The 15 of ’15 series continues. Now that I’ve finished counting down the top 15 films and albums of the year, it’s time to get a bit more personal: the most memorable moments of my life.

15. Moving out by myself.
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 1.41.18 AMAs 2014 ended, I was working a contractual position at a financial advising firm whilst trying to decide where I was going to live. I didn’t feel the need to move out to Dallas and be close to my job, as rent would be more expensive there and my current contract was about to run out with no guarantee of renewal. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t renewed.) Instead, I moved into a nice condo only ten minutes away from the college I’d attended, at/near which most of my friends still lived. I moved in with no roommate, which gave me a solid few months of experiencing, for my first time, having to maintain a home and pay bills singlehandedly.

14. Hicksville, Weekend #1.
Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 10.14.31 PMI’d rather not write much else about a weekend that I already dedicated an entire post to, but these few days in July easily contained some of my favorite moments of 2015. Said blog was also one of the first non-musical things I’d written in over a year, since graduating with a Bachelors of English in May 2014. It’s good to be back.

13. Finishing Mad Men.
250px-mad_men_season_7b_promo_posterAnother hallmark experience with my friends from Hicksville was the completion of watching Mad Men together: the end of an era for both modern television and our friendships together. Back in 2014, when I was college roommates with the Hicks bros. and another good friend named Jeremy, there was an ongoing joke based on how often I’d proclaim, “I! Don’t! T! V!” In other words, the extent to which I wasn’t a fan of television basically made me an enemy of the entire medium. Regularly, the roommates would plead with me to watch the shows they loved, ranging from How I Met Your Mother to The West Wing to The Wire. I always refused, that is, until two of the roommates left for the summer and the younger Hicks brother Isaac and I secretly decided to binge the first six seasons of Mad Men, just the two of us. What the other roommates didn’t know was I’d been wanting to watch the series ever since studying the sixth episode, “Babylon,” in one of my literature classes. By summer’s end, Isaac and I finished all six seasons, and ours lives then became a waiting game for the final season to premiere. When the series finale aired in May 2015, even though I’d moved out, the four of us gathered to watch the it together. Seeing older episodes of Mad Men had been like witnessing a relic of times passed, which made being caught up surreal, especially in witnessing such a masterful end to a near-perfect series. But what was truly special was watching how the friendship between Isaac and myself grew exponentially within the 12 months that we’d started season 1 and ended season 7.

12. Totaling my car.
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 1.39.29 AMThe positive nature of this event was not immediately evident, but in hindsight, totaling my first and only-ever car was most certainly a highlight of the year. When a minivan made a left turn in front of me, giving me no chance to stop, I T-boned it with my aging ’99 Honda Accord. My odometer was approaching 200k and I had $1,000 worth of repairs and necessary upgrades looming on the near horizon. Three cars were ultimately involved in the crash, but no one was hurt and the other cars drove away just fine. When I was offered a few thousand dollars from my insurance for the totaled vehicle, I decided not to get a new car. Instead, I began living thriftily in my joblessness while enjoying a new lifestyle of…

11. Cycling.
970266_594399663915719_1340693775_nWhen I lived in Germany during the summer of 2013, a friend from the church I interned at allowed me to borrow a bike for my two-plus months’ stay. I thus spent the entire summer biking, everywhere. Biking to the grocery store each morning, biking to friends’ houses, and eventually biking to different towns and back simply for leisure’s sake, usually while listening to Eric Ludy sermons and Sara Groves albums. This created a desire in me to bike everywhere around town once I’d returned to Texas; however, actually getting back, where I had a car, made this desire dissipate…until I didn’t have a car anymore. Suddenly, I was forced to bike down to the college to see my friends or to church a few times a week. It was lovely, plus it had the double bonus of keeping me in shape and giving me ample opportunity to indulge in my newly-formed pastime of listening to podcasts. Now all I need is to keep practicing the proper differences between biking, cycling, bikers, and cyclists. Whatever.

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