THE 2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
Well, you know as soon as December arrives, it confirms that we’re nearing the end of yet another year. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’ve had a very productive year. It’s not about what I did, but seriously what didn’t I do. This may be the first time writing this blog that I will avoid using all caps. Many of my readers, this is your first time witnessing my gift of writing & breaking down what has occurred in 2012. A few of the new faces got a sample of what I posted as far as last year. I hope to just see where this blog takes you. OK, so @ the start of the year, the one thing that I was supposed to work on that I didn’t even get to finish was my book. I initially started with this book & sent what I presented to most of my friends, & they’re looking forward to what that book will bring. It ended up being put on hold for a big task that consumed about half of the year, but I won’t get into that just yet. In the month of February, one of the most unique things happened to me. I went away from the silent side of Twitter & decided to come out & venture into something a little different…I made one of the best connections ever (that strongly connected me to other people, who are the best). Her name (and yes I’m putting your name out there) is Yoshiko. She invited me to this event called “Meet Yo Tweet”. The purpose of this event, as mentioned, is to get the many followers who are out in the city acquainted with each other & out the computer side of Twitter. The best part of this is that there are a fair amount of businesses that are there who you can learn about in the city. What’s amazing is that my username/Twitter handle was “silentassassinb” at that time. What was sad but true was that I actually was very shy back during this phase. My twitter handle will be slightly important as this review continues. Well, during the Meet Yo Tweet event, I was able to step out of the comfort zone of being quiet & shy. What was even more interesting was that the topics on tap were both important. The first topic was HIV/AIDS, & the awareness of it to the others. There are some statements & facts that can shock you & practically make you think twice about going out there & doing something you normally wouldn’t have no business doing. One thing I found to be amazing that caught me off guard was that one of the ladies who spoke out on HIV is someone who I’ve practically seen for a good little while from the Boys & Girls Club & didn’t even know it. What was even worse was that I knew her niece, who was strongly involved in the campaign (that I’ll speak on as time progresses). That portion was deep & insightful, but what I was there for was to hear others speak out on & address domestic violence. Now, keep close, when I was there during this stint, I was mainly involved to just take it all in. Well, as time progressed that night, I was coming up to others & slowly stating that my sister passed due to domestic violence. The flaw was that I wasn’t telling, nor did I know the full story. I didn’t find out about it until October (which happens to be domestic violence awareness month). Anyways, I networked with many people & gained followers galore. I briefly learned that everybody you’re personally cool with may not be cool or comfortable with each other. When this occurs, you basically make your best judgment & move forward from there. March was a heavy stage because I did a radio interview attempting to tell what happened, but I wasn’t willing to tell the full story. The reason being was that I didn’t know or learn specifically what happened. Yoshiko also had a Meet Yo Tweet event a few months later that was down in Virginia Beach & it got me linked up with ETP (EntaPrize Entertainment). They were a good group of people. I also got acquainted with an awesome writer (who I still need to read her work) named Anica Walston. I was able to network with quite a few people and make some worthwhile connections from that trip. What was interesting was that I wore this marquee that sparked a lot of conversation because of how many thoughts I shared on it. So, a few months later, something I never thought I would do occurred, & that was that I would become a part of a neighborhood team to help the president get re-elected. I got started in a unique way though. One of my co-workers got me to go & make a few calls to help people in the neighborhood & within the city get the opportunity to see the President of the United States speak at the Verizon Center (aka the Siegel Center). I was a little hesitant, but I got involved, & found that I would be calling people & get a chance to see him because I volunteered. Well, I didn’t even make phone calls. I ended up going in the back of the headquarters office & basically be on the data entry team. It was very fun overall, because I got to sit with other people who were strong supporters of the president. Even bigger was that there were women on board for President Obama. