In the past few months, I have gone to great links to build a back story on the things that matter to me, and the things that I think about most often, but as the title of this blog mentions these things for anyone should only be a small facet of you. We all get so hung up on trying to earn a living that often we forget that there is an entire life to live out there. You are in fact, not what you do. You are so much more than that. I want to be more than my job, and that is what this is really about. I have spent the greater part of the last three years trying to find the way to detach from this mindset, which is what inspired my writing this for you today; to share with you what brought me to this place.
By January of 2004, I was a successful sales representative for a large corporation, and I had my entire life mapped out for me. I knew what I would be doing next year, and the year after that, and so on. I made a comfortable living, so despite my dissatisfaction with my job, it was difficult for me to do anything about it. The only other options for me at the time were more jobs doing exactly the same things for some other company. So I kept going, generally unhappy but successful nonetheless. In the summer of 2009 however, I would soon realize that I had no idea what unhappiness even was.
My wife and I wanted very much to have another child, and after another failed attempt we finally succeeded at our dream. This pregnancy was a difficult one for my wife and despite bed rest and much care being taken to protect my wife and our unborn child, by the sixth month we underwent something that still today is hard to think about.
On March 13 2009, after an exceedingly long day at work I arrived at home to find my wife on the bed, which was not unusual due to the circumstances, but she kept telling me that something was wrong. She complained about pains, and a small amount of bleeding, so without delay we checked into the hospital late that evening. We both had ourselves convinced that the pain my wife was experiencing was some easily explainable Braxton-Hicks contractions or something like that. I held her hand, and we waited through the sleepless night for word from the doctor, all the while our sweet nurse telling us that we should sleep and not to worry. We waited through yet another day in that hospital room, much the same as the sleepless night before, so by Sunday I was thoroughly worn out, and my wife convinced me to go home for a shower and something to eat.
I took her advice exhausted from the night before, and headed out the emergency room doors. I had not been gone 20 minutes when I received a call that would change my entire life. The nurse who was taking care of my love (who by this time had become rather close to us) called me. She told me to come back right away, and that was all. I knew what this meant, so I drove as fast as I could and arrived moments too late. We had lost our baby, and I was not there when my wife needed me the most.
For a long time, I did not forgive myself for that. I did everything I could do to ignore the fact that this tragedy ate a hole inside me. I used any substance that I could to numb the pain, and for a moment that worked enough that I could keep working and pretend that I was alright. This went on for another year, and after another year, a better doctor, and another pregnancy, my wife gave birth to our miracle, Nova Lloryanne. I should have been happy, and I was, but there was still such a hole in my heart that I could not be filled.
I continued doing my job (which took upwards of 12 hours a day) and coming home just in time to put my children to bed. I had no relationship with my family, a drinking problem, and what seemed like nothing I could do about it. Then, in the summer of 2010 I found what I thought would be my solution. I was offered a job as Director of Marketing for a new up and coming resort.
So many promises were made to me, and the offer seemed so sweet that I could not help but take it. The resort had not been built yet, but I was assured that I would have plenty to do while construction was underway, and as a naive young man I saw a way out of a job I hated, so I took it. It was what seemed to be the job I had been waiting for. I worked less than before, and even though I was paid less than the agreed upon amount by quite a bit, I was happy.
I worked tirelessly on this project, all the while operating as a manager for the existing riverside bar and restaurant. I coordinated events, secured advertisement, wrote the newsletter, and planned for the months that I would be working from home all the while making sure the bar and kitchen were working properly.
During our last event before demolition, I knew something was up. The owner was avoiding me and since most of the staff was going to be laid off after that day, it was not long before I realized that I had been deceived and would be laid off as well. I was not mistaken, and for the next year and a half I was unemployed.
For the first time since my teens, I was without a means to support myself. This would have been bearable had I been a single man (unemployment insurance covered my day to day after all) but with a family to support I had to quickly reevaluate my position in life. After consulting with my wife and family, we decided that this would be a good time to finish my education. I was so excited about the future, and despite all that we had been through I was hopeful for things to come—that is, until registration day arrived…