ben vandgrift · on living the dream

2009 year in review

short summary: "change is good."

this year was eventful. here's the rundown.

the annual vegas trip was established as a regular thing. made the superbowl party in columbus as well.

worked for HP for a few months, and hated every single second. well, nearly. after three months of abject boredom, i had to bail. probably not wise on my part, but my head was hurting.

the next few months were me trying to find work, doing an occasional side job to make ends meet.

this was all exacerbated by the screw-job chase levied against me by revoking my home-equity loan. this caused a cascade of credit problems, which i've been able to resolve, thankfully.

came back together with a lovely young lady that i adore very much. we have very different professional goals however, so it remains to be seen what our future holds.

continued work on"FlowMingle, the future of group dating". we're now in the marketing stage.

continued to evolve and refresh my relationship with my little brother, but grew distant from my parents. good and bad, but family is always rough.

i started a business with my brother, Black Collar Design. it's been surprisingly successful. we'll be moving it to Charlotte within the year.

the most eventful period of my life was moving to Charlotte:

worked for the observer, met a bunch of incredible people. among them Adam Hunter, my padawan, Bermon Painter, a stellar graphic designer, Jason Silverstein, one of the brightest stars in the Charlotte landscape, and a host of friends outside my professional topology.

the few months i was in Charlotte proved a number of things to me.

1) i don't need most of the stuff i have. everything i need pretty much fits in my civic.

2) i am friendly, social, and have a good sense of humor, all of which are/were news to me.

3) Charlotte is a great town, and it's in transition. it doesn't know what it's in transition to, but i do.

4) excellent ruby developers (see http://someguysblog:"Jim Van Fleet") can be found anywhere, and we're still a very small minority unfortunately.

5) having a regular place to drink and socialize stabilizes me in a way i hadn't realized since Buster's was torn down.

6) i can be comfortable anywhere.

7) sometimes bikini-clad blondes will bring you drinks.

8) timing affects everything you do, and usually badly.

i'm prepping to sell my house for a permanent move. there's a lot of opportunity in charlotte, and i intend to take advantage of it. this means getting rid of a lot of the detritus that i've accumulated over 5 years of being a homeowner. i have to vanish exactly 1200 square feet's worth of 'stuff'.

mimosas for breakfast on sundays are the way to go.

there've been some wins and some losses, but i think overall this year goes in the win column. i finished slightly better off than when i started.

the year of crazy is coming up, so i'm trying to make major life changes that i'm in control of, instead of reacting to the drive to change on a schedule. i effected a transformation in myself during my months in Charlotte that i'm pretty proud of, and hope to continue things forward.

the big lesson of the year: i can do amazing things when unchained.

other lesson: i am very rarely unchained.

written: Jan 4 2010