I have had an amazing year. I have been maintaining a lot of lines in the water for a very long time. I keep hoping that one of these lines will get a big bite and I'll have the direction I require to make a fulfilling career choice that won't mean sacrificing anything for my family.
I've preached (To reassure myself mostly, it would seem) a lot of minimums that would be necessary to drag be from chasing my dreams and get me into a "normal" job as my HH6 puts it. But let's be honest... I didn't want a "normal" job. I have been casting around for the next chapter in a fantasy saga known as "Doug's crazy life". My side jobs have been amazing (Attitude makes anything better, right?), and my start-ups have been far more successful than I could ever have envisioned (Honestly, thanks to everyone here and in the SF brotherhood for supporting me so aggressively), but I didn't feel like I was pursuing my purpose fully.
One of the big things that has helped me get and keep my bearing in the last couple years was re-prioritizing the importance of my family. At times this year, when working any of my 15 jobs I thought I might just be spinning my wheels, but at least I have managed to shift the focus of my efforts to a place that lets me be home with the family MUCH more regularly. Even without direction professionally, this alone has resulted in a really amazing time with my girls and I will never discount that.
But, inside the SF guy/Merc identity is crying out for another fix. I'm pretty sure that learning to calm that voice is the first step in actually being a responsible adult, but it's a process. How can a person pursue that calling voice, fill a bank account, and still maintain his family? I was pretty convinced that it was another "grown-up" compromise moment. And, just like any firefight I've ever entered, I suit up every day ready to lean forward in the line and push through to the limit of advance.
Then the dam broke and I got an offer that felt "too good to be true". I'm moving into my first full-time job since I left the Army full-time in 2014. I somehow fell into a job as the General Manager for what might be the most cutting edge fitness facility I have ever envisioned. Forces of the universe brought my orbit into that of a guy who is literally a "mensch" and is actively pursuing one of my dreams in his own life. Pretty much every area of my profession and hobbies that I want to improve in, he is actively better than I am, and more educated. The most success I have seen professionally in my life was when I have surrounded myself with winners, and Chris is definitely a winner. Things are developing as we go, but I am pretty stoked to be part of his team and cross-loading some of the weight as we move forward.
Here's the hilarious part: Chris almost didn't even ask if I would be interested in the job... because he heard me preaching about what I needed to take a "regular" job. This gig has a TON of upside potential, but it's not going to let me retire or buy a sweet car with my salary. It'll cover my bills. And yet, I am more content and grounded in this decision than any I have made since I knew I needed to knock off the constant world traveling and cast my anchor in Moore County, NC.
SO, after listening to me ramble a bit... OK, a lot. Remember, that all who wander are not lost; investing in being home and pushing forward in the foxhole will almost always result in finding a place for you that provides for your needs and fosters your own passions; and sometimes the greatest solutions are found in compromising with oneself. I almost missed out of the coolest opportunity I have had in years, because I was so married to what I thought my own worth was. Don't make that mistake. Chase your passions everyday, be kind to others (I mostly try to do this... sorta), and build your own dreams on what matters.
I'm super proud to be a part of what we're doing here, and even more excited that the next step will allow me to re-double my efforts in the DRS and provide even more knowledge to you guys in areas that I am already passionate about!
P.S. The picture is to remind you guys that in the last two years my pursuits have had A LOT of variety. Heck, I was a mercenary, a caddie, a teacher, a student, a yoga model, and a published author in 12 months... I'm sure that's just the surface. You don't need to be a spaz like me to find your passion and purpose. I'm just glad that I can highlight how much some of us cast about before we find our groove.