Fail. Learn. Repeat.

Here’s my inaugural post on Finding Tom via the link below. It’s about failure. You know, something I know a lot about.

http://www.findingtom.com/fail-learn-repeat/

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Follow Me At Finding Tom!

Finding Tom

That’s the new title of my blog. I honestly want to thank everyone that reads this on occasion. I’m not getting as many hits as Google yet (not even close), but it’s nice to know that my words often inspire visitors who swing by.

The reason why I decided to buy my own domain is because of the people that like, comment, and visit my site. You’ve given me the confidence to make the jump and get this site live.

What can you expect moving forward?

Much of the same, just more blogs about my travels. I’m very much a “travel blogger” that hasn’t really travelled yet, but that’s going to change on June 6 as I make my way from Orlando to San Francisco.

You can also expect the typical content that seeks to inspire those recent graduates or college students who feel a little lost. I want to encourage those who are like me, most of all.

If you follow this blog I’ll share my thoughts, learning experiences, and methods to help you live a live that you’ll love.

If you want to travel on a budget I’ll show you how. If you want to feel less lost, I’ll show you how. If you want someone to talk to, I’ll always respond in the comment section.

I hope every now and then you’ll ask yourself, “Where’s Tom?” and you come visit my site to find out just where I am.

Are you ready for an adventure? I sure am.

Visit me at findingtom.com

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Why We Should ALWAYS Make Time For Our Friends

This past week I went to Phoenix on business.

One of my friends from the Disney College Program lives in Phoenix, and this was my chance to see her again after a one-year hiatus.

I did see her in Vegas, but that was like a blur, and we were so busy I didn’t get to talk with her too much.

But not this time.

Despite living an hour away she drove to see me–how lucky am I? We went downtown to Phoenix and while we didn’t even do anything too crazy it was still so much fun to see her again.

We both have this dry sense of humor so around every turn there was yet another hilarious comment being made by either one of us.

It didn’t take long to slip back into our comfort zones. In fact, I was in my comfort zone the whole damn time.

As I walked around the city with her I got this odd feeling that this must be what life is all about. I used to be so shy, so secluded, and never made much effort to see my friends even when I was near them.

I’ve been blessed because I think I’m the only one of the infamous 2909 Disney group that’s been able to visit pretty much everyone over the past year.

My friend in Phoenix and my best friend in San Francisco have a hard time seeing anyone because the rest of us are on the East Coast. That’s definitely understandable.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m so thankful for that. I’ve wanted to put my friends higher on my priority list lately, and it’s nice to see that happening.

Our friends are everything. It’s not easy to find a great friend. Sure, meeting people is easy, but finding a friend that will do anything to see you? That’s rare.

That’s why we should ALWAYS make time to see our friends.

How Facebook Has Become A Time Machine

I don’t take pictures off my Instagram.

And I mean pictures of my ex’s and stuff. Why though? Because. It happened. At one point in my life I made the conscious decision to be with these people and taking them off is like trying to delete them. I’m not ashamed about my past. I might be ashamed about some things I said, but I’m not ashamed of who I’ve been with.

It’s amazing how far social media has come though, right? I set up my Facebook back in 2008. That was my freshman year of high school, and now I’m one year removed from college graduation.

Have we even stopped to think about how social media is changing things? My friend Sydney looked back at some old conversations we had in high school and they’re absolutely hysterical. But, again, those conversations have been lying around in my messages ever since those words were written.

Facebook has a memory. You can go back and see what you said to that old girlfriend, or that old friend. It’s insane.

This takes social media way past the linear way many of us look at it. Think about it, our parents never got to save conversations like that. Could they save letters? Sure, but letters aren’t like conversations.

We’re documenting our lives on here. Will Facebook be a way for our kids to look back at who we used to be years ago? Will our kids be able to look at our old messages from when we were teenagers? It’s kind of a weird thought, but why not?

Facebook is still here nine years later, and I doubt it’s going anywhere soon.

Time Hop is a new app that’s just popped up in recent years. It shows you what you posted years ago, and as you can tell this app never would’ve been popular nine years ago because we simply didn’t have any history on Facebook then.

