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We follow her through a maze of tables and chairs, as she swiftly guides us to a booth near a corner of the restaurant; it’s almost hard to keep up, especially since this place is packed. It felt like ages as we waited at the door, and my legs are coming out of their fossilization with each stride; looking back, it could only have been a handful of minutes. As she begins to lay out placemats and menu cards, my family scoots into the booth.  Our coats are peeling off as she welcome us, introduces herself, and inquires drink orders.  Before darting off, she asks if we are ready to get started.  Abruptly, my dad says replies with a solid yes.  She smiles, and is off in the blink of an eye.

We are at BD’s Mongolian grill, and it’s New Years Eve; it’s tradition.  BD’s puts you in total control of your meal. With an empty bowl, you head through a line, similar to buffet style restaurants; however, everything is still raw.  Chicken, steak, noodles, shrimp, every vegetable imaginable- all raw!  Once you fill your bowl as desired, you head over to the grill, where a handful of chefs cook the contents of your thoughtful choosing.

Like I mentioned, dinner at BD’s has been a tradition of my family’s for years; that is, until this year. Our family is growing older, so some of our traditions are becoming a bit harder to do.  It’s mostly because of conflicting work schedules.  Everyone’ is being pulled in too many directions, and I’m not entirely ok with it.

That being said; I have a few demands for 2014.

I want my concentration back.  Ever since coming to college, I have been erratic with my decision making;this stems from my newfound disconnect from concentration. Even now, I am struggling to write sentences without the temptation of reopening my ‘Facebook’ tab that I have exited out of at least four times since starting this post.  My focus, used to be (in my opinion) unparalleled.  I could knock out homework assignment after homework assignment, run further and further every day, and more.  My discipline is lost, hidden under a pile of all the miscellaneous extracurricular of my first college semester. My plan of attack is this: sort through that pile.  Participate in activities that I know I will enjoy, take classes I will enjoy thoroughly, and commit.  The difference between my mind set now and then, is that last semester I wanted to try it all. This semester I want to try things I know that I will follow all the way through with.  I want to concentrate on what is important and interesting to me.  I want to focus.

Secondly, I want to get out.  I have this gut feeling that tells me I need to go see the world.  Nothing is in my way!  For more details on this goal, please read my “BE Intrepid Post.

I need my family.  The Walter household is my favorite place on this planet; especially when it’s filled with the five of us.  As noted in my foreword, my family is growing too busy and too distant for family time.  I live 100 miles away from home and my oldest brother, Patrick, lives about eighty miles away as well.  My older brother, Michael, lives at home, but spends a majority of his time at Oakland University, or work.  2013 kind of pushed us all in different directions, but 2014 will fix that.  This year is the year we perfect our balance of being separated and being together.

I’ve always been willing to lend my ears and advice. I’ve always been one to share my knowledge in multiple areas.  I take pride knowing that I’ve also always been one to share my true and honest self.  This year, however, I plan to share more of my writing.  I have made attempts at journaling in the past, and all have failed.  I will integrate my goal to focus with this goal. I like this idea, because writing has always been something that comes somewhat naturally to me.  I found solace through journaling in the past, and hope to rediscover it. With this blog, I hope to further extend my ears, advice, knowledge, and true self through the written word.

This year, I will excel at becoming a mentor. It will be my second year facilitating leadership curriculum at MASC/MAHS’s leadership camp, my first semester facilitating leadership curriculum with CMU students through a program called Alpha Leadership, my second semester working with the Leadership Institute, and (hopefully) my first experience with Leadershape.  In addition, I will be inheriting my own mentee through LAS. Basing myself off of last year, I recognize that I have people who look up to me.  Knowing that there are students out there who look at me the way I used to look at my mentors, in all reality, is one of my most treasured possessions.  I maintain this by setting an example that I used to try and emulate, myself.  However, this year, I will to do more for those who look up to me.  I will reach out to them in ways I haven’t exercised before; letters, phone calls, lunch meetings and more.  2013 introduced me to many people who now look up to me; 2014 becomes the year I give them reason to believe in me the way I believe in all of them.

Although my family didn’t go to BD’s this past New Year’s Eve, I intend to treat every day of 2014 like I’m in that restaurant.  I will not sit around and wait as I spout my wishes at the new year; but instead, I will get out of my chair and take control out of these next 8765.81 hours. With concentration, I will hand-craft a year full of family, writing, and mentoring.

Much love,


Of course, a song to accompany this post:

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