This is a pretty long story but I think if you have kids I hope you can make the time to listen to the whole thing.
I could not wait till Wednesday to post this! If you love kids and helping others I think you will love this story!
I am ringing in the new year with the same good friends as last year, back in my hometown area in Illinois. No problem with ringing in the new year with a great group of people. I am still working in the same job too! I am a Paraprofessional for students with Autism and I absolutely love my job. I love working with my students and I love working with all the other student in the after school program. I have also been way more active with volunteering and helping out with school functions.
I have done quite a bit again this past year so I think I am going to just bullet point what I have done instead of writing a novel! In case you don’t make it to the bottom I just want to say that daily I increase my knowledge and exposure to the world and future of our children as well as seeing their future. I am fine tuning my message as well as beginning to get my actual voice heard instead of just my words. I have made big advances with this blog and I owe so much gratitude to those who follow me and support me on this journey. Now here is a huge list of only some of the things that have happened in 2015.
- I vowed to friend everyone I meet and I have done just that! My friends list is flourishing with inspirational people
- I have visited more Florida beaches then most people that have lived here all their lives.
- I have visited 2 area zoos.
- I moved from a place full of bugs to a great place biking distance to work!
- I bike to work now just about everyday.
- I have visited about a dozen State and National Parks in Florida
- I visited Cassadaga FL. Which is a very spiritual town. It was a very inspiring visit.
- I CLEARED ALL MY DEBT!!!!!!!
- Brand new custom license plates to reflect my blog “UPW MRC”
- Attended the biggest soccer game I have ever been too! Over 62,000 people to watch 2 brand new teams to the MLS for a season opener game! New York City FC vs ORLANDO CITY SOCCER CLUB, my new favorite team! And I have my best friend to go to the games with me, with our new season tickets that we await for the 2016 season
- Survived one Florida winter and I am ready for the next! Last year it was below freezing for a whole 2 days, HA! Right now it is in the 80’s.
- In March…..ya we are only at March….I shared with my friends and followers 31 days of gratitude. What an amazing month, I have far more than just a months worth of things to be grateful for too!
- Found out that Taco Bell is stealing my catch phrase “You want me” they are putting “you know you want me on their hot sauce packets.
- I am pictured on advertisements to work on cruise ships from my first Southern Caribbean Contract with Royal Caribbean! My over excited smile is getting people jobs on cruise ships. 😛
- Discovered sunrises at the beach! AMAZING!
- I have had a hand full of people doubt me and my goals and this year alone I have proved them all wrong and cut off friendship with those people.
- I made about 70 cupcakes for the staff at my school in May and they continue to talk about them waiting for me to make more cupcakes again!
- I started back with walking and running. My knees are handling it well!
- Brought the soccer ball back to my feet. I play on my own on the weekend and I play with the kids in the after school program as well
- This blog has reached over 100 countries and I gave a big shout out to people from Illinois, Philippines and India. As of today I now give a big shout out to staff and friends from Florida who have taken the time to support my blog as well.
- In May I read 3 book which is a big thing for me in one month.
- I discovered Marc Mero in May. He is a motivation speaker for students, doing exactly what I want to be doing. Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet him and see his presentation. I am setting up time to sit down with him and ask him many questions.
- Kids say the coolest things. Every day they say what I look like based on colors I wear. Anywhere from a donut or a shark to a pretty princess or Superman. They also give me compliments all the time. One Third grader in the after school program said “Mr. Marc you smile all the time, even when you are upset with us you are smiling.” I have worked on smiling all the time for a long time so this was a huge compliment for me.
- Went up to Illinois to sell off my storage unit and take home a few things, kind of wiping my hand of an old life and embracing a new one.
- Saw My old soccer team Chicago Fire play my new team Orlando Lions, in Chicago.
- A friend of mine came to visit me in Florida for her vacation. We did it all, beaches, Sea World (for both our first time), Busch Gardens, Chocolate museum, comedy club, and her first soccer game, and drove my car on the beach for the first time.
- Worked on a cruise ship over the summer in Vancouver Canada and Alaska. Absolutely an amazing experience. Met a lot of great people and hit a lot of firsts like, first time to Alaska, first time seeing whales in the wild, first time seeing glaciers, horseback riding for the first time and a hoard of pictures to document all the amazing things I did while I was up there. I had salmon prepared 8 different ways while I was up there not to mention several kind of fish and other sea creatures. Hiked the mountains at each port of call
- Toward the end of my trip I got Cellulitis and Necrotizing Fasciitis and almost lost my leg and possibly my life. I am grateful to still have my leg and life and be walking just fine today. Its those near death events in your life that make you appreciate your life more.
