My 2015 Resolutions (Do people still do these?)

Regardless of whether people take resolutions seriously or not, I like to start each year with a fresh set of goals. I’ve done pretty well in the past and am on track to fulfill my “Where I want to be by age 30” plan (hint: well settled in a career and living a happy, fulfilled life in either LA or DC).

As I wrote about a couple weeks ago, the past year was a monumental one for me. From my internship in Washington, D.C. to growing on an interpersonal level, I’m happy with where I’ve ended up. Even though I didn’t land a job after my internship, I still feel accomplished and eager for the new year.

Here are my resolutions for the 15th (or 16th, depending on who you ask) year of the 21st century (order doesn’t necessarily denote importance):

First, I obviously want to start my career within the first couple months of the upcoming year. Congressional staffer, communications associate at a firm or non-profit, some other yet-unspecified job in the communications/writing arena…I’m both picky and open for anything. I’m working hard on making this a reality very soon, so stay tuned.

Second, I want to do more than simply donate to advocacy organizations and charities. I love donating to causes and organizations I strongly believe in. Sure, I can pay them lip service by advocating their goals and blogging about it. But because of their intrinsic non-profit quality, they rely on supporters going above and beyond word of mouth. It’s very fulfilling to be able to look back and know that I had a little hand in their success. It’s also incredibly fulfilling to donate one’s time to charity and advocacy by actively supporting an organization’s goals. Planting trees, serving at a homeless shelter, marching in a demonstration – whatever it may be, I want to do it in 2015.

Third, I want to keep up the great progress I’ve made in improving my physical health. From July to the end of the year, I lost 25 pounds. I feel better. I look better. I’m more confident and, most importantly, down a couple pant sizes! 😉 For the first time in my life, I’m starting to see the beginnings of “abs,” too (no, I’m not going to prove it – this isn’t Grindr, you guys). All these body improvements have got me excited and motivated for another year of improvements.

Fourth, I want to take the time to read more novels. Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest sci-fi author of all time (in my opinion) produced some incredible works of speculative and philosophical fiction. I’ve read several of his novels and I want to read many more. I’d also like to read more from other sci-fi greats – I hear Stephen Baxter is good, too. Why am I writing about this? Because a steady diet of non-fiction and current events – while vital to what I want to do for a living – can become incredibly depressing if not balanced by light-yet-complex fiction. The best thing about sci-fi: It frees the mind to consider what humanity’s future may be like. In a time when progress can seem slow, imagining where we’re headed as a species is a favorite pastime of mine.

Fifth, I want to blog more! For those of you who have followed me for at least a year or so, you’ll notice that I’ve blogged more recently. What can I say? I feel inspired and don’t want to repress it? It’s self-promotion? Well, both: blogging is therapeutic and my writing is appearing on  other sites now, too. Thanks to the people at Bilerico and Gay Fresno! I even did a Q&A during my internship at The American Prospect earlier this year. I’ll work on expanding this list.

Lastly, I don’t want to hold back from letting those I love and care about know how much I love and care about them. My understanding of relationships deepened in this year, something I have continued to explore. The friends I’ve gained and lost have given me an intimate understanding of the human heart. Life is too short to act invincible and discard people. I’m a relatively affectionate person, something I’m not shy of or ashamed about. But I don’t want to feel like I have to hold back from letting those I care about know how I feel about them. Every day, I am so incredibly grateful for the amazing people in my life – they have all helped mold and shape who I have become. My parents, cousins, friends, extended family…if you want to know who Micah Escobedo is, talk to them (after asking me of course 😉 ).

Bring on 2015 and endless cover versions of “Auld Lang Syne”!

My dad and me at the Capitol building in DC - May 2014

My dad and me at the Capitol building in DC – May 2014

I became pretty familiar with DC's (infamous) metro system during my internship at The Prospect

I became pretty familiar with DC’s (infamous) metro system during my internship at The Prospect

The Spring 2014 interns were The Prospect's best, if I say so myself...

