Monday, April 2, 2007

I put the Funk in Dysfunctional

I never realized just how hectic my life has been the past few years. School, working, internships, fraternity stuff, and all take up a lot of time. For once, here in Australia, all I have is school. While it’s really nice to be able to sit back and relax, it gets boring pretty quickly. I’ve walked from here to the other side of the continent it seems to keep myself entertained and as I have previously mentioned my current addiction (in the true sense of the word, I had to take a break just to write this) of Solitaire. Sometimes I switch it up and play clock or just play with real cards, but always Solitaire.

In addition to perfecting my card skills, this trip has really given me an opportunity to think…a lot. Sometimes it drives me crazy and I get a headache from worrying about stuff, but other times I come up with really great ideas or I really feel like I’m figuring out who Shawn Wolfgang is. Its nice to be around people who don’t know you because it’s a fresh set of eyes and ears to tell you what you are really like. (I’ve been getting asshole a lot lately, but just because I like to push the girls buttons and give them a hard time about absolutely everything.) It’s also good to see a new set of people and get some different perspectives on life. I was watching TV the other day and a talk show host (yes I was sitting watching Oprah the other day, shoot me I was killing time) had a bunch of people on that basically supported the idea that mind over matter exists and if you set the goals you can achieve them.

I don't think that I have set too many goals in the past, and the ones I have, I tend to give up too easily on. I like when things come to me and are right in front of me for the taking. I say that I love a challenge, but really I love a challenge when I know there is not a chance in hell that I am going to fail at the challenge. I wish that I had applied to a few more colleges. I love Northeastern don’t get me wrong (even though I haven’t been there in a year), but I just have met a lot of people that go to great schools like Princeton or UPenn, or just big schools like Wisconsin or Indiana. I am pretty confident that I could have gotten into those schools, but at the time I applied to schools that I could get into with no problem. I love Boston, and I love all the people I have met, but it just makes you think what if I had taken that risk and applied to some different schools? But I digress, and what ifs would drive you crazy if you thought about them all day. I had a kid on my floor freshmen year that had "what if?" tattooed on his forearm, because he spent nearly everyday thinking about what if he had done something different.

So to figure what I want from life I’ve started a list of what I don’t want first. I don’t want to just get by. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in Albany, NY (sorry, don’t hate me). I don’t want a 9-5 job that pays well, but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t want to live my life based on the past or worrying about the future. I don’t want to spend my life playing solitaire, by myself, on the other side of the world (had to throw it in there, anyone who reads this should email me once a day or so and make sure that I’m not playing solitaire, or suggest another game...maybe I'll buy a puzzle)

That was the easy part. I’d like to consider myself a glass half full kind of guy, so now it was time to tackle what I do want. I do want to be successful. I want to enjoy what I do in life and I want it to let me live the life I want to live. I want to be able to give back to everyone who has given something to me. If you are reading this right now, you have given me something trust me. You have given me my love of music and movies, my love of the ocean, my brains, my will and determination, my love of games, my gambling, my work ethic, my morals, my humor, support (every sense of the word), leadership skills, drive and motivation, my love of books, my imagination, and so much more.

I want to be able to give some of that back and of course to be able to pay it forward. I want a career in the music industry. My experiences at Fly92 and MTV have given me a taste that I can’t get rid of and I am really missing for over here in Australia. I even listen to Fly92 on the internet here. (Albany will always have a place in my heart). I want to learn to play an instrument. Another example of a challenge I gave up on, I bought a guitar senior year of High School, four years ago…and I haven’t played a full song yet.

I want to see the world. Australia has made realize that the world is so much more than Albany or New York or the United States. I want to visit every continent at least once (maybe not Antartica, but maybe). I want to visit each of the 50 states. I want to run a marathon and then a triathalon. I want to go skydiving and I want to go bungee jumping. I want to see the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower and I want to see a concert at the Gorge in Washington State and at Red Rocks in Colorado. I want to see New Orleans.

Most of all I guess what I want from all of this, is I realize I just want to be the best person I can be and not let stupid things hold me back. The more people I meet the more I realize that everyone has problems; everyone has issues that they have to deal with. It is how you deal with those problems and how you resolve those issues that make you who you are and hopefully make you a better person. I want to learn from my mistakes and from my successes and continue to build on them and become the best damn Shawn Wolfgang that I can, because I can. I can be anything I want. I want to be a person that leaves a positive impression on people and someone that people want to be around. I want to make a difference.

