Man, what a journey. Thanks for following along and interacting with me as I retell some of my favorite stories from the past 12 years as either a student or employee at NSU. It started with my PLC interview in February of 2001 and ends today, April 19, 2013 as I leave NSU to pursue my dreams. Along the way we learned about how I danced with Miss America, how I got on top of almost every building on campus, the Greek Week fight of 2003, and of course my time with Lambda Chi Alpha. Today I will share my number one moment, which of course is May 13, 2006.
My fifth year of college was supposed to be my victory lap. I had recently been re-accepted into the President’s Leadership Class at NSU, I only had 18 hours of college to spread out over an entire year, and I was happy and content with my place in life. However, the summer before my 5th year, I interned at Channel 6 in Tulsa a sports broadcasting reporter, and found out that it was not the career for me. I was past the point of changing my major (again), and I felt stuck. I was in a serious relationship that was far from perfect, and was also past the point of changing paths. Life was good, but not as good as I had hoped for me at this point.
During my last semester at NSU, the bottom fell out. I got dumped, I lost hope, and I became depressed. I leaned very heavily on my family and a few friends during that time, and my great memories at NSU wouldn’t seem so great if I didn’t have those down times too. A few people challenged me to become the man they knew I should be during those dark times, and I would fail them if I didn’t acknowledge them publicly. Rickey and Brooke Peaker, Ryan Fenska, Mark Bivins, and Ricky Shade carried me for a few months as I regained my footing. Bivins invited me to a night at the BCM when Dennis Jernigan seemed to speak directly to me. It was that moment that gave me the courage I needed to move forward.
I finished off my college career strong, received Outstanding Male Senior, and wondered what the future held for me. I had been invited to the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority formal the weekend after I graduated, and I saw this as my last chance to live it up before I looked for work after college. I had spent the last few months hanging out with the ladies of Alpha Sig…and I had been missing out! They were fun, they were very nice to me, and they were ridiculously pretty. I had my eye on one in particular, one that was on my dream team, but she was in a long-term relationship so I didn’t pursue it.
The fact that she was in a committed relationship didn’t stop me from hanging out with her, and I am glad it didn’t. I can remember hanging out in her room with Abbi Bergstrom after Greek Awards as we talked about our common love for breakfast. I told her someday I would buy her breakfast since we had it in common (smooth move, I know!). Later this girl hung out with me at Greek Week because she loved my little Golden Retriever puppy, Jax, and she told me someday she wanted a dog just like it. Of course, this young lady was Kristin King from Byng. The hottest girl on campus…and she was way out of my league.
All of these events led me to the number one moment on my countdown, the crescendo of my time at NSU…May 13, 2006.
The ASA formal was in downtown OKC, and I actually did not go with Kristin. We both had different dates but had our eyes on each other. We hung out at the banquet and dance in the hotel before ending up desperately wanting breakfast at 2 am, the best time for breakfast in my opinion. We tried to get a big group to go with us, but most people were either asleep, partying, or too incapacitated to walk the 4-5 blocks to iHop. It ended up being me, Kristin, and Christin Gaines walking the long trek to eat, and it was worth it!
While we were eating Kristin decided to buy my breakfast and even gave breakfast to the homeless man who decided to enter the restaurant and sit at our booth. This is when I knew Kristin was a winner. After breakfast we decided to stay up all night long, we played in the sprinklers, we watched a Jewish infomercial in the hotel lobby, watched a couple fight, and talked about Facebook. Long story short, we ended up kissing that next morning at 7 am on May 13, 2006.
This started the most wonderful relationship I have ever had. She is perfect for me in more ways than I can count, and she challenges me to be the best person I can be. You know the rest of the story…we eventually got married, moved to Tulsa, got that Golden Retriever she always wanted, and we have been blessed with Baby Jane. I am by no means perfect, but my love for her has never ceased. She is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that will never change.
As I leave NSU, I genuinely want to thank all of you who have helped mold me into the person I am today. I want to publicly apologize to all of you who I have wronged. My weaknesses and imperfections have hurt some in my past, and you didn’t deserve it. I hope to someday call each of you and apologize in person. The hard times at NSU also have helped me grow, and I am still in a continual state of learning.
I have been blessed to be surrounded by the best people in the world, and my life has been impacted by countless amounts of people. NSU was not just a stop along my journey but a launching pad for my success. I will always be a proud NSU alum and I won’t be disappearing. Please stay in touch and we will continue this journey together.