The Spring 2014 interns were The Prospect’s best, if I say so myself…

My parents liked DC and it was great exploring it with them at the end of May

My parents liked DC and it was great exploring it with them at the end of May

I wish you all a happy, successful, and fulfilled New Year!

I wish you all a happy, successful, and fulfilled New Year!

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I Am *Not* Legend, Just Micah

Forgive me, Father WordPress, for I have sinned. It has been a few months since my last blog post…and so much has happened!

The Supreme Court overturned the linchpin of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and marriage equality finally returned to the Golden State. California itself has been on the uptick as both unemployment and the deficit have fallen dramatically. The national unemployment rate is slowly falling and the national debt is rapidly decreasing, as it has been for years now (no, really, it is). I’ll get to Russia and its f*cked up human rights violations in a future blog post…

As the world has continued to spin and ever change, I’ve also been undergoing a bit of a change in my thinking as well. Aside from trying to get back into shape and lose a few pounds, I have become more confident in myself and my identity. I recently turned 24 and have steadily come to the conclusion that while life is complicated and messy and often paradoxical, living a “good” life really comes down to a handful of goals (in my opinion): Love, be loved, and proudly be yourself.

They all sound so simple and yet they can be the most challenging things to achieve in life. As Nat King Cole crooned in “Nature Boy,” “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” We all need it and crave as much of it as we can get. We find it in all the right and wrong places. We kill for it. We start wars and family feuds over it. Love is all we need even though we frequently claim immunity to it. It is one of the greatest things to experience as a human being.

I have yet to fall in love with another person as I’m a little busy with finishing school and working. But I wouldn’t trade the love I feel for family and friends for anything. It’s intense, warm, pulsating and strikes me at my core. It’s hard to describe and yet something we all intimately understand. That natural, organic, chemical, electrifying phenomenon known as “love” is something I look forward to experiencing more of as I journey through my life.

Of course this love must also be protected and not freely given out like cheap tickets to a has-been musical group’s concert in a casino. I’ve come to realize that love has to be cherished, nurtured and carefully expanded. Most people you meet will only end up becoming (or staying) strangers and acquaintances. Again, this sounds so painfully simple – of course most people aren’t going to end up being your life-long friends! But if you are like me and tend to hastily put emotional and relational stock in the wrong people, this is breaking news. Mental note: just because you have great discussions with Person ABC and share laughs with him or her does not automatically make Person ABC a friend. I need to stop learning this lesson over and over.

Another lesson I am continually learning is to realize that there is only one of me. Since I’m stuck with being who I am, I might as well have a ball and enjoy myself. I cannot be someone else’s persona of me or live my life according to another’s standards. I can’t change who I am no matter how hard I try, a fact I realized only three and-a-half years ago. I am me. It may cause some people to laugh or mock me and that’s okay. After all, if who I am offends others or doesn’t meet their standards, that’s their own problem and none of my concern.

I’m not the best writer out there but I am good. I frequently have trouble staying in the gym consistently but I do go. My eyesight without the aid of glasses or contacts is horrible but I can still see. I am continually fighting my inner demons and never-ending anxiety stemming from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and mild bouts of depression but I am still living my life the best I can and to the fullest. I’m not the son of wealthy parents nor did I attended an Ivy League school with a 4.0 GPA but I am about to finish schooling at a school in the California State University system with good grades (and the large dents in my bank account and small amount of student loan debt to prove it). I love my life and take comfort in the fact that at the end of the day I can look back and say I’ve done the best I can do.

I am me and I am loving every minute of it.

Cheers.

 

“The Political Compass” is an accurate guide

I’ve taken several political quizes before to see exactly where I fall on political, economic and social issues. Of all of them, Political Compass is the most accurate and interesting of all Internet political quizes.

I’ve changed quite a bit over the years. I’ve gone from far-right to centrist with a definitive libertarian streak (hence, my support for everyone’s equality, more regulation of the food and credit card industries and even the President).

Here’s where I fall politically (in clip art terms)

Micah's Politics