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to talk about a musical connection that kept me through a lot of what I’ve gone through (even to write this & many of my blogs). A pair of my friends (who I’ll be sure to share& mention in this blog) started a blog & musical connection that was flawless. The name of the group is Loop That Bish. Yes, you heard right. It was originated by the dangerous combination of Chudney Mason & Gerald Tookes. They’re both humble, but what they started helped me out A LOT. When I first listened to their mixes, I was a strong critic, but many of them rolled right into each other. The music was very fluid in my personal opinion. To briefly break it down, the mix would be compiled into one track (no skipping or rewinding) & the songs all loop right into one another. They know that I support them big time. I’m gonna dance back into the music scene as this progresses, but I’ve gotta get into this data entry excitement. So, like I said, everyone was talking about the excitement of seeing the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Many had opportunities to see him. For me, it was my first &only time to see him (due to work). The day he was arriving, I got in line to see him @ nearly 7 in the morning. I met up a pair of my data entry members, & we all were in line enjoying the anticipation. I will admit that I took multiple pictures to give everyone that feeling of what it was like to see my people do whatever it took to see President Obama work another 4 years. The group we entered data for was called Organizing for America & by getting there early, pictures were taken, & I had a brief 15 minutes of fame by being on the OFA_VA website. Once we finished, waiting in line & were finally able to get inside (through all of the professional bumpers & cutters), we got in & initially, we were planning to sit behind the President, but I went w/ one of the ladies & sat in front to get a better seat. The first lady Michelle Obama spoke & got everybody “Fired up & Ready to go”. Coach Shaka Smart was a good person to introduce a fair amount of the speakers since it was in home gym. I enjoyed hear Timothy Kaine speak as well. OK, so once the President got on stage & spoke, I felt moved & know it was time to make things happen. Well, we had an organizational meeting to get everyone grouped & networked within their respective areas. I’ll never forget when they had the teams, & I know for a fact that the last thing I wanted to be was the Team Leader. I think I wanted to lead Data Entry & maybe phone banking. I don’t even remember specifically, but I do remember there were maybe two or three of us within our group for Church Hill & it felt like we needed more people than that to represent our neighborhood. Afterward, more people got involved, & it seemed that a group was beginning to evolve. I was in contact with my Field Organizer, who kept me pretty motivated & helped me find a way to prove that I need to involve myself as strong as possible. In the end, I was able to put myself out there & become a team leader. One thing with this campaign I’ll never forget is that I did a fair amount of canvassing for voter registration. It was practically a ritual. When doing it, I never realized that it would be something I would be as active in, until I looked back & saw that it would be worth it. I got into many activities in the community that allowed me to interact with people who I usually would never talk to in a long shot. The best part is that everyone was pretty nice for the most part. One of the best connections was helping people get their rights restored. I worked alongside the Rolling for Freedom project. I was still canvassing and being involved with my own personal group, but I was making sure that I had people aware about when there was an event involving restoration of rights, because many people don’t know the importance of getting your rights restored. It is a process, but if you’re willing to do it, you’ll do whatever it takes to get what you deserve. I went to one of the voter education events, & was able to meet a young lady who was a strong supporter for the president along with being a great person to maintain a connection with even after the election, & that was mainly what happened. Now, right before I connected with the Rolling for Freedom group, I started to learn to make all of my accounts universal, & keep what I considered brytay82 on board & up and running. One month that was personally massive for me was October, & it had nothing to do with the campaign, but it was a topic that was sensitive to me. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I have a different Field Organizer by this point. He was having a hard time realizing that my priorities were where they were, & I would become fully devoted to the election when it mattered, which I was. My mindset was tunnel-vision up until day President Obama was re-elected. I attended a brunch that left no dry eyes in the room, because there were stories from people who had witnessed domestic violence. The key component was that it was a judge free zone. I will admit that I used that location as an opportunity to share my story as well as get anyone registered since that was the last weekend before voter registration would end that following Monday. I also became pretty hands on with my little sis Miata & her group Motivating Factors. She helped with the Rolling for Freedom group with Miss Community Clovia. Their project was nothing short of awesome, because there were a lot of people felt good to be able to get out there & make a difference. Also, as months passed, I started to re-vamp my impage when it came to my social networks. I eventually changed back to brytay82 on