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Trevor Dickerson

Choosing The Right Path & My Secret Dream Career

By business, life

It’s 3:30 AM and again, and here I sit, awoken by some more deep thoughts about life and where I want to be. In less than an hour and a half, at 5:00 AM, I’m supposed to be on the road to Radford University to repair computers for Attronica. That’s seven hours on the road by my lonesome, which I’d usually enjoy. I love driving (especially when I don’t have to pay for the gas), but I thought I’d try and write out the reasons I can’t sleep right now to try and remain sane in the car with all that alone time to be contemplative about life.

I don’t know what it is, but when I wake up in the middle of the night like this, albeit rare, it’s usually because I’m subconsciously thinking about my life thus far. I think I’m still grappling with the fact that I’m twenty years old, for one. I may not be quite to the age where John Mayer claims he has a “quarter-life crisis,” but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m already questioning what I’ve done and what I’m currently doing in my life.

First off, I feel like I dove into the working world a little earlier than most. Sure, most people my age have jobs, and some of them have full time jobs at that (such as myself), but most aren’t doing anything “corporate.” It’s not that I really work in a corporate environment in its most quintessential meaning, in a tiny cubical doing repetitive tasks, but I still feel like I’m doing something way more “business-like” than most of my friends making lattes or running checkout lines. I have a great job, make good money, and enjoy the spontaneous nature of it (for example, I didn’t know I’d be sent to Radford until around noon yesterday). I guess doing a job like this typically held by someone much older than myself makes me, in turn, feel older than I am. I worked a similar job last summer, but only for two days a week. This is the “real world.” Okay, enough unintentional John Mayer lyric references.

The whole “feeling older” thing brings me to my next point. In ten years, I’ll be thirty. Frankly, that scares the crap out of me; I won’t lie. It’s frightening how fast you grow up and start approaching your middle adult years. I’m faced with questions such as whether I’m really “living up” my college years, which, supposedly, are the best four years of life. This isn’t college as I ever imagined it’d be when I was growing up. I’m at a school who’s “campus” is the City of Richmond and I commute twenty miles from home. It’s hard to form meaningful friendships with anyone when you don’t live on campus. Sure, I have the best group of friends a guy could ask for, but none of them are really people at VCU. I’m seriously considering whether I made the right decision by going here, and if transferring somewhere else would make me happier.

The school situation also brings me to an even bigger point, which is what I want to do with my life. I have so many different interests. I’m also in the process of creating my own business. I finally have plans to get DowntownShortPump.com off the ground and generate (at least a little) sustainable income with it. I wrote a two-page business plan out last night about my future plans for the site, and possibly others, and they are nothing short of big. I’m a dreamer. I could definitely see myself running this and other future sites as a full-fledged business in the future, but I just don’t know what I want to do.

I really do think I was born in the wrong decade. No, not just because I love ’70s and ’80s music, but because I’m into all sorts of interests and areas that are, sadly, kind of past their peak. One of those is terrestrial radio. Now I’m not going to be a hypocrite here. I’ll openly admit I have both an iPod and XM Radio subscription in my car, which are two big contributors to the decline in radio, but that’s mainly because the Richmond radio scene has long been uninteresting. We don’t even have a Hot AC station (stop fooling yourselves, Mix 103-7, your music mix is bland as a saltine cracker).

So while Richmond radio has never impressed me much, one station has. Beach 104 (WCXL) in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Now if you know me at all, you know I love everything about the Outer Banks. This station is no exception. I know it sounds ridiculous, but this station is the whole reason I have had a long-secret desire to work in radio. I guess I started associating it with good memories of the beach from a very early age (we’re talking mid-’90s here), and ever since then I’ve loved everything about them.

There’s nothing I look forward to more when headed to the Outer Banks (other than being on vacation itself) than being able to tune into this station. Not only do they have the best mix of music anywhere (especially the ’90s stuff- you all know how much I love mid-’90s pop and alternative rock), but they have a certain draw I can’t explain. I’ve felt for years that I should live down there and work at this station. Something about that just feels right. Once again, I know this sounds strange, but it’s true. I can’t put my finger on what that feeling is, but it’s a notion that working there is exactly what I should be doing in my life. I know there’s not much money to be had in radio, but I’d love to do it for a few years, or as a side job. I’d love to DJ or do voiceover work. In fact, even if I never make it into the radio field, I’d love to somehow get into doing voice work, whether for commercials or just for smaller projects.

