I don't like to think that I'm an emotional person with things like this, but I can guarantee you that I cried a little bit when I typed this out. People feel accomplished when they travel or they get a job that they've worked very hard to achieve. For something like this, I feel like I've made a personal accomplishment.
I remember exactly what was going on when I created this blog. It is as vivid as a sweet childhood memory, or a horrible event like a death in the family. I remember the way my bedroom was situated. I remember the purple walls (good feng shui, my friends), the shelves, the television playing an Olympic hockey game. I didn't think that five years later, I would be using this same exact site, doing the things I had intended to do here.
After five years of memories outside of the blog and within this blog, I've learned a lot about the journey of life. I read the first 15-20 posts on this blog, and I can laugh hysterically, because I had no idea what I was doing, but I had a dream, and I wanted to fulfill it. It wasn't the exact thing, but there's a major plan for everyone. You're following a path that you can't create an ending for, because you can't build something at Stage 20 when you haven't even stepped on Stage 1 first.
You don't see the small steps in life. Why? Because you're in the moment; you're enjoying the ride. You might be looking at another staircase, thinking that this is going to lead you somewhere else. I will admit this: I thought this was going to lead me to getting a job with ESPN. If you told me that I was going to go back to acting after college and begin screenwriting within three years of writing in this blog when I started, I'd have laughed at you and asked where you happened to buy some decent weed. No, I'm not working for ESPN, and I'm not working for the Phillies like I had so hoped, but I gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience elsewhere. Because of my writing, I've met a lot of very close friends. I've learned enough about sports and people that helped toward my own self-enrichment, because I'll be honest, I wasn't in the best of places at the time in which I started The Sports Nut Blogs. I've gained strength as a writer, so much so that I have written sketch comedy, a piece that gained the attention of The American Outlaws (imagine sitting at a tavern for dinner with your best friend, and seeing your site blow up...that'll make you have a beer or two), a number of pieces for another sports website, a piece that was performed by my alma mater's theater group in their Fall show, and a number of other works itching to be brought to life.
The Sports Nut Blogs gave me confidence in the abilities that I have.
I never wanted to monetize this site. Why? This is a tool. This is my dojo. Even when I was nowhere near a computer or laptop or tablet, I was writing down ideas on paper, or I was pounding out an entire MLB midseason slant on my iPhone. I take this seriously. This is a job, and I even declare it to be so on my LinkedIn profile. Some of the greatest jobs (even careers) are things that you do not get paid for. This is a service to myself, and it might be a good laugh or insight for anyone else who reads it.
The feeling I have in my stomach right now? I don't know if I can put it into words. But you know what? I'm going to do the best I can to describe it, because finally, after five whole years, I can call myself a writer.
This is the feeling that you get when you find out that you got a really good grade on a test that you studied hard for but you thought you had screwed up. Mix that feeling with finding out that a person that you were madly in love with--yet you were afraid to tell them--that they've had a lover of their own for quite a while. Mix those two feelings with the feeling of when you're standing on the edge of a somewhere while on vacation, feeling every breeze and sound and sight, and you're at total peace. It truly is a mix of emotions, but it hits every single level, takes you out of your comfort zone, and it takes you for a ride that you are ever so thankful for.
I've learned a lot about a soul's purpose, and how people are considered "late bloomers," and how many of my friends still consider me a "baby" when I feel like I'm a 45-year-old in a 24-year-old body. I feel like I've run out of time about 90% of the time, because it seems like the world around me is accomplishing their goals much faster than I am. But you look at people like Julia Child, who didn't become as renowned as she did until she was 40. Then you truly ask yourself this question: "When do you really know when you've 'made it?'" I might not be a famous sports broadcaster or Oscar winner or a superhero in a known business field, but you know what? I've made it. I've finally figured out who I am. I've figured out what makes me happy, and what I should do with my life in order to keep creating happiness for myself. It's been here all along, and I've been manifesting it in this blog.
The Sports Nut Blogs helped me find myself.
People will sometimes journal in order to help get their feelings out. Not only did this get my feelings out, I found a new side to myself that was informative, but also "stupid funny" to the point where I didn't believe the kind of humor I'd throw out there, regardless of how bad it was. I wasn't afraid of that, and I started taking that outside of the Internet, and if I didn't, I wouldn't have networked with and met the people that I have over the past five years.
Because of this blog, I have also branched out into screenwriting too. The ability to tell a story and to convey a message has bled into this blog as well, so my style of journalism is certainly...awkward to say the least. However, that doesn't matter. What matters the most is that I am doing something that makes me incredibly happy, and I have gotten much stronger with it. Regardless of who reads this blog, I hope that they are entertained and impressed with what I have talked about, and that they have seen that I have a deep love for sports, as well as a deep love for writing these things.
I'm a writer.
I've decided that after today, my "AZ" signature will be retired. Heck, my name is even in the "About the Author" section. If I want people to know who I am, I shouldn't hide behind a username anymore. I've hid long enough. It's time to write even more.
I'm here to stay, and the world of sports will be rocked even more.
(I made it, Mom and Dad.)