All the jobs I’ve had with my brother

The other day I was thinking about how a lot of the jobs I’ve had are thanks to, and were right along side, members of my family. Probably because we’re both guys and only a year and a half apart, it was my brother that I worked with mostly. Going all the way
back to 4th grade, I remember helping him deliver newspapers when we lived in Fort Adams; military housing in Newport, Rhode Island.

Paper or plastic, ma’am?
wdMy first real job, though, was bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie in Miami, Florida… once the area recovered from Hurricane Andrew, that is. Who was bagging there, too? Yep, my bro. The dynamic duo at your service! I have a few memories from this job. The one that stands out most was this lady that came through the line, you had to keep an eye on her, for sure. Even thinking about it now, all the fear I had in the moment rushes back. I think she just had some sort of mental disorder but here’s what she would do: grab something from a nearby shelf (like a candy bar next to the register), throw it on the ground and step on it. At one point, she had a loaf of bread in her hand. Tossed it down, stepped directly in the middle of it. I couldn’t believe it. She did this with a few other things, too. Weird stuff, man.

We gotta wake up at what time????
hardeesFast forward a couple of years and my brother and I were spending the summer in Monticello, Florida. Our dad was starting a new job in New York, so he went up early, before the rest of us moved there from Florida. My mom was spending time in Tallahassee with her parents. So there we were living with my dad’s parents in a house they built off of South Mulberry Street. Well, about a block away was a Hardee’s. We both got jobs making biscuits on the weekend. We only worked a couple days a week, but just knowing we had to wake up at 4am both days was enough to ruin the entire week. But it was pretty awesome to have grandparents that woke up with us, made us breakfast, and drove us the 1 block to get there. And our boss was funny, in a “does he think we’re curing cancer?” kind of way. One time a batch of biscuits came out overcooked. Lost the batch. Boss proceeded to punch the wall. Classic.

You’ve got to scalp ’em Seminoles!
Two years later we were both students at Florida State and he helped me get a job at the Leach Center, where he was already working. We both worked there for the remainder of our college careers. This job reinforced the importance of being on time. They didn’t have much tolerance for being late, I’ll say that! We both made a lot of good friends there, some we are still friends with today. And by the way, if you’re ever trying to use someone else’s ID to sneak in somewhere, at least make sure you kinda sorta possibly look like them! College kids, man, you’d think they’d be a little smarter 😉Leach New Inside

It’s where, now?
Another place we both worked was a summer camp in Lampe, Missouri. It’s called Kanakuk. I know, I know, I just said a few words you may not have heard before. But Lampe is about an hour south of Branson and Kanakuk is pronounced can-uh-cuck. An amazing place for kids to learn sports taught by college athletes and at the same time, grow in your relationship with God. No, I was not a college athlete. Unless you count being intramural champs, baaabbaaayyy! DSC09261My brother and I both count Kanakuk as a big influence on our lives, from the people we met and worked with there, to shaping our outlook on life and faith.

We’ve also worked together on various video projects over the years. One might be a workout video, another a sports highlight reel. Here’s one we made recently of his son, my nephew, playing football.

So I’ll finish by saying that of all the things my brother is great at (sports, public speaking, being a brother, friend, etc), he’s also been a great co-worker. And he’s got an amazing younger brother, too!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

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The Reawakening: Part 2

tuxedoPlease consider this a formal invitation to come along with me as I move forward, perhaps out of the wilderness, into the next chapter of my life. The focus of this adventurous writing is what I do for work, but really, it includes so much more… because I don’t have a limit on where I can go or what I can do. I may be inspired by my friends, time with my dogs, during normal business hours, or something I hear on the radio or see on TV. I’m very excited to find out how this stirring in my heart will be fulfilled. My goal is to post every Thursday around 1pm Central.

To have a more full understanding of where I’m coming from, you should probably know as a 30-year-old I was inspired to make a pledge and that’s sort of what’s going on now, 6 years later. Or at least, it’s a continuation of that pledge that I desperately need to live out.

The pledge was to never live a regular life. That can mean many things, but to me, it means not settling. Living an adventure in my work, in my relationships. I’ve heard it’s every 5 years or so one goes through some kind of phase in life questioning their significance, maybe with the itch to hit reset and start over, whether it’s in a job, relationships, moving to a new city, or some other aspect of life that feels stale. It happened to me in 2008 (as I mentioned, when I was 30 years old). During this uncomfortable phase a friend of mine, one who’s more experienced and further along in years and in wisdom gave me a book called No More Mondays by Dan Miller. It’s about being satisfied at work, whether that means changing jobs, or just changing perspectives in my current job. Now, I’m reading it again. It’s an inspiration to know feeling claustrophobic at a desk is an OK feeling to have. It doesn’t mean I’m lazy or ungrateful. Because I’m neither. But it was at this very desk where I sat for 8 hours that work became routine. I traded passion for a paycheck. I convinced myself comfort was more important than connecting with deeper needs. But a combination of events at work shook me out of the status quo. The timing couldn’t have been better because just as I was beginning to question my goals at work, I had time off to think through my desires, my skills, and I was about to spend a week in a small town north of Cincinatti.

The ideas, lists, brainstorms, plans, rants, and wild thoughts that follow are not a journey to the next goal in my life, they are the adventure my heart longs for. I certainly hope you’ll accept my invitation to come along!

-Out of the Wilderness
black shoes