A new year for ‘The Hometown Kid’

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 10:42 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 10:44 a.m. CDT

I remember walking up to the podium to talk for my mother’s funeral six years ago.

I didn’t know what to say, nor did I write it out. I talked about how we’re nothing without love. It was filled with stories, regrets, also a promise to never be afraid to die, but to know in the end I will have to learn to live again.

New Years Eve night, I found myself looking at a picture taken while looking off a 500-foot cliff, wondering if I stared at it long enough, would the feeling it captured would find me. It didn’t.

I know to find this feeling I have to get to the cliff face. I concluded it’s about more than capturing a feeling. It’s about wanting to feel on top of the mountain again.

Six years ago, on New Year’s Day, which also marked the day after my mom’s death, I made a list of resolutions. It was the only year I wrote them out.

This past year, I have opened up more than I ever have since the funeral. It lead me to make the following resolutions for 2014:

1. Make the ultimate man cave for all my male friends and family. The concept of a man cave has been a family tradition. My grandpa and father both have a man cave.

2. I want to go back to Traverse City, Mich., during the Cherry Festival, but bring friends with me. I want to find the girl who stole my heart and tell her how much she truly impacted my life.

3. I want to give a gift my father gave me six years ago: I want to fall in love again.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have those guy nights, but I miss making breakfast laying around on a random morning deciding what to do today. The female friends and family who have asked me if I will ever settle down inspired this resolution.

4. I want to coordinate and direct at least 12 community or nightlife events. It’s been a goal set by the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce to triple the number of events in Newton. The hardworking business owners and people of Newton inspired this resolution.

5. I want to cook more. My father taught me to cook, which grew a passion for cooking. I always look for amazing recipes, but in the fast-paced world of journalism, you don’t always have the chance to sit down and cook.

6. I want to write a book. I will be committing to 500 words a day until completion.

7. I want to get down to my “playing weight” of 200 lbs. I have had my share of health complications through the past few years.

I finished talking at the funeral, yet still one question remained. Could I truly learn to live again?

As I looked through the list from six years ago, I finished the last task at 11:59 p.m. New Years Eve. I look at both lists wondering what’s the difference between then and now.

I realized it was simply I didn’t have love in my life. If I can urge everyone to do one thing in 2014 is to find love in your life because no matter what if you don’t have love in your life you have nothing.

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