15 ways 2015 changed my life.

15 of my favorite moments of 2015!

  1. I rang in the new year in the company of genuine friends. A year ago, I drove up to D.C. to stay with my SigEp brother and friend, Dave Bradt, and his wife, Courtney. That night was perfect because I was with two down-to-earth people who know how to have a good time.

2. Blue Bell abandoned me. Yes. This did change my life. If you’re not from Texas, I wouldn’t expect you to understand. Virginia is in phase four or five of Blue Bell’s return. I’m still waiting.

3. I found my faith again and returned to the Church. After years of struggling, I reconciled my gay life and my faith.

4. I met someone. When I finally decided to give up on looking for a relationship in Richmond, Tim came into my life. The night we met for dinner was one of the most nerve-racking nights of my life. I remember thinking I didn’t stand a chance because he’s one handsome nurse. Dozens of bottles of wines and several road trips later, here we are! When the ball drops tonight, we will have been dating for six months. I can honestly say Tim has changed my life in that time. Hopefully, he’ll continue to keep me in my place, challenging me to be a better person. And, for his sake, maybe I’ll get better at telling jokes.

5. One World Trade Center opened its doors. During my trip to NYC, my best friend and I had the opportunity to go to the top of One World Trade Center. It was such a surreal moment, being up there. I looked down at the 9/11 Memorial and tried imagining what that site must have been like when the Twin Towers stood above the world. The experience of visiting the observatory is worth every penny.

6. My favorite women and I attended Governors’ Ball. Despite being the most insane/reckless/exhausting days of my life, I had enjoyed every minute of it. From Drake and Lana Del Rey to Florence and the Machine, we saw some amazing performances.

7. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. June 26, 2015, changed the lives of so many Americans. The LGBT community is finally free to marry who they love, no matter their sexuality. I knew this day would come, but it came sooner than expected. Damn proud to be an American! #LoveWins

8. My mom and I truly found each other. Unfortunately, my mother and I didn’t always get along. I take a lot of blame for that … teenage years can be a you-know-what. Our time together this summer was perfect. For the first time in a long time, we finally found each other and understood each other. When you communicate and find understanding, your relationship gets so much better.

9. SigEp’s 54th Grand Chapter Conclave — my first Conclave! I love my Fraternity, which is a big reason why I now work for it. Conclave is the best opportunity to witness the power SigEp has when it comes to providing transformational experiences and changing lives.

10. The White House Invited me to the welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis. On Thursday, August 13, a miracle happened. While I was working SigEp’s 54th Grand Chapter Conclave, I received a phone call from the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. The corespondent said, “We would like to invite you and one guest to join us for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House.”

11. CNN and I had a talk. After word got out that I was invited to the White House, several news reporters wanted to talk to me. My favorite opportunity was my LIVE interview from the CNN Newsroom with CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

12. SigEp promoted me to the Digital Media Director. It’s official. After working nearly 14 months as the Communications Manager, I’m now the Digital Media Director for SigEp! As the saying goes, “hard work pays off.”

13. I started volunteering for BBBS. Words cannot express how happy I am to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters serving Richmond, Tri-Cities & Hampton Roads.

I’ve only been meeting with my Little for a month and our times together have become my favorite part of the week. Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for giving me this opportunity!

Earlier this month, we made a gingerbread house. At the beginning, my Little sighed and said, “It doesn’t look that great…”

An hour later when I walked him back to class he looked at the house and said, “It turned out beautiful, didn’t it?”

14. Tim took me to Niagara Falls! After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with Tim’s family in Buffalo, we ventured into Canada to experience the boat tour under Niagara Falls. Needless to say, it was freaking cold. Good thing we had some wine before we got on!

And finally …

15. The Force Awakened.