So that is what my last week has been like. A lot of down time and a lot of self reflection. Classes are classes. I have my first paper due on Friday. Just a 600 outline for a midterm essay due after Easter. I have a week off starting on Thursday for the Easter holiday. I’m staying in Sydney for most of the week and then possibly heading down to Melbourne with a couple of guys for the World Surfing Championship. The girls are heading north to Cairns for a couple days then doing a sailing trip down the East Coast of Australia. I’m looking to go to a few more concerts while I’m here so I’m trying to nail down plans for those. I played in my weekly poker tournament last night at Landsdowne. Didn’t even make top 6 this week which was disappointing for me, because top 6 a $10 meal voucher. But I won two weeks ago and got free entry into a tournament on April 23rd with a prize pool of $1000.

While I’ve been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Counting Crows during my time of introspection, I’ve also been listening to Amy Winehouse who has a really great old jazz feel to her. She’s a little bit of a partier and it’s gotten her into some trouble. Her songs include “Rehab” and “Addicted”. The girls make fun of me because I only know the first line of “Rehab” even though I listen to it probably 15 times a day. For the younger ones, I’m also addicted to the newest Fergie single “Clumsy”. Something about it is just very catchy. The same with the new Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Justin Timberlake. Has a great beat and to hear Justin Timberlake make a few stabs at Janet Jackson and Prince is funny. Music is pretty much up to speed here. On the radio I hear stuff that either just came out or came out right before I came over here. Movies are sometimes like that too. “Reign Over Me” the new Adam Sandler/Don Cheadle movie came out here the same day it came out in the states. I really want to go see that and may try and do that sometime this week. Bruce fans, know that Adam’s character has his headphones on and is constantly listening to the entire River album and I hear there is a scene where Adam and Don sing “Out In the Street” together.

Okay well that is enough for now. Now that you all know my hopes and dreams…hold me to it.

Peace and Love

Currently Listening to: Ben Lee “Catch My Disease”


albanymom said...

You put the fun in dysfunctional. Good reflective thinking. I am so proud of you and all that you have done. Keep broadening your horizons. If you need a partner for your world travel, see me. I'll have my passport ready.

Mary said...

Uncle Jack says forget Solitaire!!!
This is what he would be doing...sitting 24/7 on the topless beach with a cooler of beer, and coming home looking like a golden god....what else do you need?

Mary said...

I is good to reflect but not too seriously right now..too far from home for that...enjoy the is short...

Let me let you in on a little secret..not many of us actually know what we are doing either..we roll with the punches, enjoy the laughter, and cry at times, and count our blessings every day..

Chin up, you are WONDERFUL and LOVED..miss you, too

Deanie said...

Leave your mark, and pay it forward? My God, at such a young age you have done that in ways you don't even know yet. You are my idol! You are my guru, my friend, and probably one of the best people I know. I am constantly amazed at all you know and all you are still learning. From the time you were a toddler, we knew that you would become whatever you set your mind to. You rock, Shawn Wolfgang! And to me, the journey has just begun. Just because you are far away does not mean that you are not in our hearts and minds every second of every day. We live to hear of your adventures! Have fun and enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity, knowing that we are all here waiting for you to return, loved by all! And remember, we also put the F-U in fun! Miss you and love you!

Uncle Joe said...

Shawn, I too would be sitting with your Uncle Jack, but I would look like an overweight Lobster...but a god like lobster.
You have got a truly unbeleivable life so far and it is just the beginning, their is so much more for you to do and tell us how it feels to do it. I never would have had the courage to do what you or your cousin johnny or gabe did, just pack up and go. What a life, keep up the good times and keep sharing with us your adventures

Tah said...

how ironic that you FINALLY have time on your hands and you are too far away for me to come crash...god, i can't WAIT to just crash with you again....many doings here...some good, some not so good...balance, ya know...working on troadrips 2007 (more than one to make up for 2006) and can't wait for you to be "home-ish" to and miss you...keep the chatter up...i worry when i don't hear ya....
email me soon,
love and miss you terribly...

unclesteve said...

Shawn, I agree with Uncle Jack, drink a few beers and bake on the beach. Enjoy yourself. It is good to have goals and a focus but never doubt what you have already done. I find most people in life live it day to day others need to set goals. It sounds like you are going to set some goals for yourself and that is ok but let me tell you from the outside lookin in you have accomplished so much, alot to be proud of. Take care of yourself, have fun and be safe. PS You have another cousin to meet, Thomas Francis, he says Hi!