Alright, so before jumping into this blog, I think it is important to have a rough idea who is behind the keyboard. I hope that by providing some quick background, you will be more able to relate to my stories and apply them to your own life in future blog posts!
And so…. here’s the “boring” background!
I just turned 28 years old in November, I have an identical twin brother and I have dual citizenship with Canada and the United States. That said, I have always considered myself an American, but I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Canadians (seeing as I was born there). Other than being born in Toronto though, the majority of my life has played out in the United States.
I was raised in Park City, Utah for the bulk of my childhood. During those years I skied, snowboarded, skateboarded, played soccer, basketball, football, track, cross-country, tried ski jumping, skydiving, got a private pilot’s license, Scuba-dived, and worked almost consistently from then until now. All-in-all, I had a good upbringing, very supportive parents, and was fortunate enough to attend a good high school. I have no complaints about my childhood and I feel very fortunate about that.
I started working as a cashier at McDonalds when I was 15. After McDonalds I went on to bussing tables, catering, running a small painting business in college, studying abroad, serving in the military, and then finally, training to be a plant manager at a glass plant in Houston, TX.
Towards the end of that list of jobs, I was most definitely on the fast track to firmly planting my roots in corporate America. I had the degree, leadership and management experience from the military, and a motivation to conquer the world. I had recently decided not to be a “lifer” in the Army and so I was at a point of moving on with my life. (As a side note; I enjoyed my experience in the military. I finished a deployment, learned a few things about life, a lot about values and perhaps more than anything, the importance of thinking on your own.)
And so… I eased my way back into the “civilian” world. After 16 interviews for various management and business-related positions around the country, I settled on a Plant Manager position at a glass plant in Houston, TX (May, 2012). It was at that glass plant that I worked for almost 6 months, got laid off with no warning or reason, was given a 1-month severance package, and left wondering at the end of it all, “Well, now what?”
Besides the humbling aspect of losing my job, there was also a more exciting side that came with that experience. It was the side of me that eventually thought, “Now I truly have to decide what I want to do again! I can literally do anything I want… and at least now, I can be 100% certain that I don’t want to work in a glass plant again!” I was also certain for the first time in my life, that I did not want to pursue a “traditional” career path … I knew what I didn’t want to do… so now it was time to figure out what I did want to do!
At the time, I was also in the final stages of a semi-serious relationship. When I lost my job, it didn’t take long for the girlfriend to follow (unrelated to losing my job), and all at once… I had nothing holding me back and everything to gain! With uncertainty came freedom; with lost purpose came a quest for meaning; with unanswered questions came a journey!