What do you want to be when you grow up?

First off. I’m no astronaut. And I’ll wear that reference and theme out as the story develops. At some point in our young lives we are asked the classic “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And as Hollywood makes it seem, every kid wanted to be astronaut. Who could blame them?

Well I never wanted to be one as a kid. What did I want to be? A construction worker. I always wanted that. My father is my hero. He was always(still is) way cooler than any astronaut out there. My father’s entire career is the heavy construction industry. The backhoes, excavators, bulldozers, trucks, they were just the coolest thing to me. I wanted to be just like dad, the cliche is so fitting. But it is the truth. And as I grew older, I realized I wanted to be like him for way more than the fact he got to play with construction equipment.

I’m from an old school, larger than average family. We all mostly got along and my family means the world to me. My parents are very traditional. Married young, had a child young and kept having them. I’m religious, although I’m not using that as pushing point for any of this. But all of that largely influenced how I developed as a person. My father is a perfect example of chivalry, and I wish to be half of what he is. He always told me “the best you can do for your children in life is love their mother”. He is absolutely right. My parents’ relationship is not without flaws and I’m sure it hit hard times. But their love and commitment to each other has made for a childhood in which I can never complain.

Growing up I did well in school. I played sports, I was no all american but I was good enough to play through college. I was never one for the arts or creativity. Math and science is my thing. And here I am writing a blog. In high school, I always gave everything my all. I managed to squeeze As out of my literature classes despite my lack of interest in them.

The bane of my high school existence was “Intro to Art”. I tried harder in that class than any other. The straight A kid, just couldn’t get it. I managed a C. Creativity is one of my shortcomings. Now this guy is attempting poetry, its coming, hold on folks. There is good reason.

Outside of school I was extremely hands on. My family completely remodeled our house, our vacation house, helped others with their houses, built a barn. Never once did we hire help. We could do it all. And I learned it all. My hobbies became welding, cars and trucks. They still are, I’m mechanical obsessed in a way and there is little I can’t fix.

After high school I went to college for engineering(surprising). Did very well, held many of the top leadership positions within the college’s cadet corps, all of my years there(a quasi-military school) and continued my sports career and enjoyed a captain’s spot on the team.

I graduated college with 14 different job offers. But instead I waited for the right one. In the meantime I worked in construction with my father for the summer. I finally got the call I was looking for. My dream job. An engineering job that required me to be as mechanically inclined as it did smart. The perfect mix of brainwork and hands on. To add to the fact it’s what I love to do, it is six figures, they pay me to travel and six months off a year. Pretty awesome for a 21 year old.

Needless to say I took it, and it’s still my job to this day. I paid off all of my student loans in a few months, finished my project car and bought 3 other project trucks over time, and bought a nice new truck, cash. All while setting back enough money for a house, I started house shopping. The process is a tedious and long one, and its on going.

The job has it drawbacks, but none were insurmountable. The biggest one is that I work away from home, on a ship. For 3 weeks at a time I would jet off to somewhere other than home and work 13 hour shifts for 21 days straight. Then I earned 3 weeks off, then repeat. The 3 weeks off, no commitment to work, no worries, no schedule, not setting an alarm, that’s what makes it worth it.

24 year old me was on top of the world. Successful by most people’s standards. Had my trucks and car, money, soon to have my own house, zero debt, ample vacation time. What more could I want?  I was happy with me and where I was in life, I was doing fine without anyone, for the first time I felt I didn’t need someone to complete me. I was 100% my own person. But I wanted to find someone who is 100% their own person, that would be another plus for me. I didn’t feel a need for it, but I wanted it. The truth, I wanted someone to share it with.  Yes it is nice to know I’m not doing bad for myself, but when you really think about it, it doesn’t mean too much if no one is along for the ride. Life can be pretty empty with no one. All the things in the world you can buy will never excite your heart like another human being can. Objects don’t fill that void in your heart.

In my dating years I had few women come and go. This blog will tell the stories of those relationships. Some hurt more than others, but I always moved on and picked up. And more importantly I realized it was for the better, I realized those women and me weren’t meant to be.

Once I met Maria, life made sense. I will go into far too much detail about my relationship with Maria in the future. Yes I will mention the woman before her, but this blog is truly about Maria. I wasn’t on top of the world anymore. I was on my own star, further and better off in life than I thought ever imaginable.

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