Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?
Last week I told you about the circumstances that prompted my move to The Twin Cities in 2002 to pursue a degree in Radio Broadcasting and ultimately a degree in Communication Studies. My game plan after the Bachelors program in Communication Studies was to work in radio for a few years getting experience and then come back to Brown College and teach in the broadcasting program. My life, at least for the last 21 years has been woven together as absolute proof to me that there are no accidents and there is no such thing as a wrong decision that cannot be turned into something good. And we are never alone on our journey in this life. Ever!
I graduated my bachelor program and I needed a full-time, well paying gig to pay my bills and college loans. Radio broadcasting was not it, so I left. I became the first disabled DJ in the history of a company in St Paul, which boasted being the best company in the country for weddings. And they truly are! This company has its formula down for weddings. And they only do weddings. I worked a few shows for them over the next few months, but ultimately since I couldn’t move my own equipment being in a wheelchair and nobody wanted to be a set-up man, we decided together that it was not a fit for me.
Luckily, I was working for a company that monitored alarm systems all around the country. That gig began in 2005, just after I graduated college and two weeks befor Hurrican Katrina hit the gulf coast! Talk about a time to begin learning a new skill!! Definitely a sink or swim. Pages on pages of alarm systems going haywire because of the power outages and devastation. Eight hours a day of calling home owners and business owners, ‘Your alarm at <their address> is going off, is everything okay, do I need to dispatch authorities?’ Nine times out of ten it was fine. I rose to the occasion at that job and stayed there for two and a half years.
Then, I got the call in late 2007 from a previous professor and trusted friend at Brown College, ‘hey, there are holding a group interview for an admissions rep and I think you’d be a shoe in! You got this, but you have to be here by 5:30 tonight!!’ Okay, done! I went into that interview and nailed it!! Four other people in the interview and I commanded the room! My future boss even told me, ‘you came into the room and basically said, ‘okay, everyone shut up! I am here and I got this, so you all can just leave!’ And yet it took them three weeks to offer me the job. That was God trying to orchestrate patience.
Move ahead to April 21, 2009. It was a Tuesday. 11:30am rolls around. I had been in my office for four and a half hours. I was about to go on my lunch. I had spent the morning sending emails and making phone calls. I had four meet and greet appointments scheduled, but it was too little too late.
My Director Of Admissions stopped at my office door and said, ‘When you finish that call come down to my office.’ Her office was three doors down the hall from mine. Longest trek ever because we were a for-profit school. Admissions Reps only keep their jobs if they can keep the enrollments. My enrollments had slipped for a couple months at that point.
I rolled into her office. She was at her desk, tears in her eyes and the compliance/HR Director was seated on the other side of her desk. I knew what that meant. Only one thing left to ask, ‘how much time do I have to clean out my office?’ I took the rest of the day to say good-bye to the people I had considered had become family. Literally the rest of the day!
My greatest accomplishments in life had taken place at Brown College and April 21, 2009 was my worst at the time and for the next year and a half. I went from a rising star who seemed like he could walk on water, truly, there were times in that job I worked miracles to get people enrolled in school. But, in the end it wasn’t enough. God directs all my paths!
For the next year and a half my life in The Twin Cities crumbled beneath my wheels and there was no recovery. I was sunk! I completed and was released from one job in the next 18 months and I walked out on three others. Again, I had no clue at the time, but God was orchestrating a bigger plan I could not see at the time.
The final break happened November 6th of 2010. I had been working for a company as a lead generation specialist. I would call IT Directors and find out if they would be interested in our software and technologies to help all organizations go paperless with any and all records. If interest was found I would pass them off to our sales team. I was so good at what I did for the first couple months, and then my body and mind decided to take a vacation. I will never forget 10:30am November 6th, my mind decided to crack and convince me I was not doing well. I told my boss I was checking myself into the hospital. She said she had noticed for a few weeks in my performance that my mind was convincing me I was slipping in my health and she agreed I needed to get checked out and talk to somebody about what was going on mentally and physically with me, but that my job would be there when I returned. It wasn’t.
After a few days of R and R and speaking with doctors I was informed my job was no longer available. Okay, where do I go from here? No job prospects, my roommates saw my decline and decided to leave our living arrangements. Only one way to go- Home.
We had the rent paid up through the next month, so we took through December of 2010 to move me home. I was thirty-four years old and back living with my parents.
It didn’t take me long and I found an apartment and a part-time job in Montevideo, Minnesota at Walmart. Rock bottom. I made my mind up as a college graduate this was not going to be where I stay. I didn’t graduate Brown College Magna Kum Laude to become a cashier at Walmart.
But, in late 2011 a woman began working at Walmart along side me. She was interested in me a few months before I caught up. February 2nd, 2012 she changed my course forever on our first date. She makes everything so much better. I am still a cashier at Walmart, but I am married to her. And I run a successful blog and I make a positive impact on the lives of countless people every single day! I am back on top again and swimming freely. I am living a life of I.M.P.A.C.T. even though I have endured many sinking moments I am still swimming strong. I hope this blog post serves as a reminder for countless people around the world that even when it seems like you are drowning you just need to swim your way back up and it will be the best breath of fresh air you have ever inhaled. I also want you to know that whether you are on top of the world or you feel like you are alone and drowning you are never alone! God has promised He will be with us in all times and all places. This story of my last seven years of life should come as a true testament to that. Even at my lowest, I was never alone.