Close = Scary

I am excited to graduate don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, I am also very very scared. I know that it is very normal to feel some nerves coming out of college, but it honestly didn’t hit me until the last few days. It is weird for me, because I like to plan everything out, way in advance. But in this case I can’t because I am not sure what the future holds. I haven’t decided on a job yet or a city that I would want to spend long periods of time in. I have some stuff figured out but there are still a lot of holes. This leaves me a little nervous to leave this place. For the past five years I always knew what I was going to be doing in six months. Going to school in Kearney. That would be my answer. Now if I ask myself that question, I have an awkward silence with myself because I cannot quite see it clearly. I have my hopes and dreams, but I am hoping that I can bring those into reality sooner rather than later.

Saying goodbye

It was weird today when I ran into one of my old baseball friends. We sat and talked for almost an hour about the times we used to have on and off the field rattling off memories very easily. It made me realize that when I graduate in a week, I am doing more than just getting my diploma. I am saying goodbye to five years of people, memories, and a town. 

I really did not like Kearney my first few years here. It was a little small for me and everything just seemed to be different than where I grew up. It was hard to begin with since I have a huge family and was used to being around them constantly. However, after a few years of long drives back home, I learned that Kearney wasn’t as bad as I thought. I opened my mind and met a variety of amazing people and started to really enjoy my time here. Unfortunately, now that it is time to leave, I am wondering if I am going to be able to adjust somewhere else. Will I be telling myself that I am used to Kearney way of life? 

All in all I am going to miss this place. All the people I met along the way and the stupid stuff I did. It was all part of making me who I am today. Life is full of adjustments and I am glad I made mine and gave this town a chance. 

Column 3 final draft

My younger brother

 

Jay Omar

 

I am his big brother; he should look up to me. I was there to beat up his first bully in high school and took him out on the icy roads to teach him how to drive, but for some reason through 20 years of this dynamic, I still look up to him.

Zachy is what I call him. He is my brother born two and a half years after me making him the youngest of the six boys,  and definitely the most different.

When the older five used play basketball in the backyard and sit down for dinner with cuts and bruises, Zach was usually helping our mom cook in the kitchen or talking on the phone.

It was an adjustment at first, but eventually it just became normal.

When Zach was 17 he told me. I was the first family member that heard him officially announce his sexual orientation as he brought it up casually on our way to dinner.

“Jay,” he said. “I have something to tell you and I hope you understand. I am gay.”

Of course I understood. Not only because he was my brother, but also because I saw his eyes. The deep looming secret that he couldn’t hold in anymore. He was ready for ridicule and disdain. He just wanted to be happy.

That is the day that my younger brother became my role model. The day that I was shown that happiness should not be outweighed by words, beliefs, and most importantly fear.

“It was definitely a tough transition,” Zach said. “When I first decided to come out I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But at the same time I couldn’t torcher myself anymore. It gets to a point where you have to stop caring what everyone else thinks and just be happy.”

For me it was an amazing change to watch. My once lonely and depressed younger brother finally broke out of his shell and took a step into the world. He faced his first of many challenges head on and won.

After that day in the car I noticed a change in Zach. He had a gentler tone of voice, a smile on his face, and fearlessness in his eyes. Plus an attitude that prepared him for the road ahead.

“I didn’t have anything to lose at that point. It isn’t like I could go back on it. I knew what I wanted and that was to be normal and accepted. I decided my happiness was more important than what anyone thought of me and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to talk me,” Zach said.

Everyone faces challenges, but the way that Zach stepped up and took control of his life made me aspire to be more. Especially when he decided one day to pack up his car and drive out to Los Angeles at the age of 19. It was hard to envy the life of a young, gay, aspiring actor but Zach made it possible.

“I absolutely love L.A.,” Zach said. “Everyday I wake up and get to think about how far I have come in such a short amount of time. I used to be so unhappy and felt like no one knew the real me. But now life is good.”

Ten years ago if you asked me who I looked up to I would have rattled off a list of professional athletes and maybe a superhero. Now my answer is simple. The man, who not only overcame obstacles, but welcomed them. The man who never stops trying to be happy even though people will always try to push him down. The one who gives me hope in mankind and in myself. My younger brother.

