Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Insight Into JD, Part I

To shamelessly use the line from a weekend news program, every person has a story. Sure, the story of one person may be much more interesting than the story of another person, but every story is unique and interesting in its own way. I don't think that my life to date has been the most interesting story you have ever heard; however, I do think you will find it entertaining, thought-provoking, and/or worth the read. Given that my story is a "work in progress," it doesn't have a defined ending. Hopefully, my ending won't be written for many years to come, but we know not the hour nor the day when that end is our own. Time is ticking ... the following is just the beginning of my story.

I guess every story should inevitably begin "in the beginning," but I don't want to bore you with every excruciating detail of my life. Possibly the most interesting thing about my beginning is that I almost wasn't. What does that mean, you may ask? My mother had cervical cancer in her early 20's, making her ability to have children that much more unlikely. She could have become sterile if she had to undergo a hysterectomy; however, this wasn't the case. There was no certainty she would become pregnant and that there would be no complications is she did.

Well, I guess the answer to the question related to if she could have children is obvious; I am writing this today. Was my birth without complications? I guess, in a sense, since I have no birth defects or significant genetic ailments, although I was born Caesarian given that a natural birth was not an option. I would probably (if not certainly) have died if my mother was forced into a natural delivery. Thank goodness for modern medicine (I can say with certainty).

The story that evolves from my semi-miraculous birth is not unbelievable but has had its share of extraordinary moments. I have been blessed with what I consider great fortune, not in terms of monetary wealth but in my mental acumen, my general health, the love of my family, and a supportive upbringing. Of course, even the most "blessed" lives have their share of hardships, trials, tribulations, and heartbreaking moments. We choose to allow those moments to make us stronger or to tear us down. We may only realize years later which effect each moment has had on us and, ultimately, what kind of person we are in the present.

My life can be clearly broken into definitive segments. There are defining moments, seemingly tragic in some cases, which end one segment and transition into another. Some segments are very uplifting, others are quite dark and depressing. The segments as I define them are: the early years (birth to age 5), the beginning of school (age 5 to age 9), the middle school years (age 9 to age 11), the junior high / awkward development years (age 11 to age 13), the teenage / high school / difficult years (age 13 to age 17), the college years (age 18 to age 21) [some sub-segments in the college years, to be explained later], and the working years (age 21 to present).

The "working years" are a series of stories unto themselves that could easily stand alone without the background of the preceding years; however, I will do my best not to tell these stories before they are meant to be told. I am probably least proud of my working years relative to how they define me versus the person I used to be. Here is some forward-looking perspective (that's an oxymoron) relative to these most recent years of my life:

I have maintained a web presence since 1996, when I was a student at the University of Dayton ( via the UD web homepages server. My existence on GeoCities began shortly thereafter in 1998 around the time of my graduation (when my UD server access was being cut off). From 1998 until present, I have had multiple locations between GeoCities, FortuneCity ( -- an interesting "time capsule" of my website circa 1998), and various ISP's (e.g. RoadRunner).

As of today, I am a working engineer with experience at multiple big-name corporations, including Procter & Gamble (my first employer post-graduation in Lima, OH), Marathon Oil Company (as an intern in Texas City, TX), Andrew Jergens / Kao Brands (in Cincinnati, OH), and Formica Corporation (also in Cincinnati, OH). Every corporate employer has provided unique perspective, if not enjoyable at all times, into how large multi-national enterprises work. I have learned far more in the seven years since I graduated from UD than in the previous 17 years of formal education relative to how the "real world" really works. College life was a microcosm of this real world in which I now live ... but did not do it justice.

Insight into my brain and thinking is complex to say the least. I walk to the beat of my own drum, having moved between positions and job responsibilities with relative ease but never without complication. Each employer has it's own interests first and rarely it's employees' collective interests. Corporations are in the business to make MONEY -- plain and simple. I have realized my place in the corporate world and could say so much more than this now ... but I will digress from my soapbox.


I guess here in the second post of this new blog you have already seen my ability to write a "short story" while staying true to my "rambling" title. I really should stop while I am way ahead in terms of the text I have written. There is certainly much more to come ... stay tuned.

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