Twitter, which was my intention all along. There was a methodical madness. The name brytay82 was something that I would have never thought would be as big as it did. I think one thing I found to be amazing was that I thought up using that name from when I went to ECPI. I’m about to exploit a little of myself, so work with me. The purpose of using the name brytay82 symbolized the first three letters of my first & last name with the number 82 being the year I was born. When I attended ECPI, my username was brytay1616, which has (for those numerically challenged) 82 in there in strange ways. You add one of the 6’s to the two 1’s, you have eight. Then, of course, when you add the 1’s together, you have 2, so it stuck. Oh, and another thing I acknowledged this year was that I am a major nerd. I already knew I was, but it’s relevant to me & how I function. OK, I wanted to add that in there. The main reason is because in 2013, my objective is to copyright that name, & I’m not just saying it just because, but it’s something that I really plan to push to own. I will do whatever it takes to get that done. More & more as I got into the campaign, I was doing my best to educate others on how important it was to get your voice heard & accounted for. I know that I constantly talk about educating people on voting, the right to vote, and getting your rights restored. The reason why I did so was because a lot of people think that we can hide from voting like bill collectors, but when it comes down to it, the state board with voting was very strict with what they were doing, but it was also lenient if you knew what you were doing. One peak point that I easily overpassed was my 30th birthday. I celebrated on Tuesday, but the “official” celebration started on that previous Friday. Even worse was that I attempted to do something on each day. I was glad to hang with two of my friends who celebrate my birthday on the 4th on different days. There were a few of my friends who got me excited to come hang out for my birthday. Sadly, they fell through, but I had no pity or worry about that. On that Friday, I got to hang with one of my friends that’s a 9/4 baby, & we doubled our celebration. She was celebrating honoring her 29th while I was excited about turning 30. It was even better that there were some other Virgo’s who were amongst us, so that made it even more exciting. After leaving from that venue, I went to this bar called Bar Louie’s, & that was nothing short of a good time. I got to have a few drinks & just take in a nice venue on every level. On Sunday was when the fun went into overdrive, because I partied with someone who is just as crazy as I am. She’s literally the true definition of a female version of Bryan, & I could only just laugh at it but also understand it 100%. She invited me to a little house party. Of course, it was BYOB, & her preference was that she wanted some chocolate, so I fulfilled the quota a little more than expected, but we had a ball. One of the first outings I attended where I had gummy bears soaked in liquor. Heard about it, but never seen that many at one time. We turned the party into a soul train line a few times. It was nothing short of a good time. The day of my birthday, I not only got campaigning in, but got to another dosage of ink. It was a triple threat special day of celebration. More than anything, I had the opportunity to play a little pool at Sharky’s. While at Sharky’s, to celebrate, it was only fitting to have my signature drink (151 w/ a Coke chaser). Took that shot, chased it like a champ & played a game of pool. Well, I got invited to another table, & because they found out it was my birthday, they provided me with a mix of my signature drink, so that made my night. Well, after playing a few games of pool with them, I was on the phone w/ my friend who my friend Shaunelle & Nat, & the two of them had me trippin’ the whole night. It was the best way to celebrate my birthday in my honest opinion. It’s something I will never forget, even if I wanted to. The key point of the weekend, which I never thought would have happened, was that I joined a social group. I won’t go too far into detail, but I’ll share that it’s very productive with potential. & I’ll leave it at that. It’s taught me a lot about family. Well, during this stint, I went into a social break when it came to the campaign. I think one thing I forgot to mention is that the Android world decided to join the photo-crazed world by linking up with Instagram. Honestly, I will admit that I’ve followed & even made some great connections thanks to that program. Two words that were aggressively used (before I go any further) in 2012 were “bae” & “bruh”. The odd part is that they’re mutually used in unique ways. I’ll leave that conversation piece right there. More than anything, I used Instagram as a means of a social outlet where I could say messages with a creative twist if that’s a good way to put it. I didn’t take many pictures, but as time progressed, I learned to use the program to its full potential. I leaked a lot of my thoughts over to my favorite blog, Tumblr. Normally, I use that blog solely for writing & video, but Instagram gave a Tumblr a run for its money. One thing that increased a lot for me was music. I listened to a lot, but sometimes I felt like I wasn’t expanding my ears enough. Next year, I plan to venture heavy into