the whole time. We made multiple stops to re-wrap the window after it came open on the highway. Poor Mir had to sit in the passenger seat. But, against all odds, we made it to New Mexico. We escaped the snow and the cold, and we waited. Finally, after I bugged the insurance companies enough, we got the money to fix the van. The window got new glass. I pulled a side mirror from a junkyard from a completely different vehicle and managed to fasten it/duct tape it to Rhino. We had heat again, and I could see behind me.

With the leftover money, we fixed a bunch of mechanical issues. A new radiator, new struts and shocks, an alignment. We got our ride mostly back to normal (aside from the massive dents and the fact we have to get in through the back, over the bed).

I was even able to get a new laptop in time for school assignments.

In between all the chaos, we tried to stay positive. We have now seen ancient Pueblo cave dwellings, climbed mountains, and finished novels. We’ve persevered through the hardest of times and come out the other side with an even greater appreciation of life. Now, we’re headed to Florida to see family, and we’re going to have blast on the beach! (We have also been making some extra money on cryptocurrency investments, which is a nice change of pace!)

School:

As of today, I have reigned in my grades considerably!

Perspective in Natural Science – 94%

English Comp I – 91%

I am especially excited about the English Comp class, as I had a failing grade just last week. (That was thanks to a technical issue that almost ruined my financial aid and demolished my chances of school.) Luckily, the professor was exceptionally cool about the hiccup, and I was able to turn in that assignment for a 10% point reduction. Hey, better than nothing! I’m back to straight A’s and it feels great. It’s not easy to maintain high grades with a destroyed home and finishing a novel, but I did it. Goes to show: focus and full effort will pull you through the bullshit.

Expansion:

I’ve been giving back-and-forth thought to doing video versions of my Writer Wednesday articles. I’ve seen a lot of female representation on YouTube for aspiring writers, but male representation for males is almost exclusively older gentlemen that are already published (or just not entertaining). As much as it would add to the already insane schedule that I keep for myself, I think it’s important to give young, aspiring males a voice. It’s often overlooked, but this demographic is the minority in the writing community. Weird, I know. But… I dunno… I feel like I might be the guy to do it.

What do y’all think of the idea? I’d like to get some solid feedback before I make a commitment to the project. It’d involve buying some good camera equipment (among other things)… so I’d like to be confident in the decision before I invest the money.

Thanks again for another week of reading, you guys. You’re all amazing, and I’m so lucky to have such a supportive followership. I’d like to mention here that I want to hear more of y’all! More comments, more asks. I’m interested in the things you have to say, and I’d like to know what you think I should cover for my weekly articles! Or, if there’s anything you’re just curious about! I don’t want to be one of those online personalities that never communicates with the fans. I wanna meet you guys!

I love you all! Have a great weekend and be safe out there! Remember: have a plan!

— R.

Ronin travels the United States with his trusty steed, Rhino, and his beautiful girlfriend. He writes writer-centric articles each Wednesday and thought-provoking opinion pieces each Friday. You can follow him on InstagramFacebookTumblrTwitter, and WordPress. Subscribe to his YouTube channel for neat videos on the last Friday of every month!

Like, comment, and share to support this artist!

Teach peace.

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