Reflections and Expectations: The Good Life

Photo: Carolyn Gardner, Pinterest

Photo: Carolyn Gardner, Pinterest

In times of uncertainty and hopelessness, there are some silver linings that remind me that there are always people and things to live for.

I have certainly experienced a personal slump lately that I’m still working to climb my way out of. However, visiting friends in places I’ve never been before and taking care of important tasks vital to my future have served to keep me going this month. The good life is still possible even during times when current circumstances suggest otherwise.

Let’s take a look back at the month that was and look ahead to the month of July.


Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Jemalyn and Josh in Lincoln and Denver Union Station

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Jemalyn and Josh in Lincoln and Denver Union Station

Nebraska and Colorado – Earlier this month, I traveled to the states of Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado.

My first stop on June 5 was in Omaha, where I met up with Kelsie Buckley, who I’ve known since our PRSSA days in 2011. Together, we took a walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge into Council Bluffs, Iowa — I can say I’ve been in Iowa too! — and later explored other parts of Omaha including Boys Town — for which I was a former resident of the Long Beach, Calif. facility in 2005 — and Old Market. We even drove past the house of Warren Buffett, who lives in surprisingly modest settings for one of the richest men on the planet.

The following day, I explored the area some more on my own by venturing back into Council Bluffs for the Union Pacific Railroad Museum and back into Omaha for the Heartland of America Park and the Omaha Summer Arts Festival.

Just after midnight Central Time, I boarded an Amtrak train from Omaha and arrived in Lincoln an hour later. From there, I spent that weekend with Jemalyn Griffin, her husband Andrew and Jemalyn’s brother Josh. Like with Kelsie in Omaha, I’ve also known Jemalyn through PRSSA around that same time while I met Andrew and Josh more recently. Throughout the weekend, we went touring the various parts of Lincoln including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus (where Jemalyn works), Nebraska State Capitol building and Holmes Lake.

In the wee hours of June 9, I boarded the same Amtrak train and in the same direction for a nine-hour journey to Denver. Unlike Omaha and Lincoln, I know no one in Denver so I simply went to explore the city on my own. Despite some high hopes, I found Denver to be a pretty dull city. It wasn’t all bad, though. I did attend a Rockies game at Coors Field that Monday night — Rockies lost to the Braves — and purchased a new iPhone at an Apple Store there.

The verdict? I enjoyed my stay in Nebraska more than Colorado, due in large part to having friends in both cities I can visit while having none in the Mile High City. I would definitely love to visit Lincoln again.

GMAT – This past Saturday, I took the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) after months of preparation.

This exam is one of the requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) program at San Jose State University. I started out as a Certificate in Transportation Management program in January as a precursor to my eventual plans to pursue the MSTM program.

I will find out the official results of the GMAT within the next few weeks. Regardless of the outcome, I hope to be admitted to the MSTM program within the near future.


  • GMAT and MSTM – I’ll find out by mid-July as to whether my GMAT total score is enough to grant me admission to the MSTM program. Fingers crossed.
  • Job search – Hard to believe this is still going on. Now, I can fully focus on the search again after spending much of June studying for the GMAT. I’m still getting there.

How’s the start to your summer coming along? What else are you expecting for this season? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.