Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
When my job interviews student staff candidates, we always ask the question, “what role do you typically play with your friends?” I want everyone to take a moment and answer that question. Are you the big brother, the mother, the bully, the advocate, the silly one? Well when it comes to my relationships with my friends, I would like to think I am the encourager and the listener. I am always trying to help people get back on their feet. Sometimes, that trait can translate into being the pushy friend, which is never my intent. I can also be the decider when everyone is stuck on what to do. I’m not really a fan of indecisiveness because it wastes a lot of time and I hate wasted time. However, recently I am trying to make some changes. I want to be the passenger more. What do I mean by the passenger? I mean the one who does not always call the shots. So last New Year’s Eve, I put myself to the test. Story time…
So it’s December 31st, 2016 and I really do not have any concrete plans. I talked with my best friend, Devin, and we agreed to get together. Devin is way more adventurous than I am so I figured why not let him pick what we do. If I had it my way, we would pick something safe like dinner at a restaurant. Sure the conversation would be nice but come on, it’s New Year’s Eve. Is that really the best you can come up with Jonathan? Get it together, you’re only 26! This is what I’m thinking to myself.
So Devin decides we should meet in Annapolis, MD which is not bad and hit some bars. It’s about a 45 minutes drive for me so I am excited just to have some plans. I normally chill out at home for New Year’s Eve. I am not a big bar person but I say to myself “be the passenger...just go with it”.
I get to the place and I end up beating Devin there. I have some time to walk around and Annapolis is really beautiful at night. I go to the bar we are suppose to meet at and I’m waiting for Devin. The place is really cramped so I go back outside. About 15 minutes later, Devin pulls up and says “get in”. I’m a little confused, why would I hop in the car when we are already at our destination? My inner voice again goes “be the passenger Jon and just go with it”. So I get in the car. From there, we park and walk to this bar which has a rooftop lounge. How cool is that? I have always wanted to go to a rooftop lounge.
As we go to pay for the cover charge to get in the bar, Devin realizes he needs to go to the ATM to get some cash out. Before we go inside, we both realize neither of us has had dinner. After all the trainings I have been to as an RA in college, I know drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. I suggest we go eat first.
So we are walking around and most places are closed because it is late and it is New Year’s Eve. The only thing open besides bars is a 7-11 and an Indian restaurant. The usual me would have chosen 7-11 only because I never would go to an Indian restaurant. You know what happens next, the voice pops back in my head “be the passenger Jon and just go with it”. So we choose the Indian restaurant. I am a little nervous because I have never been so I do not know what to get. I am looking for a burger on the menu except most Indian restaurants don’t serve beef because cows are sacred in most parts of India. Jokes on me!!! So next, I am looking for anything that has chicken in it. I am excited to be a new environment but I am still taking baby steps. So we order and I get a chicken a rice dish with a special sauce and a basket of naan.
The food comes I am wondering what this food will taste like. Everything is really good and Devin and I have a great conversation. We always have deep talks about life and goals. I was able to ask questions about his goals I really was not sure about. As a friend, you cannot really support someone if you don’t understand what they are even doing. It was nice to see him passionate about a topic and I cannot wait to see what comes of it.
Afterwards, we go back to the bar. When we first get there, we get some party hats and beads. There is a performance taking place and it’s not really my type of music. It is a slow type of rock music. Devin is into it. We stay until they finish their set which was only about five minute left from when we got there.
Since we came to ultimately hang out on the roof, we ended up going up there. Ironically, I was talking with another friend about going to a rooftop lounge so it’s perfect that I ended up going to one the same week with my best friend. When we get up there, I get a drink. Since University of Delaware where I went to school has a Main Street with good priced drinks, I have to remember I can’t get a Rum and Coke for $3 everywhere I go. Remember, sip don’t gulp folks. It’s not classy. I’ve become spoiled by the convenience of college town prices...sigh! The same concept is going to haunt me when I go apartment shopping and I expect college town prices.
Moving along, as I get my drink from the bar “Ignition” by R. Kelly comes on. Now there are only a few songs that can make you stop in your tracks. For many ladies, there is a certain song by Juvenile I cannot name because this blog is rated PG that gets ladies moving. For me, I am a fan of “This is How We Do it” by Montell Jordan. I mean seriously, how can you not like that song folks? So anyway, “Ignition” is on and it’s officially a great night.
While on the roof, my best friend and I meet a couple who sits next to us. We strike up a conversation on music. She tells us she is a huge Dolly Parton fan. I tell her I am huge Bruno Mars fan. We have a good laugh because both of us are like “umm that’s nice, don’t know much about them besides they are famous but alright”. All laughs aside, it’s about 11:50 pm and I am reflecting on the day. I have New Year’s Eve plans, I am with my best friend, Ignition is one, and I finally made it to a rooftop lounge. Plus I tried Indian food for the first time.
As the clock get’s ready to strike midnight and officially start 2017, I think of all the blessings 2016 has brought. I came into the year Jonathan Harris, an employee at a university, and left Jonathan Harris, an author, life coach, motivational speaker and so much more. Everyone said their 2016 sucked but I felt the opposite. Hands down, the best year of my life. So it’s officially midnight. 2017 has arrived and the land opportunity arises again. New year, new chances to elevate your game and reach your potential.
So now it’s after midnight and the wow factor has worn off for me. I am ready to bounce and my best friend is too. It works when your friends operate on a similar schedule. Sometimes you get the one friend who is never ready to leave and everyone else is wondering what they should do since you have a friend who wants to stay. Thank goodness for Uber and Lyft, see ya later friend!!!
Devin and I and hang out for maybe another hour after we leave the bar and talk about our goals for 2017. Yes we are barely an hour into 2017 and the first thing we do is plan. Go figure. I know my friends are over it at times with me always talking about goals, planning, and the future. That night, I had a great time and I am glad I put my trust in someone else to plan it instead of doing it myself.
Moral of the story: You see more road when you let others drive sometimes. So sit back, put your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride...
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy....
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.