What I’ve Learned in Six Months of Life

Kevin Orris
4 min readAug 12, 2018

Hi. It’s me, Kevin. It’s been awhile. S̶o̶r̶r̶y̶.

Big things have happened over the last six months. I left my post as Content Manager at U.S. Soccer. I started a business. I began dating the most beautiful and amazing woman. I spend most of my days at coffee shops or as the worst dressed person at a swanky membership club. I hardly watch sports. I eat salads. I bought an SUV. I’ve spent time in 15 states (Though have you really been somewhere if you haven’t pooped there? In that case, 12).

In an effort to publish something for the first time in what seems like forever, here are a few things I’ve learned in this stretch:

  • When starting a business, it’s a good idea to actually know how to start a business. Or at the very least, surround yourself with people who do. Even still, taxes, contracts, legalities, etc. are no fun to deal with.
  • God created us to create.
  • Salad dressing is disgusting. But I do love a simple chicken caesar salad. Throw some fruit in and we’re golden.
  • I’m an extrovert through and through. I absolutely have to leave my home before noon or I become both weird and unproductive.
  • The first batch of strawberry candles I made are the best yet.
  • It’s easiest to finish well at Fortnite by hiding in bushes most of the game.
  • It is possible to be in six different Slack workspaces. And have five Gmail accounts.
  • CarMax decals peel off easily.
  • No matter how many people I desire to keep in close touch with, I’ll never feel like it’s enough.
  • Life is best without social media apps on your phone.
  • Play-Doh is fun, even for 27 year olds.
  • Camping is great, but only when it’s below 80 degrees.
  • I’m lost without a schedule.
  • Fish in the Smoky Mountains are incredibly small. Like 3–4” small.
  • Allbirds are great, but mud stains from careless strangers’ boots on the train will never come out.
  • I apologize too much.
  • Making coffee is more enjoyable and satisfactory than drinking it.
  • Pastors are more fun and insightful interviews than coaches … when they make themselves available.
  • As much as I love Eaux Claires, choosing to attend Summerfest instead was the right call.
  • I learned how to make custom envelop inserts!
  • TGI Friday’s still has the Jack Daniels Ribs, but they promote them as Friday’s Big Ribs instead.
  • Babies are cute and all, but they’re most fun around 12 months and beyond.
  • Even if you don’t feel like you need it, counseling is super duper helpful.
  • Pass the Pigs is the best game and it’s not close.
  • There’s hope in online dating. You have to know what you’re looking for and hold yourself to that. I recommend Coffee Meets Bagel.
  • Making banana bread is a good excuse for not eating bananas.
  • Driving and paying to park is almost always cheaper and more convenient than Uber or Lyft.
  • Meditating and journaling each morning makes for a great start to each day.
  • Writing in books is a strong first step, but transcribing those notes is far more helpful.
  • Kanye is hard to defend on so many fronts these days.
  • We, “The Lower 48,” have so much to learn from Alaskans, whether native or transplant, starting with how to live off the land.
  • Spartan Races aren’t all that bad when you skip most of the burpees.
  • Even Wisconsin has beautiful sunsets.
  • Erasable ink pens really work.
  • It’s wise to have friends who live a time zone or two behind you when you’re wanting to chat late at night.
  • Leaf bugs have such strong grip, they can cling to a car traveling from Gatlinburg to Chicago.
  • Rice krispie treats are best when you avoid measuring the ingredients.
  • Girlfriends are great, particularly mine.
  • This book is an excellent introduction to theology and perspectives on the Christian faith.
  • I am capable in more ways than I imagined.

Things I’ve yet to figure out:

  • How to go to bed and wake up at consistent times.
  • Hand lettering. I took a class at Paper Source a few months ago and as the instructor went around the table providing feedback and encouragement, all she could muster up for me is “you have really loose elbows.” I’ll take what I can get.
  • Why pea milk exists.
  • How to work at a coffee shop without feeling obligated to drink an entire cup of coffee. Sometimes I’d rather pay a dollar or two and chug from my Nalgene.
  • Where to buy the best (and consistently burning) wood wicks. So frustrating.
  • Why craft beer is such a big deal.
  • How to set time aside to build a website for my business.
  • Why shipping is so expensive.
  • Why avocados are such a big deal.
  • How to write consistently.

That’s all for now. I’m off to learn more things. I’ll report back with my findings soon. In the meantime, let me know what lessons you’ve learned lately.