by Daniel Wirtheim
1. Getting a car
After years of bicycle commuting, I bought my first car in 2015. It’s a white 2002 Mazda, a quick and sporty hatchback. It was great at first to drive around with The Cranberries Greatest Hits blasting, shifting up and down to get whatever I needed anytime I wanted. But I have to admit that I miss needing my bicycle. There’s something about the frenzied ride to make any appointment that’s more than a few miles away. I miss being sweaty all the time and biking through heavy traffic to Harris Teeter for only a backpack’s worth of groceries. I don’t think that a person can really appreciate a vehicle without a few years of bicycle commuting in a city like Greensboro. It’s a joy to bicycle, to be open to the world. And as I pass a cyclist with their hair blowing in the wind I sometimes think, I’m just being hurled down the street in a giant steel box.
2. Getting a degree
I was in college, getting my degree in media studies at UNCG, for the first five months of 2015. It was the end to what was without a doubt the best four years of my life so far. It went by in distinct layers that in the constant grind of post-college working and interning I haven’t found the time to peel apart and dissect.
3. Interning at TCB
I’ll really miss this gig and I’m not saying that just for the editors. I had my share of incorrect spellings, stories that I didn’t nail down the way I would have liked to, but I definitely grew as a storyteller and citizen of the Triad. I always had a passion for history and I quickly fell in love with the idea that I could record and tell the stories that would be someone else’s history. I also loved the sense of urgency that would carry me from one interview to the next and the joy of finding meaning in a stranger’s story.
4. Not being such a punk
I knew I was becoming less of a punk when I bought my first piece of IKEA furniture in 2015. It wasn’t about the rosy finish that I had chosen for my desk, it was about actually caring for my long neglected living space. And that’s an important development for someone who wants to become a more integral part of the community. My apartment is the only place that I can say is truly my own and if I expect to keep my community clean, I first must keep my own apartment clean. That desk, as personal as it may be, was my first step out a life of a sardonic passivity and into a more community-driven, active self.