Now we do.

The history of our recent years can be found on Facebook. It’s transcended being a website, or a social media platform. It’s now a time machine. Insane.

What are your thoughts on social media? Comment below!

Is ‘VIEWS’ Drake’s Best Album?

The 6 God has been on a roll since Nothing Was The Same.

In 2014 he made 0 to 100 a summer anthem, and in 2015 he did the same thing with Hotline Bling. He’s permeated the culture so much that you can’t visit the club without hearing Drake. And while many argue about which rapper is at the top of the game right now, I’ll throw in my own two cents:

When Drake drops something, the world seems to come to a standstill, and I haven’t seen any other rapper in the game be able to do that.

While VIEWS is the first solo “album” he’s dropped since NWTS, it certainly hasn’t felt like it.

In early 2015 we got If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which had an icy feel to it that paired well with the harsh Winter he dropped it in. Then, later in 2015, we got What A Time To Be Alive, featuring a collection of bangers just begging to be played in clubs across North America.

Where is Drake right now though? The best way to find that out is to start listening to VIEWS.

First off, is Keep the Family Close about Nicki Minaj? I answer that with a resounding yes. He chose quite the topic to focus on for his intro. Normally he just brags–like–a lot on the opening track but not this time. This time he’s lamenting how Nicki basically forgot about him during the Meek Mill feud.

All of my “let’s just be friends” are friends I don’t have anymore.

-Keep the Family Close

But, on the first banger of the album, Drake gets back to form on “9,” rapping about fake friends, enemies, and how they still want to see his “Views” no matter what. Powerful Drizzy.

“U With Me?” is the first prototypical Drake reminiscing about a girl song. My favorite line is when he says he made a career out of reminiscin’, which is actually pretty accurate. It’s a strong song. I could feel his emotion when he started screaming at the end about a girl that knew him when “he had waves,” which must’ve been during Take Care? He talks about how she “slides on a late night” into his text messages, and how they’re both playing games with each other. Sometimes we just use people to get attention.

“Feel No Ways” is a continuation, albeit a more positive one, of Drake talking about a past love. It’s got a “Hold On We’re Going Home” vibe to it. This time he let go of the relationship early on to (assuming) see what he could do. I mean, all they used to do is stay in and get high together. It makes sense. But because of that his old girl is throwing it in his face, clearly a little pissed. Come on Drake, you did it to yourself.

Okay, now for “Hype,” one of the biggest bangers on the album. Just listen and enjoy it.

You try to give ’em your side of the story
They heard it, but they wasn’t hearin’ it

-Hype

“Weston Road Flows” won’t be played in the clubs anytime soon, but it still gives us a nice look at the old Drake.

tumblr_nsat7fwj361uva8hqo1_400.jpg

He raps about a fellow ambitious rapper he used to know who he has now surpassed. Weston Road is the road that Drake grew up on–just for background.

Been flowin’ stupid since Vince Carter was on some
through the legs arm in the hoop shit.

-Weston Road Flows

“Weston Road,” “Redemption,” and “With You” slow things down a bit here in the middle of the project. “With You” only has a few verses but it’s deeper than it looks. Drake links up with PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jeremih for this one, crooning about a girl that’s a little more independent than he might hope.

Choose your lover for the moment
Different story when I leave you
Story of just to keep you
I need you around, I need you, oh

-With You

Following this trio is another trio that speeds things back up slowly but surely. “Faithful” is largely a song about having sex, if you want me to be honest about it. It’s playful Drake, much needed after the three heavier songs before it. “Still Here” is our third dose of braggadocio Drake, and it sounds freaking awesome.

Then we have Controlla.

So far the sounds that we’ve come into contact with on VIEWS have been pretty reminiscent of past Drake projects, but Controlla is definitely a deviation. It sounds like “Work,” and has that Dancehall vibe to it. We weren’t expecting this one from The Boy..unless you heard the leak a few weeks ago, but that’s beside the point.

I guess I’ll stop at the midway point to talk about the sound of the album. Take Care, NWTS, and IYRTITL all had their own particular sound. Take Care could be mistaken for an R&B album, and IYRTITL was cold, with minimalistic beats. VIEWS seems to just be a mash-up of past and present Drake. There hasn’t really been much of a step forward so far, but it’s only halfway through.

