Hello there. The name is Jexams. Most people online call me Jex. I’m currently a college student who’s hit a pretty rough patch but is gradually getting back up and moving forward again in life. My story is by no means unique. The thing is though, it doesn’t have to be. I think everybody, regardless of where they are in life, should remember to be thankful for the things that are important to them.
The goal of this project is to exercise gratitude. While there is still a long road ahead of me in life, I think it’s important that I take the time to give thanks to the people and the things that have kept me going. This is actually something that I’ve been wanting to work on for a while. It initially started with me wanting to send a few emails to certain podcasts that helped me get through some rough patches but this desire to say thank you has slowly grown over time until it became this… admittedly ambitious personal writing project. That said, I should dive into it before I hesitate again.
I’m someone who enjoys listening to podcasts. I don’t listen to as many as some people, but I think I would still describe myself as somebody who loves podcasts. That said, if I were asked what was the first show I listened to, I would have to say that I can’t really remember. I listened to maybe a handful of random shows before I found one that made an impact on me. If I was asked what was the first show that I listened to regularly though, I would immediately be able to answer you: Analog(ue) and The Pen Addict. These were two of the five shows that were available when Relay FM launched in August of 2014 and were the two shows that made me fall in love with podcasts. I admittedly don’t listen to them as regularly as I used to but that’s largely due to changes in interest and personal listening habits.
There isn’t really much for me to say about these two shows before I go into why I’m thankful for them. I’ve linked the pages to their shows above which have an excellent description of what they’re about so please, check them out. What will follow would be my personal message to those two shows and their hosts. If you’re planning on listening to Analog(ue) from the start, there will be “spoilers”, though it might not be a big deal for most people. Either way, I just wanted to leave that warning.
Dear Casey and Myke,
Thank you. While I’ve admittedly not listened in a while (mostly due to listening habits changing and then not being sure where I want to jump back in), this show will always have a special place in my heart. The reason for this, is because of how personal and honest you two have made this show through the stories you guys have shared. Again, it’s been a while so my recollection may be foggy but I’d like to share a couple of the stories that were important to me.
Casey, the little story you shared about your difficulties in college and your motivation for getting through it all is one that resonates with me. I’m currently an electrical engineering student and… it’s been hard. Because school was relatively “easy” for me up until I graduated high school, I never really developed effective study habits. This, coupled with only recently diagnosed ADD made each semester increasingly difficult to the point where the anxiety was starting to have a very real and very adverse affect on me. Through those low points though, one of the things I would find myself coming back to would be what you said back then.
You said that one day, you wanted to be able to afford your future wife the opportunity to stay home while pregnant and not have to worry about immediately returning to work. Because of that desire, you were able to keep pushing and work through everything and graduate. I also want to be able to do this for my future spouse. I have no aspirations of becoming the “primary bread winner” but at the very least, while my wife is carrying our child, I want her to not have to worry about the finances. I want her to be focus on herself and our unborn child’s wellbeing. It’s this… desire and goal that’s helped me get up time and time again and I want to thank you for that.
Myke. At first, I wanted to say that your story about why you quit your J-O-B job was my favorite but then you told us all about how you met Adina. I’m currently in a long-term, long-distance relationship that started with just being friends with someone online. While entering an LDR with a best friend you’ve never seen face-to-face and finding a partner via an online dating site are two different things, I think both have some degree of social stigma associated with them. Because of this, listening to you talk about Adina sort of… left a warm spot in my heart. Love stories in general are endearing but yours in particular had a feel-good affect on me. This… sounds… really weird to say (write) I guess but it’s the truth and well, there are definitely moments where those nice, warm feelings came in handy. I think your story’s impact on me is harder to eloquently explain but please know that I really appreciate you sharing it.
I think that’s all for this letter. Continue being awesome.
The Pen Addict
Dear Brad and Myke,
My wallet hates you two. The first time I listened to you guys was the week that Relay FM launched. Naturally, my first reaction to seeing the show was “Really? A show about fountain pens?”. The next day, I was searching online for my first pen, which ended up being an orange Pilot Kakuno. I was able to dissuade myself from impulse buying it there and then but by Christmas, I figured that enough time had passed and since I was still interested, I might as well buy it.
This is going to sound incredibly cliche but honestly, the moment I put the pen to paper, I was hooked. There’s just something about the feel of a nib on paper that feels so satisfying. I immediately started to use fountain pens where I could on a daily basis and I don’t see myself going back any time soon. That said, I keep a Uniball Signo 207 on me for the times when I either can’t use my FP, or someone needs to borrow a pen.
I’ve always disliked writing things by hand but after being introduced to fountain pens, that’s all changed. Nowadays, I use a combination of a Pilot Prera with Sailor Fuji Musume ink and a .5mm rOtring 600 for my school work and it… feels really great. Loving the writing instruments I use on a daily basis has even helped me look forward to re-writing notes when reviewing.
My girlfriend affectionately teases me and calls me a pen nerd and it’s a title that I’ll happily accept. I’ve even gotten her and a couple of others interested in fountain pens so the cycle of enabling others continues.
While I’ve admittedly taken a rather lengthy break from listening to podcasts over the last year or so, I recently started listening to the show again and the first thought that came to mind was “wow, I missed this.” Immediately, I was clicking through show notes and gushing over the beautiful pens and I could feel myself remembering why I fell in love with pens in the first place.
Thanks to you two, my fingers are stained with ink at least once a week and honestly, I’d have it no other way.
Continue the great work,
So this ends the first part of this Thank You Project. I think I have one or two more podcasts that I’ll write about but the other subjects will be a general mix of things I love that have also helped me get through tough times. Thank you for reading and hopefully, this project might inspire others to take a moment to appreciate the things in life that we all love.
[In an effort to get this out before I convince myself not to, this post has minimal editing. At a later date, I’ll come back and fix any errors.]