About my life – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We all have those. Mine seems to have followed the path of “it was not planned that way.” Came out of the chute 3 years later than my parents planned which put my siblings 6 and 9 years ahead of me. Born in a middle class suburb, we were the richest people on the block, but the poorest people at the country club. Which may sound like a great problem to have, it really wasn’t. It meant, I did not fit in anywhere, so I went with that and became the class clown misfit.
Did sports and band just like my siblings, and did pretty well. Hated it though. I just did it because, well, that is what you are supposed to do, right? I quit swimming when I became REALLY good at it and it became an expectation to win instead of a surprise. It was not fun anymore, as I got nervous at meets, and could no longer live up to my expectation. The coach never helped me out with that, and it took me a long time to figure out what getting nervous really meant or how to deal with it. (Still not sure I have mastered that – does anyone?)
I got picked on a lot as a kid. Almost no one knew about this. I was the happy, social preppy kid on the outside. Later on, when we moved to the really nice suburb, it fell into being bullied. Part of it happened because I was SO naïve, and I think another part was that I was 6’2” tall by age 13. I was not athletic, and so very social (which was not something my parents knew how to deal with). My 9th grade year in Jr. High at the new school was horrendous. One person made all the difference in the world to me that year. Chris K. He was a popular kid and really did not know me from Adam. It was the worst day on the bus ever, being chided by 11 other kids from the back, and on the verge of a complete tearful meltdown, he stood up for me. One person MADE a difference, and that changed my life forever. I was going to make a difference.
Followed my dream, graduated college with a degree in Mass Communication and Theater Technology. I got a job as the assistant marketing director and part time DJ at a premiere radio station. It was the DREAM – only, I realized that the industry was a cutthroat nightmare. Oh, and I met girl, got engaged, then got disengaged.
I ended up becoming the first Commercial sales rep for Kinko’s (I applied to work behind the counter, but the manager had bigger ideas for me). Did really well – made bookoo bucks. HATED it! Went to work for a theatrical supply company, where I learned how to tolerate bipolar bosses (not the best skill to have). This whole time I had also been a youth minister at a rather large church here in town. It started to blossom, and I started getting PAID to write and speak around the country. The stuff that was a hit wasn’t the religious stuff, it was the life and motivational stuff. (It’s the 90’s before the internet craze). So, I quit my job and went back to school for a masters in Social Work. Aced that.
Working for a prestigious college in their therapy center as a therapist, I would springboard that into the writing/motivational speaking career. But then I met a girl and got married. She had a daughter that I adopted. Now, there was responsibility. No time to build up the writing speaking career (which I realize now was my way of not taking a risk). Then out of the blue, I got offered a job that made a CRAP load of money – Operations manager for a fortune 500 distribution center(yes out of the F’N BLUE!).. I ignored all the advice I had given to people for the last 13 years about centering on what you love and doing that, and I took the money because, that is the responsible thing to do, right?
Four years later, they close that center, went to another fortune 500 Co (with another hot head boss). Our division is sold, and the new owner runs us into the ground in 2 years. Now I’m in that “over qualified” category. After almost a year of the most draining interviews I’ve ever had, the former IT guy at my last place recommends me for a job where I am today. Had kid 2 and 3 in the mean time.
Got in on the ground floor of this new thing called Computer Forensics (never took a computer class in my life). Okay, this is COOL!!. I magically become an “expert” and business booms! While this is all fascinating, and making good scratch, it is not that fulfilling. 2008 hits, and the sky falls everywhere. Industry tanks, messy (UGLY) divorce wipes out all the money (the upside to that is I meet some wonderful people in the process and I get MUCH closer to my kids).
2012 – Daughter #2 who was born with a genetic disorder ends up on a liver transplant list. Living in the hospital for a year completely redefines me as she is put on life support in March of 2013. She makes it, barely, and it is a long long road. I write about it all. Every experience. It becomes my release. The unexpected thing is, people start talking about the writing. People who know what they are talking about tell me I HAVE to write a book. And I want to.
Still at the Computer job after 11 years. Industry is still in the tank, company barely hanging on, but little competition, and still good money. And I am miserable. So, I continue to write here and there and storytell, and have some bits of success. A friend of mine embarks on a similar journey away from the traditional corporate BS, and I follow. And now, I am here.
That is where this site comes in; trying to get back to the track I was on 15 years ago. Getting back to me and this creative thing that I love, writing with a purpose – writing and speaking to make a difference! Only this time, it IS planned. Join me for the ride, and together let’s explore this thing called life. I LOVE to learn, and I think most people actually do too. Let’s see where this next chapter leads, I REALLY hope it’s a good one!
Photo credits: Steven Greenwood, Royal Brevväxling, Gregory Berg