Good news: “One Dance” continues the Dancehall vibe. But this one came out a few weeks ago, so we knew this was coming.

Strength and guidance
All that I’m wishing for my friends

-One Dance

Okay, so, “Grammys” deserves a Grammy. Somehow Drake and Future have managed to bless us one more time. Can “What A Time To Be Alive 2” come out this summer? Yeah? Much appreciated.

I pull up in yachts so big that they try to hit me with boat fines

-Grammys

“Child’s Play” is quite the song. It’s about Drake’s love with an immature girl from the hood that he just can’t let go, because, and here’s the kicker, the sex is too good. Good job Drake. You’ve let us all know multiple times on VIEWS that if the sex is good then you just can’t let it go. The funniest line is how he talks about how people that go to Cheesecake drive Camry’s and go to Disney. It’s true.

“Pop Style” sounds like it could’ve been on IYRTITL. And, continuing the jamaican themes in this album, Pop Style is a jamaican term meaning ballin’ apparently. But, as a quick aside, it makes sense that Drake would incorporate a lot of Jamaican influences on this album. People talk in Jamaican accents in barbershops and basketball courts all around the city. Just go watch Drake’s shortfilm “Jungle” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s a cool little subliminal thing.

“Too Good” is the first Drake and Rihanna collaboration on a Drake project since “Take Care,” and it was worth the wait. It’s about a couple who thinks their love is taken for granted.

It feels like the only time you see me
Is when you turn your head to the side and look at me differently

-Too Good

It’s a brilliant song.

Drake rounds out the album with three slower tracks. “Summers Over” is pretty self-explanatory. And when pondering it further, this album is very much made for the summer. It’s full of anthems for love and clubs, laced against warmer beats–much warmer than his previous “mixtape” released in January.

I love VIEWS, and I’m sure I’ll love it more and more as I listen to it, but it just didn’t seem as cohesive as a project compared to his past albums. It jumps around with a lot of different sounds and beats, but the subject material is still reminiscent of what’s made Drake popular.

He’s made his millions from nostalgia. That’s why we all feel his music, because we’ve all been in love too. Drake is dynamic, too. His relationships are playful, deep, emotional, and amusing. Sometimes he talks about being “too good” for somebody before talking about how he’s the opposite a few songs later.

How should we enjoy VIEWS? By treating it as a summer album. Listen to it while you’re falling in love with someone. Listen to it while prepping to go to the club. Listen to it when summer is ending and you’re reminiscing.

VIEWS: 8/10

Confessions Of A Recent College Grad: I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

I do email marketing for my company’s clients.

I sent out an email yesterday with a massive typo, and now my boss is reaming me out for it. Oh well.

But here’s the bigger probem: I have no freaking clue what I’m doing.

I honestly don’t. I went to college for marketing and now pay god know what back because of it, but many times I feel I don’t know how to actually market.

My belief has always been that marketing, above all else, needs to be awesome, but that’s for another post.

In a broader sense, I many times don’t know what I’m doing, and often feel insecure because of it.

First off, I stumbled into working in IT marketing despite not knowing a damn thing about it. I thought I knew what “IT” was because I worked with a lot of tech companies/startups to write up their marketing materials (copywriting).

But I made the mistake of thinking “IT” was the same as like, say, coding an application or developing the next cool product. And by the time I realized that, I was already knee deep in this job.

Many times when I’m on the phone with our clients I feel clueless as to what to say. Now, you’d never guess this because I’ve developed some pretty good telephone-talking skills, but half the time I’m panicking in my mind.

That’s my shy side coming out.

And don’t even get me started on the emails. I can only write an email that I think would be fun to read, but getting the client to sign off on it is nearly impossible, because the client is still on the train to boredom town.

I’ve begun to sign up for webinars and emails about how to do email marketing, because, once again, I have no clue.

It’s really started to stress me out lately.

Multiply that by the fact that I’m currently on an all-expense(and I mean EXPENSE as in EXPENSIVE)-paid-trip to learn about the software that I use, and you can see that I’m really starting to freak out.

