Until next, unique souls.
Until next, unique souls.
These were the first words out of my mouth every morning probably until I was old enough to take myself places. I remember this because my mother thought it was hilarious and has told most people I know, too.
It must still be true, that I am always on the go, though I certainly enjoy a day at home when the opportunity presents itself. Perhaps that’s why my life has been full of so many journeys. A life of curiosity has lead me down many paths. I can wear a Chef’s hat, a Photographer’s bag, a Baker’s apron, a Business Analyst’s pocket protector, an Author’s glasses, an Artist’s paint smudge, a Sales Professional’s Suit, and the list goes on. These are things I studied and excelled in, not as an amateur but a serious, confident, professional. It’s funny, in a rather bitter way, that this diverse background that has fed my passion for discovering life has crippled me professionally speaking, not drastically but significantly.
This combination of skills spills over into each other. Business is such a passion of mine. I love business and I feel that I must, like you love a spouse or child. It is as much a part of our life as they are, so how can we tolerate a career we despise without growing to despise other critical parts of our lives. It’s a sad fact that most people spend more time at work than with their families, and a sadder fact that most of these people, at the very mildest of descriptions, dislike their jobs.
That is the majority rule in our society…. It is a statistic because it is fact. That is so damn sad.
Now, it may be unavoidable for most of us to spend more time working than not, especially to provide a good life for ourselves and families. We’re rather spoiled after all, aren’t we? We need so many things to be comfortable. Cars, spacious houses, houses at all, lots of things, lot of good food, it all costs, and these days it costs a lot. Commercial materialism is a topic for another day though; a topic I will probably not be the author of. It is reasonable though, that because of these truths which we may as well just accept about ourselves, that we work more than not. This is why the statistic says we work jobs we hate, to have more things we love. What if one day we loved less things more, I wonder?
Not me, though. While it can certainly be a source for trouble, I have developed an intolerance for putting up with an employer’s abuse or generally poor ethics. I could explain, go through boring stories of my work history that has brought me here. Don’t worry, I won’t. In the grand scheme of things none of it really matters. It’s just what it took to get me here. Today. Right now.
To be completely transparent, because I owe myself that honesty, I don’t know. Some days I don’t know where I belong. Each time I think I’ve got a grasp on which direction to go, life tends to have other plans. What does that mean for me today? Well, it means here in a couple of hours I will join a phone call that returns me to contracting. Working independently for individuals and companies seems to be my way for now. It certainly gives me the time freedoms I need with my children, which is critical for us. If for no other reason that is such a blessing.
The idea here and why I started this blog, this site, was really a place I could store my work, an online portfolio while journaling my way through 417 working with 417. Perhaps the idea of that was too small though. So, time to grow then.
Follow that dream is just what I’ve spent my life doing, and of course my daughter, Jacquelynn came along for the ride. Born in Tulsa Oklahoma, I moved to Missouri to escape a bad relationship, however, my best friend lived in Ozark, and I wanted to be close to him
Business was good. Being a home designer, all I had to do was open the phone book to find clients. The area was thriving, and Branson opened wide its doors. There were many homes to be planned, however, there was also an abundance of condominiums and town homes being built, and I got my fair share of the projects
Within a short time I was invited to Rogers Arkansas as in house designer for what was called at the time, Champions Golf and Country Club. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. The next five years were spent designing high end homes for some of the wealthiest people in the country, however, as the development was being completed, I was burning out. It was time for a change
A songwriter, I decided to try my luck in Nashville. I pitched a few tunes, and sang at the Blue Bird cafe. I taught a class on architectural theory at a small college in Clarksville to get by. When I wasn’t teaching, I set up my easel at a large sporting goods store where I did quick sketches of people. The experience was rewarding. One I will never forget. My daughter was only five or six at the time, and she always accompanied me. She attracted business by dressing up as calico cat, putting on quite a show. Everyone loved that amazing little girl
Before long my luck ran out. We soon returned to Missouri because it felt more like home than any place we’d ever lived, and Missouri is where we’ve stayed. One of our experiences included selling baked goods at Arts fest, Cider days and farmer’s market, where we met some remarkable people. These would become the good ole days
Over the years I worried my journeys would effect my daughter, and that they did. She too is a dreamer. Following that dream doesn’t always mean it will come true, but it will make you happy, and that she is
Growing up 417 didn’t start for me until I was already 7. Before Springfield, I never called a city home.
It wasn’t real spring yet, just that early on wet frozen slush that turned the ground into soup. We were moving. Even at seven years old I didn’t mind the idea of a fresh new start at life. Mom, Cookie our mutt, Tag my cat, and I were leaving our farm house in Clarksville Tennessee. We were moving to Springfield. The sorriest part of it all was, we couldn’t bring Princess, our horse.
Springfield had no room for horses. It was a bigger city than what I had known. Lot’s of changes swirled by as changes tend to do. Before I was done with grade school, I ended up being home schooled. Let me tell you what no one talks about when it comes to homeschooling. Home schooled children have the greatest opportunity to get to know and be a part of their city. They experience more hands on learning in real places doing all sorts of things. It’s an awesome way of learning. It was the best way to turn just another town into Home.
One facet of my education became going to work with my mother, who worked with friends at a locally owned bakery part time. Thanks to The Bake House I met Springfield. That journey has been full of all the things that make life rich, and has taught me one valuable lesson; I love Springfield and our 417.
Breaking down, 2018 was about rebuilding. A discovery of what I’m made of and who I am. Business is one of my biggest passions. It’s taken some trial and error to find what I want, discover where I might fit best. That journey will be ever evolving. It’s occurred to me, I have a rare opportunity with a fortunate combination of gifts to record my journeys through 417.
It’s my hope to give a different view of our corner of the state as I work on the road, taking my camera and pen along for the adventure.