“I don’t understand why you stopped…you were so good at it” – Shermika Dunner
In the Spring of 2007, I exploded onto the blogging scene with Life: The Juan Thomas Story. It was a blog that chronicled my life experiences and thoughts…an outlet for the most part. It was something that I actually took pride in. On 211 occasions, I gave the world a glimpse into my experiences and thoughts on life as well as just random stuff that I had words to font about. But at the height of that blog’s popularity—I had over 250 regular followers in 16 different countries—I decided to step away and retire from blogging…mostly due to my lost desire to write, which occurred during a very tumultuous 2011 summer season. I disappointed quite a few people when I stepped away and I even went almost 1 ½ years without so much as looking at a blog. That changed a couple of months ago when Lamoi Simmonds, a friend of mine out of Toronto and author of Beautiful.Breathe.Ardor, posted her blog and it ended up on my Google+ feed. I took a casual peek and for a split second, the fever returned but just as quickly as it came, it went. After all, when you’re retired, you stay retired, right? But lately, my spirit has been all over me about writing again…from the book I started writing in 2007 and never finished to the scores of poems that are in my head unwritten on paper to blogging about just living life. I feel as if the Lord is literally telling me to get back to writing for the purpose of helping others through my words. Who am I to not oblige?
I’ve decided to come out of retirement and here we are…with The Book of Juan. This blog will be like my old blog in some ways but it’ll also have its own unique thing, too. Let me explain…
For the most part, the majority of my posts will be about my life experiences, my thoughts about certain things, and such. I’ll also detail my travel experiences and the unique ventures I undertake. I’ll release some of my old poetry on this blog as well as debut some of my new stuff. Most of the posts will begin with an epigraph that ties into the overall theme of the post. In addition to that, I’ll have some recurring posts that will be considered mandatory posts, in a manner of speaking. They are:
- Season Premiere and Season Finale. This blog will be something like a reality television show…mostly with just words, some video, and pictures, and without 98.4% of the ridiculous drama that permeates today’s television screens. To that effect, it’ll play out in seasons. Those seasons with start on October 24th and end on October 23rd of the following year. The Season Premiere post will obviously be the first post of the year and it’ll always happen on my birthday. It’ll be about my vision for the year of life ahead and things I’m looking forward to. The Season Finale post will conclude the season and will be written the day before my birthday, chronicling my life at whatever age I’m about to move on from.
- The Best Of series. Every December, starting the day after Christmas 2014, I’ll write a post a day for the remainder of the year giving my thoughts on some of the best random things from the calendar year that’s on the outbound. I guess you can think of it as a personal awards show for my blog.
- Album Review. I’m a big fan of music and I have a lot of it in my Windows Media Player (yeah, I’m old school in that regard). From time to time, I’ll conduct a review of an album in my library. Included in the review will be the backdrop of how me and the album crossed paths, acknowledgments of the people responsible for putting the album together, and my thoughts on some of the tracks. If I can pull a string or two, I may be able to get an actual interview with the artist for clarification on their musical creation.
- Film Review. Just like music, I’m a huge fan of cinema and I thoroughly enjoy watching movies. That written, I’ll also conduct reviews of movies…from the big screen to what’s in my DVD/Blu-Ray library. All movies reviewed will be critiqued for things such as plot and continuity, character development, overall acting, directing and editing, cinematography, animation and special effects, costume design, set design, and film scoring. All of this will be done on a points system—let’s call it The Juan Scale—where categories are scored from 1 to 5 in increments of 0.5 points, where 1 is a horrible score and 5 is the best.
- Flashback Friday Moment of The Week. In this weekly feature, I’ll post a video, a picture, or a quote of something out of the vault. It could be a music video, an important oratory address, a famous sports highlight, or even a funny YouTube video from the past. I’ll explain how I first came across the moment expressed, what it meant to me then and what it means to me now. Also part of this feature will be a couple of mandatory flashback posts highlighting seminal moments in my life. I won’t say what they are but you’ll know when you read them.
- The Just Juan Building Blocks Scholarship. 2 years ago, I presented the inaugural Just Juan Building Blocks Scholarship at the Faith Kingdom Academy International…a Christian school started by Faith Christian Fellowship Worship Center, my church home during my residence in Tokyo. That being an annual commitment for me and all, I’ll chronicle that with a blog post annually.
- The October blog. There is nothing like the month of October to me. It may be because I’m extremely biased in favor of it (my birthday is in the month) or it could be because things happen in such a way in October that separates it from other months. Nevertheless, in late September—or perhaps even October 1st at the latest—I’ll write a blog or poem about my excitement about the month of October approaching.
- Dreams of a Diplomat. Now that I’m off of the Air Force clock and more in control of my professional career, I’m going to pursue my dream job as a Foreign Service Facility Manager. I’ll provide some background into the experience as I look towards a potential career in the United States Foreign Service.
- The Guest Blogger series. Something that I actually regret not doing in my previous blog was opening it up to guest bloggers and contributors. I saw it on other blogs back in the day and I always thought that having a guest contributor, a guest blogger, or even a correspondent was good for business. It gives the readers a change of pace, which is always good. To start out, I’ll allow a guest blogger or contributor to write a post on my blog maybe once a quarter. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a correspondent who can contribute with specific expertise…that would make it even better. Of course, anything they write is not the views and opinions of myself. I think I may put that disclaimer in there. LOL.
- The Single Guy’s Perspective. If you were around to read some of the stuff from the Life: The Juan Thomas Story days, then you know I had quite the “interesting” dating life in my early-to-mid 20s. While I didn’t reveal too much in the since-deleted blog, I did write down a lot of my thoughts and opinions on things women said, did, or even implied in previous relationships and dating situations…something I still do today. Initially, it was just me chronicling my dating life into my longtime journal but over the years, those specific entries have proved to be a great self-help tool for me in that area of life as I’ve transitioned towards making myself more marriage-ready. In this biweekly feature of the blog, I’ll share some of my perspective—controversial as it may be—on things women do and say and how it affects a guy’s words and actions.
Well, there you have it. The first in what should be a number of blog posts. To be perfectly honest, it actually feels good to be back. It kind of makes me wonder what would’ve been had I not stopped 2 years ago but I digress. Welcome to The Book of Juan. Kick back and let my words marinate in your head. Hopefully, you’ll find something worthy of reading in this blog over time…and you’ll perhaps learn a little bit more about me and how I’m wired.