I feel like I can’t keep the facade up for too much longer. Inevitably, they’re going to see that I can’t handle it, and that I don’t have any idea.

This theme has stuck with me since graduating college. I once ran out of a job on the first day (like, quit, without telling him) because I thought that I would most certainly be a waste of his money.

And then I got into writing. I became a journalist at the Inquisitr, where I got let go a few months later because I just wasn’t grasping SEO (I still don’t, that shit is COMPLEX).

How did I get these jobs you say? I wrote well. I turned some heads because of my writing, but the recurring problem is that I have yet to master some of the aspects that come along with writing.

Failures, failures everywhere.

Which gets me back to my original point: I’m floating around a year after graduation with no clue of what I’m doing.

What’s the message here? What’s the happy ending? I’ve written a pretty depressing story, I know.

Well, here it is.

A few years back I worked for a mowing company. We operated big ass machinery, and during my first year I made every mistake in the book.

I burned lawns, scalped hills, broke blowers, blew grass in the mulch, and basically was a general {insert curse word here} up.

I got yelled at, and many times felt insecure.

I always hated making mistakes. I just wanted to do right for my boss, not be a pain in his ass. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

BUT.

I came back the next summer and improved dramatically. I learned that you need to stay away from hitting small bumps in the lawn. I learned that you can put a flap down on the mower to stop grass from blowing everywhere. I learned that you can’t just turn on a dime because the rotation of the wheel will leave a big burn mark in the lawn.

And you thought mowing lawns was easy. It’s really not.

The conclusion is that through our failures we get better. But what about the part of me that freaking hates failure? That cringes every time my boss finds something wrong in what I’m doing?

Just shake it off, I guess. I’m sure many reading this may have felt the same way at one point. Don’t catastrophize (pretty cool word, huh?) it. If they fire you, they fire you. That’s on them.

All you can do is try to spot the wave and catch it. Learn. Improve. Grow. That’s it. If you didn’t grow fast enough, then get another job, and now you have all these failures and learning experiences to take into the next one. You’re better.

Something remarkable happens when you start thinking this way. It takes your mind off of failure and things oddly start to work out.

You’re going to fail. You’re going to have shitty days. Things are going to backfire. They may backfire every day. Just learn. We’re not a good or bad person because of what happens at work.

Thanks for reading guys, and don’t afraid to be clueless, like me.

5 Not-So-Crazy Things On My Bucket List

Bucket lists are normally chock-full of crazy things, such as:

  • Skydiving
  • Climbing Everest
  • Going on a cross-country road trip

I mean, I want to skydive, but I also don’t want to have the prototypical bullshit bucket list that everyone’s seen a billion times. So here’s a few things from my own bucket list that’s not so crazy yet distinct in it’s own way:

  • Go up to a perfect ten at the bar and talk to her – And I’m talking PERFECT 10. I’m talking like Victoria Secret model worthy. This seems so stupid for a 23 year old guy to say, but I still get shy, what can I say?
  • Rent a Dodge Charger with my Dad – This is moreso something I want to do when I meet my parents out west this summer. It’d be cool to take a day and roam the West with horsepower instead of horses (see what I did there?). It would be a great day I’m sure.
  • Buy a homeless person lunch and talk with them – This one kind of scares me. I can’t even pinpoint why. I’m scared because of how bad I’ll feel for not helping more. I don’t know. I want to get to know them, and hopefully write about it to share what I learned, and maybe even start a paypal donation and hand him/her some money if I raise any!
  • Pick up strangers at a bus stop and take them to where they need to go – I think this would be fun. I kind of want to film this! I want to get to know some people, but I’m also trying not to have the wrong person step into my car. I also feel like people are gonna be super wary to hop into a car with a stranger. Whatever. Just an idea.
  • Surprise my best friends with a cruise – I really want to monetize my blog so I can travel and do my own thing, but I also want to do it to help those around me. It would be so cool to treat my best friends to a cruise one day. I don’t know, it’s just a thought.

Anyway, those are a few of my not-so-crazy bucket list items. What are some things on your bucket list? Comment below!