Indoctrination Program (RIP). It was arduous training and every day was a struggle to stay in order to pass and be part of an elite unit. By early 2005 I was in 2nd Ranger Battalion and within 2 months of being in the unit, we were already heading off to war. From there I made it through the ranks to become a Sergeant, operating both as a Team and Squad Leader and serving in 3 tours in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. When my time was up to either leave or stay in the military, I decided to go out to the world of protection with a private firm and protected the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq for 5 years.
During those 5 years of protection I didn't waste my time. I didn't play xbox all day or watch mindless T.V. shows, I worked, and worked hard on my education. I was never the smartest kid and I did enough to get by (typically because I was always friends with the teachers assistants). My family always looked at me as an average student and no one really saw me doing anything worth a shit in college. Well after my time in the military and creating a determined personality, I was able to tap into my potential and knew I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. So while working overseas performing protection, I got a Bachelor's Degree in Social and Criminal Justice, a Master's in Organizational Management, and I was working on a Ph.d. in Public Policy and Administration, but turned this into a second Master's as I found I didn't have the time to do that and learn the new job I was transitioning to in the U.S.
I have since transitioned to working a desk job in the U.S. but when I made this transition, I realized I was losing a huge piece of myself. I started losing all those things that I based my identity around, my purpose around, and most of all, my masculinity around. I felt lost, adrift in a sea of monotony and repetitive actions that only led to thinking about how I couldn't wait for the weekend so I could drink, smoke a cigar, and cook some meat on the grill. This wasn't a life. There was no enjoyment in the everyday sunrise and socializing with co-workers, there was no enjoyment in challenging myself to become better or achieve higher levels in life. There was a ladder to my next promotion and limited potential I had in creating abundance in my life. It soon came to having a bitchfest about how work sucked orhow other people we worked with were stupid, just a ton of negativity. Well not long after this my marriage fell to pieces and I couldn't figure out where happiness was because I didn't know where my life was going or who I was in this story anymore. It was a depressing time in my life, someone who made so much of themselves at an early age, to feel like I no longer had control my life nor of who I was as a man.
After my first marriage failed, I met an amazing woman who is now my wife, and she helped opened me to self development. Now, I still had the tough guy mentality so this was no easy task for her, because to me, who were any of these people to tell me how to better myself? What had they seen or been through that was tougher than going to war, losing friends, and stepping into chaos every night? So to say the least, I was really not having it. But slowly, I would hear a podcast here, I would see a video there, and I really started to hear some good information. My first dive in was reading the book 'Excuses Be Gone' by Dr. Wayne Dyer. This book was amazing and opened my eyes to a world where these real people challenged you to look at yourself, not anyone else, not even them, but you, and find what you stood for and who you wanted to show up as. As I dove deeper and deeper into this, I realized, as I struggled with my identity and masculinity coming back from working in these high octane, fast paced, masculine worlds, I didn't want to listen to someone who didn't have a background I respected. As I now realized that is a bullshit excuse, I began to think well maybe I can understand not only myself better but men in general better by developing my knowledge base on masculinity. Then I thought, maybe I can package these messages to help other men like me, and men who think the way they are acting is appropriate with false confidence, to see men who are from these really alpha driven worlds opening up about growing as a man, growing as a father, growing as a husband, struggling with money, struggling with opening up emotions, struggling with being vulnerable, having their masculinity challenged severely at points in their life, creating huge businesses and losing it all (multiple times), struggling with addiction, struggling with drugs, and so on, and letting men know everywhere that you can be masculine while opening up and taking down your walls, being your authentic self.
My mission is to help men everywhere find the courage to be confident in themselves and their masculinity, regardless of what society says or what preconceived notions are out there in the media, influencing what the "manly man" is supposed to be. To shed light on those tough, strong, alpha males opening up to not only those they love, but to the world about who they really are and how they own these open and vulnerable parts of themselves. Today, my goal is help be a light for men who are struggling in owning their masculinity and struggling to present it in a way that is authentic to them.