Well, I could go on, but after an hour of writing, at 4:30 AM, I have to get ready to leave for Radford in about a half an hour. I feel better now, having written all of this out. I have a lot to figure out, but I’m going to hand it over to God and pray that He will direct me towards the path I need to take in life.

Outer Banks – Round 2: My Birthday & The 4th Of July

By events, life

I know what you’re thinking. “Trevor, you were just down in the Outer Banks two weeks ago! What’s up with that?” Well, what can I say, I’m a beach bum! Actually, it just so happened the week I went down with Jen and Allie was close to our previously-planned family vacation. And I also know it’s taken me two weeks to blog about it. Oh well.

It was a great week filled with a lot of family time, vegging on the beach, and eating at great restaurants for dinner. It was also my 20th birthday the Tuesday we were down there. For the 4th Of July, we went to the  Town of Duck Parade. Then, in the evening, we drove up to the Whalehead Club in Corolla for a great fireworks display. Both were great small town community events.

I had never been out of town on my birthday, nor had I been to the Outer Banks Fourth of July week. We normally go in the Spring or late Summer. It’s a whole different experience going for the Fourth. It’s without a doubt the busiest week of the summer tourist-wise, with traffic jams galore on the way down and back, long waits for most area restaurants, and crowded beaches. It was still a great week, though. The Outer Banks is my second home and I love it no matter what season or conditions.

I got some great photos down there, which I will eventually put on TrevPix.com. Until then here’s a few snapshots that give you a glimpse of our week. Descriptions are below the pictures, going left to right by row.

1) The house we stayed in, 2) Peace Frogs sand sculpture by a professional artist at Jockey’s Ridge, 3) Local children in the Town of Duck Fourth Of July Parade, 4) The massive amounts of people who watched the parade leaving, 5) The historic Whalehead Club in Corolla, site of the fireworks, and 6) Fireworks at The Whalehead Club.

Two Decades Down: Diving Into My Twenties

By life

A little more than a week ago, I turned twenty. I was at the beach at the time and was on somewhat of a blogging hiatus, but I think this a post-worthy topic. Some may say that twenty’s not a big deal. And in many ways, they’d be right. Think about it. At eighteeen, you get most of your rights that corollate with adulthood. Pretty much everything but drinking. Nineteen is a big year of nothing (privilege-wise), but twenty is a whole new decade.

For the past couple years, I’ve always gotten the standard “Do you feel any older?” comments. I always said no. Now I can safely say yes. There wasn’t any defining moment, or even my birthday that made me realize I had entered a new era in my life. It was more in the weeks leading up to it. I had started to realize several things that made me know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am truely an adult now.

First off, the job I took at the beginning of the summer has turned into pretty much a full time position. That’s not a complaint, it’s just an observation. I really enjoy my job. Attronica is a great company to work for. They really treat their employees well and it’s a really close-knit small business. I mention the almost full time hours because a few months ago, the thought of working full time was foreign to me. I only wanted to work half days originally. But now, I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t bother me at all. It’s just a part of life and growing up. Plus, it’s amazing how much more you value your free time and how much you live for the weekends once you have a full time job.

The other way in which I feel like an adult is my social situation. A few weeks ago I was really wrestling with this issue. I’m a very co-dependent person. I like being around people all the time. I also like being out and doing things. I’m not much of a homebody. This has always worked out in the past, but now that all my friends are starting to pretty much work full time, too, it’s harder to find times when everyone can get together, and I see most of them a lot less than I used to. This really bothered me at first. It was a little depressing for a while. But then I realized it’s not me, it’s not them, it’s just life. You learn to value the time you have with those you care about a lot more when you see them a lot less.

It’s still weird to think I’m no longer a teenager. I’m a “twenty something,” or whatever you prefer, now. It’s both exciting and a little frightening, but I’m ready to take on another decade.

