Reflections and Expectations: There’s Always Next Year

A month and a half has passed since I moved to the Bay Area from L.A. in hopes of getting my career back on track.

There are already signs that things are looking up. Granted, it is a slow progression and it will be a while before I fully recover from a nearly three-year-long slump that continues to plague my personal and professional lives. I expect and hope 2015 will be that year for a full recovery. It’s long overdue.

For now, let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to the final month of 2014.

November

Steel Wheels Conference – On Nov. 15, I was in Sacramento for the Steel Wheels Conference, hosted by RailPAC.

The one-day conference featured rail industry experts, advocates and current and former public officials all presenting ways to enhance and expand passenger rail service of all kinds from light rail to high-speed rail in California and across the country. It’s the kind of conference for passenger rail enthusiasts and policy wonks alike. I’m a bit of both.

I’ve been involved with RailPAC for a few months in an informal capacity as an occasional contributor to the organization’s publications. I expect my involvement with RailPAC will gradually increase in the new year once I officially become a paid member.

Thanksgiving – For the second time in 12 years, I had no plans for Thanksgiving this time around. The last time I had no plans for this particular holiday was when I lived in Philadelphia back in 2012. Much like two years ago, I did not have any family nor close friends in the Bay Area I could spend the holiday with.

I still took it upon myself to make the day as productive and enjoyable as I can possibly make it. I treated myself to a Thanksgiving lunch / dinner at a Chinese buffet restaurant in San Jose, followed by a trip to the movie theatre near where I live in Campbell to see Horrible Bosses 2. At least the meal was good.

December

Holiday season – Although I’ve had Christmas plans every year since I was 13 in 2002, I have great doubts I’ll be able to have one this time around due to continued financial constraints. I can only hope for a holiday miracle where I still have the opportunity to spend time with my family in San Diego, as I have done every year since 2010. There’s always next year.

Mineta program – I am just about to wrap up my second semester and fourth class in graduate school at San Jose State University. Six more classes left until I earn that Master of Science degree in Transportation Management, projected to happen in June 2016.

How was your Thanksgiving holiday? How about the month of November? What are you expecting for the rest of the holiday season? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!

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