People have told me for years that I should write the story of my life. Personally, I don’t find my life so exciting that it warrants an entire book. However, for the purposes of today’s post, I am going to introduce myself a little – because quite simply as this blog gains more attention, so will the attacks on my character and ‘qualifications’ to be so opinionated. I will of course continue to write stories about my life here, either from a certain perspective like military service, or personal passion like human rights and education.
I am a hyper-passionate individual. Sometimes this has worked against me, but mostly is has made me the thinker that I have become. In trying to rationalize my own emotions and to work to present them in meaningful ways I have had to temper my passions, not abandon them. I have intense emotional reactions to things in the world around me, and before I lose my mind – I need to process those emotions.
Most writers are prolific journal keepers. I am not. I hate writing with pen and paper. The Word Processor is my savior in that respect because now I do write down more of my thoughts and have a means to keep them until I want to visit them again. Also, when I have kept a journal – my handwriting is so atrocious even I can’t read what I wrote. Thank you Microsoft Word for saving me from myself.
Throughout my life I have held a ton of jobs. It isn’t because I can’t keep a job it is because I don’t really know what the heck I really want to do. So when it comes to employment, I am a wanderer. In semi-chronological order here are the jobs I have held:
As a kid under the age of 15: Lawn mowing, babysitting, and I also worked at a Swap Meet by going and asking sellers if they needed help setting up in the mornings, I also had a paper route in there somewhere.
Burger King – I worked there for three days. I couldn’t stand the smell.
Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s – I kept that job for about two whole years.
Deli Clerk – I worked in the commissary deli at Vandenberg Air Force base in CA. I gave me an appreciation for cheese other than “Kraft slices” and for that I am grateful.
Independent Living Instructor – I spent a year working with adults with developmental disabilities who lived by themselves. I helped them with things like budgeting, grocery shopping, banking etc. That was an awesome job and I miss it.
Mervyns (retail) – I worked in the shoe department. This is where I learned just how gross and horrible people can be. Really folks. The shoe department brings out the worst in humanity. Thank God it was only a seasonal position.
Wendy’s – Not too bad. I still eat there. That should say something.
The US Army Reserves – I ALWAYS wanted to be a Soldier. I do however have this little issue with authority (especially in my youth), and running makes me want to kill people. So I joined the reserves first just to make sure I could do it. I served for 8 years as a Civil Affairs Specialist, and Human Resources Specialist. During my 8 years in the reserves – my civilian jobs were:
Pride Industries – Another organization that works with people with disabilities. I worked with children here, and found that I deal much better with adults.
Unit Pay Technician – My first full time government job. I processed pay and entitlements for Soldiers in my reserve unit. So I was sort of full time Army – sort of. I quit that job when my Mom got cancer to move back home and care for her.
The Devereux Foundation in CA – This is a residential/vocational facility for adults and children with disabilities. I worked mostly with adult women with autism and a myriad of other developmental disabilities. Another job that I simply loved going to work everyday. After my Mom passed away I needed to escape my hometown so I moved to start my ‘own’ life.
Intel Corp – I did data entry for Intel University. Intel U is the professional development courses that Intel employees are required to take. VERY boring job. Mind numbing actually.
Then I joined the active duty Army as a human recourse specialist. I stayed active duty for 7 years, with two deployments to Afghanistan. I was stationed at Fort Drum, NY and Vicenza, Italy. I love the Army – but I sabotaged my own career – I will write about that more another time. Had I not done that though, I firmly believe I would still be in the service. I really loved that job too. The fact that I almost never did my actual ‘job’ helped. No boredom.
I got out of the Army and went back to work for the Devereux Foundation in PA this time. I wish these jobs paid more so I could make a living and do what I love, but alas, that’s not the case…
Then I worked for the IRS as a secretary in the Small Business/Self Employed compliance division (collections). Not bad job, just a dead end one.
So I quit and went back to school. Full time no distractions. Just school. I completed my bachelors degree and just graduated with my masters degree taking out massive student loans and using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Next step, Doctorate – just have to find a way to finance it.
So now I am unemployed and looking for my next employment adventure. Except I really don’t want another ‘job’… I want to write, I want to allow the activist screaming inside to vocalize and share with those who are willing to listen.
My employment has been driven by choices of what I want and what I feel I need to do. At this point in my life, I am going to try and buck traditional society that says I must have a respectable career – and make a go of this writing passion. This is chapter 1 about me – every once in a while, when appropriate, I will add new chapters. I’ll let you guys decide if my life in interesting enough for a book.
Welcome to the next chapter in my life. I am glad you are here.