Reinvention

Dear World,

I am overqualified for everything. Or maybe I am just over the hill. Or maybe I am just delusional for believing that everything will work out.

Well, today, I would like to thank you for taking what was supposed to be a great day and throwing it back in my face. Kudos! You have my attention, I’m listening! What do you need to say?

Ironically, I scribbled that note down on a piece of paper one year to the day I resigned from my old position. I was sitting alone in a room at the local Urgent Care facility in Florida. I had sliced my finger open on a railing at Epcot and it wouldn’t stop bleeding, so I was taken for medical attention.

The real irony, though, is that I had swapped emails with a regular Irishman For Hire reader who had just asked me, “Why don’t you delve into the darker side of your life? Or are you one of those lucky people who has everything work out for them?” Well, sitting for four hours in any empty room, waiting for the doctor to glue my finger shut, gave me an ample amount of time to explore the darker side of my life.

When I resigned a year ago, I did it for a plethora of reasons. I pointed out one of the main reasons last year when I wrote, “And until recently, I didn’t realize how much I have been living a reactionary life. My existence has been decided by responding to external forces. The economy, friends, work, clients, ‘the devil I know as opposed to the devil I don’t’ and finally, (my mother’s old saying), remembering that ‘a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.’ A lot of my decisions have been safe ones that have been made to stave off impending disaster and in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the world around me.”

I still believe what I wrote last year but the quintessential point to my entire life style change is this; I resigned my position, sold my house and moved because “I want to watch my children grow up. I want to be a father who is always there for them when they need me. I want my marriage to continue to evolve and flourish into a life where Stephanie and I accomplish all of our dreams. I want there to be music, laughter, love and great stories that can be passed onto our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. I want my life to be fulfilled beyond my wildest imagination.” And against all odds, our family has accomplished most of the items on this list in just one short year.

I have been more involved with my kids’ lives over the past year than at any time in my life (although they might not want me around so much). I am there for them when they need me and I take a back seat when they need to spread their wings and fly. My marriage is flourishing. We have our moments but who doesn’t? But over the past year, our lives have been filled with music, love, laughter, wild adventures and amazing stories that will be told for generations.

The draw back? I am still looking for work. Excuse me, let me correct that statement; I am still in the process of reinventing myself!! I have an impressive resume and having been the CEO of a small agency, I have done it all; legal, HR, programming, budgeting, marketing, fundraising, networking, selling, team building, etc. etc. etc. And unless I lie on my resume, my former title scares people off. I am either overqualified, not qualified in the right industry or last but not least (my personal favorite), I look great on paper but I don’t possess a Master’s Degree.

Experience should still count for something! But the world is changing and I too must be willing to bend with it. At times when I struggle with making sense out of the world I fall back on the words of a former minister. Reverend Mike would always say, “Let Go and Let God!” And I have. I continue to send out resumes but I get an overwhelming sense that God wants me to go in another direction. The doors in the traditional world have been closed tight for the better part of the past six months and yet, a musical world that I had set aside years ago keeps swinging doors wide open for me.

So I stepped through one of those doors back in December and joined a Southern Rock band. I have started to seriously consider going back to being a DJ among a number of other opportunities that might exist. And even though music feels like the road I am supposed to travel right now, I still can’t help but wonder; Why?

This past Sunday, our new minister Pastor Bill said, “God puts us in places for a reason and that wherever he puts us, that is our community to minister to.” I wanted to pull Pastor Bill aside after our service and ask him “Why on earth would God make my community a Southern Rock Band, a DJ and a writer?” It doesn’t make sense! It just doesn’t.

As I was changing into a pair of shorts the other day to enjoy the warm weather we were having, I found the letter I had written to myself in the Urgent Care facility. It was crumpled up in the bottom of the drawer, so I pulled it out and read it. And then, I read it again… and again… and again… and again… and then I threw it out.

I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe God has a plan for me. I believe he has a whole road map for my entire family and we are just in the beginning stages. The kids are doing great in school. We have met wonderful people and we have started developing great friendships. Stephanie is working again and our new life in North Carolina is moving forward. I know Stephanie is frustrated with the course my career path has taken. She’d deny it if asked, but I can see it in her eyes. I too share in her frustration.

Times are still tough. The stock market is back over twelve thousand but the unemployment rate is still hovering close to ten percent. The world is changing and in the wake of these changes, new opportunities spring forth every day. I could crawl inside the darker side of my life and let it all pass me by or I can grab life by the horns, and make the changes I need to make in order to stay relevant in an evolving job market. I believe in my heart everything will work out for the best. This too shall pass because I believe God has a plan for me. And if I am listening to what he is telling me correctly, I am definitely heading down “the road less traveled.”

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5 Responses to Reinvention

  1. Lee Z says:

    Grabbed me from the very beginning. So real and inspiring. Thanks Doug! Hey…how ’bout a karaoke D.J.?

  2. Heather says:

    Astonishing article . Thanks

  3. Ed Larsen says:

    Hey Doug! Great read! Janna and I wish you and your family the best in your future endeavors. If there is something we can do to make the road ahead a little easier, let us know. Afterall, you were there for us and we are very appreciative of your friendly support.

  4. Wendy says:

    Doug, everything does happen for a reason and listening to God is most important. Are you reading the Bible? Find a Bible study to do and see what direction you can find there. Purpose Driven Life, Battlefield of the Mind are two that come to mind. You may not know the why God wants you to go in a direction you just have to do it and have the faith that He is going to put the people in your path that you need to tell about Jesus OR that will be there to guide you to where you need to be.

    Faith = confidence, trust, reliance, assurance, conviction, belief, devotion, dedication.

    What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannnot yet see.

    Proverbs 1:7 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

    Love & prayers,
    Wendy

  5. Greg F says:

    I am glad that God or fate dropped you into our little “southern rock band” yep, two New Yorkers in a southern rock band, ironic huh? Continue to do what you’re doing Doug, the rest will take care of itself ( I keep trying to tell myself the same thing )

    Being so involved in the lives of your young children is THE most important thing you can do for them, and they will cherish you for it ( after they get through their teens and stop cursing you 🙂 lol

    I really enjoyed reading your blog today

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