Column three rough draft

My younger brother

 

Jay Omar

 

I am his big brother; he should look up to me. I was there to beat up his first bully in high school and took him out on the icy roads to teach him how to drive, but for some reason through 20 years of this dynamic, I still look up to him.

Zachy is what I call him. He is my brother born two and a half years after me making him the youngest of the six brothers, and definitely the most different.

When the older five used play basketball in the backyard and sit down for dinner with cuts and bruises, Zach was usually helping our mom cook in the kitchen or talking on the phone.

It was an adjustment at first, but eventually it just became normal.

When Zach was 17 he told me. I was the first family member that heard him officially announce his sexual orientation as he brought it up casually on our way to dinner.

“Jay,” he said. “I have something to tell you and I hope you understand. I am gay.”

Of course I understood. Not only because he was my brother, but also because I saw it his eyes. The deep looming secret that he couldn’t hold in anymore. He was ready for ridicule and disdain. He just wanted to be happy.

That is the day that my younger brother became my role model. The day that I was shown that happiness should not be outweighed by words, beliefs, and most importantly fear.

“It was definitely a tough transition,” Zach said. “When I first decided to come out I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But at the same time I couldn’t torcher myself anymore. It gets to a point where you have to stop caring what everyone else thinks and just be happy.”

For me it was an amazing change to watch. My once lonely and depressed younger brother finally broke out of his shell and took a step into the world. He faced his first of many challenges head on and won.

After that day in the car I noticed a change in Zach. He had a gentler tone of voice, a smile on his face, and fearlessness in his eyes. Plus an attitude that prepared him for the road ahead.  

“I didn’t have anything to lose at that point. It isn’t like I could go back on it. I knew what I wanted and that was to be normal and accepted. I decided my happiness was more important than what anyone thought of me and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to talk me,” Zach said.

Everyone faces challenges, but the way that Zach stepped up and took control of his life made me aspire to be more. Especially when he decided one day to pack up his car and drive out to Los Angeles at the age of 19. It was hard to envy the life of a young, gay, aspiring actor but Zach made it possible.

“I absolutely love L.A.,” Zach said. “Everyday I wake up and get to think about how far I have come in such a short amount of time. I used to be so unhappy and felt like no one knew the real me. But now life is good.”

Ten years ago if you asked me who I looked up to I would have rattled off a list of professional athletes and maybe a superhero. Now my answer is simple. The man, who not only overcame obstacles, but welcomed them. The man who never stops trying to be happy even though people will always try to push him down. The one who gives me hope in mankind and in myself. My younger brother. 

Almost time to leave

Man it feels weird to say that I will be a college graduate in less than three weeks. Closer to two actually. I wasn’t sure that I would ever get here when I was young and dumb but I’m glad that I found a way to pull it together. 

Being so close to graduation has me reflecting a lot on the times I had here at UNK. A school I didn’t want to go to at first since it brought me 2 and a half hours away from my high school girlfriend. I was stupid back than. I am glad that I made the decision to come to UNK 5 years down the road but itmosmweird that I don’t even recognize the kid that enrolled in his first class here. The scared, nervous, and inexperienced teenager that spent his first few days locked in his dorm. I finally broke out of my shell and met some of the best people I know at UNK. Best friends in fact that I am sure will be my friends for the rest of my life. I have taken a variety off good classes and some not so good classes but overall I have learned a great deal. Not just about professionalism but about my self. About how to act and put yourself in a position to succeed. 
Tose are just a few of the nuggets I learned here and overall I am pleased with my decision. I am ready o graduate, but it will still be hard to leave.

The dreaded process

So over the last month I have seriously gone on the job hunt. Sending in applications, driving back to Omaha for interviews, and much more has made me realize that applying for jobs is a job in itself. 

While I know that it is necessary and honestly going through this is kind of fun, it takes a lot of time to search and find a job that you want. Than you have to apply and something that has recently came to my knowledge is that most places have three or four step interview processes. I went to a couple interviews this last weekend and it surprised me a bit when they told me that I had passed step one and two of their process. Now I have to make another trip back. I don’t mind really it just is something that I didn’t really expect. But know that I am more confortable I understand why they say the job market is tough. It takes a lot of time and you have to be thorough on each job, it isn’t easy. However hopefully the search will be over soon.