- Upon the start of the school year I was super excited to have known I was very welcomed back and have little by little gathered a few friendship as well.
- In August my blog was 3 years old and getting stronger every day.
- Saw the U.S. Woman’s National Soccer team play Brazil.
- Over Halloween I tackled 2 bucketlist items on a long weekend trip. I went to New York City for the first time and I saw a TED Talk live event on Broadway. I packed in so many first that weekend. Saw the Statue Of Liberty, top of the Empire State Building and the New World Trade Center Building, as well as the World Trade Center Monument, 2 museums, Time Square, and determined that Chicago Style pizza is way better then New York Style.
- Some of my coworkers gave me a great prebirthday celebration at school.
- Had a great Birthday on my own in November, however I did manage to meet a great friend and one of my followers from Facebook at a rock and gemstone show.
- I found garlic stuffed olives at a local store
- I joined Toastmasters and won best speaker on my very first speech
- I started volunteering at Give Kids The World. An all expenses paid dream vacation for terminally ill children and their families. What an amazing opportunity and organization and I will continue to volunteer more in the new year
- People keep complimenting my photography and are always surprised to hear they are unedited pictures from just my cell phone. I treated myself to a Nikon 3300 DSLR camera with a bunch of accessories and finally was able to capture the moon! I can not wait to post the pictures from this new camera from my trip up to Illinois.
- Helped out a local crafter and got an ornament personalized to say “UPwithmarc” I intend to Illustrate “Upwithmarc” everywhere in the future to come
- This December was when I actually meet Motivational Speaker Marc Mero
- Made It back to Illinois for the holidays and saw my new nephew for the first time. I also saw snow for the first time in like 2 years! I made and befriended a snow man too
Some things are little some things are big but I guarantee all the things I have done in 2015 are not listed. With that being said how many things have you done and accomplished in 2015? Happy New Years to all.
Yes I am still here. I have been very busy outside of this blog. I still do have my TED Talk New York Trip to talk about and I had a birthday pass as well. I also had a spell of no motivation to which I just kinda of took a break from everything. I eleam out of that spell, my life is flooding with opportunities right now, and I am just trying to keep them in order.
I was researching to rejoin Toastmasters and I just went to a meeting Monday. They seem excited to have me join and I have already volunteered to help them network and expand their club. If you are not familiar with Toastmasters it is an international organization were all varieties of people get together with a common goal to improve their public speaking abilities. Obviously, this is a perfect organization for me to join and I look forward to seeing if this will be a good fit for me in the coming weeks.
I have also been looking to volunteer at children’s hospitals and children’s homes. It has been a difficult journey and I finally discovered the reality of this desire. I talked with someone from the hospital and she told me why it was so difficult to get in, and once you are in its years before you start actually helping the children directly. It was very real and it all made sense but it is just not an opportunity for my fast paced lifestyle. The Assistant Principle at my school told me about a great organization called Give Kids The World here in Florida. Just the other day I meet someone in the grocery store that worked there. She said the application rate is 100% acceptance pending my background check. Give Kids The World is an organization that takes in less fortunate or ill children from all over the world and gives them the vacation of a life time. I really look forward to hearing back from them, and hope I can help as well.
I also got interviewed by a Life Coach that is coming out with her own website which will be a consulting site. She will have people with many different skill sets involved in this site and it will be like an internet radio idea. I don’t want to say much about it just yet but when she has it up and running you will certainly know about it. This will give me the opportunity to network out farther. I will be able to share my ideas on many different platforms and this will give me a good opportunity to work on the video and speech ends of my goals. This will also give me an opportunity to be one of the people consulting others and making a little extra cash in the process. This is something that is already in the works and I am excited to get the ball rolling to see how this new website works out for her and everyone she is trying to get involved with it.
Outside my job and volunteering at the Elementary school those are just a few things I am working on. A few others are; taking a public speaking course on my own, researching and implementing my own TED Talk presentation, looking into making some extra money with my passion for gemstones and healing crystals. There is probably more smaller things that I am forgetting right now as well!
I just wanted to check in for my avid followers to say I am still here. This blog is very important to me but it is also a path into many more opportunities that need to be pursued. As always I am so grateful for your following and no matter the time frame between my post on here I am still moving forward with my main goals in life.
I have also made my way back to the beach and in the water for the first time sense I left for Alaska in June.