The DMV: A Trip To Hell And Back

By funny, life, rants, sarcasm

So I had to go get my driver’s license renewed yesterday. Naturally, I procrastinated and waited until the last minute to go to the DMV. That’s just how I roll, I guess. Anywho, we all know what a dreaded experience the DMV is. I walked in expecting it to be bad, but not this bad.

When you walk in the door, before you can even sit in the seats to wait for someone to help you (at some point in the next few years), you have to go to an information desk and explain what the purpose of your visit is. I wanted to tell the lady that it was just for fun or because I was bored, just to see what she’d say, but the poor woman already looked like she’d had her soul sucked out by that terrible place.

Once I got through the huge information desk line, in which everyone told the attendant their life story in addition to why they were there, I sat down and waited. I had been there about an hour by this point. This was just the beginning, though. I sat in a chair for an hour, waiting as patiently as possible, listening to the most annoying PA system I’ve ever heard call every number but mine. I almost wanted to say “bingo!” when mine finally came up. Once again, not something I think these people would find humorous.

Once I was called up to a window, I stood there and waited while the gentleman on duty talked with a co-worker for about five minutes about such erroneous small things as what company to use to get his backyard fenced in. I kid you not. So once he finally decided to help me, the customer, he had to look at my current driver’s license about ten times to get all the information entered correctly. Either he was completely OCD and unsure of what he wrote, or stalling for reasons unknown to me. But he was ridiculously slow.

After I got through with him and the vision test he tried (and failed) to administer to me (he asked me to read a line and then didn’t know what letters were supposed to be on the line in the first place and had to look for himself), he told me to go sit down at the other end of the building and wait for my name to be called so I could take a knowledge test.

I sat in a chair on the other side, waiting for my name to be called, for about twenty more minutes. This extemely annoying (I don’t get annoyed easliy) boy sat down next to me with his mother. He was somewhere between 13 and 15, and would not stop talking. And loudly. About really strange and publicly-inappropriate hings I won’t even repeat on here. When his mom told him not to talk so loud about what he was discussing, he exclaimed, “I don’t care, mom, I won’t ever see these f***ers again.”

I eagerly walked forward, away from that guy, when my name was called to the testing station. I took the ridiculously easy knowledge exam, consisting of 10 road sign questions so elementary that if someone actually failed the test they should be required to have some serious mental evaluations peformed. Next were 25 “what-would-you-do-in-this-situation” questions. I used the 50:50 and ask the audience buttons on screen for this portion. No, just kidding. But there was a phone at the station. Phone a friend? They were pretty easy.

After I finished, I sat back down. The annoying boy was up at the window being helped, and when he was finished, came and sat back down next to me again, in my new location! I was starting to get a little pissed  off at that point. I tried to occupy myself on my iPhone, but he just sat there staring at the screen and tried to read my text messages.

Next, I got called up to get my picture taken, or so I thought. I sat in the chair to have my mugshot taken, and the attendant told me I actually had to go back on the other side of the room and wait to be helped again, pay a $32 dollar fee for my new license, and then come back and sit down again.

I waited on the other side of the room for the same ignorant man who ignored me the first time to “help” me again. After he finally called me up and took my credit card number (a half hour process), I went to the opposite side of the building again. Sure enough, that kid was there again, this time talking about how screwed up the government is or something like that. I was so sick of his shrill voice  (you could compare it to nails on a chalkboard) by this point, I didn’t know what to do.

Finally, I was called up to have my picture taken, for real this time. I stood to the side while an older gentlemen proceeded to have his picture taken six times, because he didn’t like it. Last time I checked they don’t do re-dos. Look at how many terrible pictures there are. It doesn’t happen (or so I thought). I finally sat down and produced the somewhat strange-looking picture you see above. I’m about to cut  most of my long hair off, so this will be a funny picture to look back on years from now.f

After two more minutes waiting for it to print, I was finally on my way, hours later. It was such sweet freedom walking out of that horrid place. I’d suspect that was a glimpse of what hell must be like: two rows of hard plastic seats, angry people, and an annoying PA system calling numbers all day. Thank the Lord I don’t have to go back and do that again until July, 2016!