my internal musical ear. Going back to my birthday while speaking on music, I sent Gerald a special request, & it was something that very few people would think of doing. Since I knew that wanted to make a good mix, I asked for an album with 15 songs of artists who weren’t living, & I left it in his hands how to mix and order them, & he put them in an awesome order. Then, I came back and asked for another 15 songs of artists who were living (group or solo artist). Of course, adding those together gave me 30 to honor and commemorate my 30th birthday to compliment my musical tattoo that I got this year. So, as stated, October was a key month as far as Domestic Violence Awareness, but it was also an opportunity to get voters as educated as possible. I was dealing with many questions up until the last day of voter registration. I even got questions from people who didn’t even live in Virginia. It felt good to get someone registered who moved from Denver here to Virginia. That was a good connection by far. What was amazing was that I learned a lot, & trying to get others aware of the importance of the election & getting their vote to count was intense. I know that I’ve repeated that about 20 times, but the thing is that I’ll be as active with this in the future with upcoming general elections. The middle of October leading into the election was one of the best times I met many people who were from D.C., Florida, Chicago, California, & even the United Kingdom to name a few places. It was one of the greatest things to have accomplished. I learned a lot about myself, which is always a good feeling in my personal opinion. Anyways, I hope I’ve kept your attention as I’m writing this. The weekend leading up to the election was highly memorable. On that Tuesday, history once again, & it felt good to be a part of it. If it was a door I knocked on, or water I gave to a volunteer, or training someone on how to canvass, or even just taking time to listen to someone’s story, it made a big difference in the end more than anything. Well, before thanksgiving, I had a job interview, & I’m still waiting to hear official word on the status of that. I’m hoping my time is coming. If it does, then I’ll embrace it with open arms. One thing I’ve observed this holiday, & I might be going into a bit of a dark place, but I’ve been in a bit of a shunning mood where I don’t feel like dealing with many people. It honestly happens to the best, or even the worse of us. Dealing with the uncertainty of that potential job has weighed down on me. More than anything, I had a huge transition based on my living situation. I won’t put all of my business out there. Many of you already know that story. Others hardly know what’s going on. More than anything, I’m just pushing to get back on my feet. For those wondering, I’m still employed #atdaV as I call it. I have my employment locked there for a while. You won’t hear anything negative about my humbling opportunity to better & improve myself. I think there are a lot of things I miss about myself.
What’s interesting is that about this time 5 years is when a lot of things happened, & transitions occurred in many directions. Even worse is that a year ago I broke up with my ex. Even worse, I happened to see a letter she wrote me, & that kinda hit right in the kidney making me wonder about a lot of my personal choices. I live with everything that I’ve done. OK, enough moping and pity. The truth is that me sitting here writing this year in review and listening to my music has given me the balance that I’ve been missing. I have dodged the drinking believe it or not, because that doesn’t always solve everything. I am just gonna sit and contemplate on my next move. One positive thing I will say to overpower what seemed like a negative cloud is that I’ve been very focused and supportive of everyone’s movement, & it seems that everyone is pushing to go in a positive direction. My main object is to do the exact same thing. If I don’t, then I will keep beating myself up over things that aren’t even worth beating myself up over. One of my friends that I connected with on Instagram has opened my eyes to knowing who I am (along with many of my friends via Facebook, text, or just everyday conversation) that I need to just stand tall and prepare for what’s bound to come my way. I think that we sometimes are greedy when we shouldn’t be. You have to sometimes embrace what comes your way & work with that. I won’t be overly aggressive or thirsty (refer to Thirst buckets), but I will just push to be a better person/man & let who I am define what I stand for. If something isn’t being done, then I will improve on it. If I were to do anything better or improve on anything, it would have to be to resort closer to my two loves a lot harder…music & writing. In linking these two to my life, I’ll be able to get back to the chipper powerful positive Bryan that many have grown to love. On that note, it’s time for the Mad Blogga to put the mic back on the stand & wait for some true and real feedback as to what’s what with my life & my routine. Now that I’ve written my most infamous word “routine”, that’s my cue to say good night, good morning, & good day to everyone that’s a friend, family, or a random reader who is reading this through someone else. This is my story & I hope I enlightened on my year of 2012. Take care. Mad Blogga signing out.