Outer Banks – Round 1: Sharks & Smoke

By events

So I’m just now posting an update from the beach last week. It was a good week; had lots of fun with Allie, Jen, and her family. The weather was insanely hot, and the smoke from the nearby Hyde County wildfire was ridiculously thick, depending on which way the wind was blowing (either bringing it towards us or pushing it away), but overall it was a great week.

One interesting thing that happened was a huge basking shark washing up on shore the night we got there. It was hundreds of pounds, but apparently only a baby, because the adults can get upwards of thirty feet long. This one was only eight or nine. It was still alive as it came ashore and drew quite a crowd on the beach.

The basking shark is apparently an extremely endangered species and efforts were going to be made to save it. However, a man on the beach, meaning only to end its suffering, slit the shark’s throat with his pocket knife. The Nags Head Beach Patrol and a nearby marine biologist were infuriated, but, unforunately, it was dying anyway. A huge backhoe came the next morning and buried it deep in the sand. Here’s a picture below; more will be uploaded to Flickr later. And, in less than two weeks, I’m headed back for another week!

Quality, Not Quantity

By news

So lately I’ve noticed I’m posting more because I “have” to post to adhere to Blog 365 than because I want to. The quality of my posts is not what it used to be. I love to write, but some days I don’t want to and will post a sub-par entry. Effective today, I will no longer be participating in Blog 365. It’s been fun, and I definitely could write every day for five years straight and still think of new topics, however, it’s just not feasible. I’m way too busy, have other websites to keep up with that have been neglected, and find myself “obligated” to blog some days rather than wanting to. It shouldn’t be that way.

I’ll still blog most every day. I love writing and sharing my thoughts and opinions. I think this will be a good thing and will allow me to write higher quality posts. Thanks so much for reading! And hey, six months isn’t bad, right? I’ve posted every single day since January 1, 2008!

Summer Goal #8: Stop Trying To Please Everybody And Just Live My Life

By life

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

This is the biggest challenge out of everything I’ve written over the past eight days. I always take on way too many projects and try to do way too many things for way too many people. It’s going to end. I can’t say no to anyone when it comes to helping with something, but that’s about to change. It’s driven me nuts.

Summer Goal #7: Be More Authentic

By life

We all do and say things that don’t match up with how we say we are personality-wise. Some call it being two-faced. Others call it not being authentic. Either way, it’s not the right thing to do. We’ve all talked behind someone else’s back, even if sometimes it’s not intentional. I’m not horrible at it or anything, but it’s definitely something I need to work on. Being authentic means that how you say you act and how you really do act line up. I think I’m about 75% there, I just need to keep working on it.

Summer Goal #6: Change My Ways Of Thinking

By life, spirituality

Life is what you make of it. The old saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% what you do about it is spot on. I’ve always thought of myself as a glass-half-full kind of person, but I need to do better. In order to implement all of the self-improvement plans I’ve blogged about this week, I need to change my ways of thinking. I’ve got to set my sights high and reach for what now looks impossible. A little confidence and positive attitude goes a long way, and combined with prayer, God will reveal in my life exactly what I’m supposed to do and what path I’m supposed to take. Everything that’s meant to be will work out in the end.

Summer Goal #5: Finish DowntownShortPump.com

By business, technology

Almost four years ago, I purchased the domain name www.downtownshortpump.com. It was a site owned by the developer of the Downtown Short Pump complex with Barnes & Noble and Regal Cinemas. They used it as promotion for their shopping center and etched it into two huge signs at the busiest intersection in Henrico County (West Broad Street and Pouncey Tract Road). They let the name expire. I bought it for eight bucks (you snooze, you lose)! I let the domain name sit idle for a year, then made some attempts at developing it, but never got far.

After three revisions, I’m finally at the point where it looks professional enough to market as a good advertising space. I’m getting well over a thousand hits per day at this point, and have made lots of efforts at collecting data to make the site more comprehensive. Advertising efforts are starting off slow, but I have a plan of attack that will bring me more success, including full-color, glossy brochures. You’ve got to truly believe something can succeed if you want it to. I believe I can achieve success with this business, it’s just going to take some time and hard work.

I’ll keep everyone posted on the progress. As for now, I’m closing in on several major advertising contracts and working up a pitch for future businesses to advertise. I’m very optimistic about the future of the site!