Walking The Walk – 6 minute read

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just pick up and leave everything you know behind?  I know I wonder about that thought nearly everyday and now I am committed to make that thought a reality in my life once again.  You may also wonder why I would leave a seemingly perfect life on the beach.  Here’s why:

The first time I made a life changing decision to get out of my comfort zone was when I decided that life in the FLDS was not in my future.  I was young, naive and very impressionable when I decided to leave when I was 15 years old.  I had no idea where I was going to go, what I was going to do, or how I was going to make it.

What I did next is what changed everything for me:  I started walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.  I actually made the decision to leave and stuck with it.  I lived with 3 brothers in a small 2 bedroom apartment in Midvale, Utah and couldn’t have been more scared or more excited about what was to become of my life.  I was in a very unsafe environment where I was with my brothers because of their drug habits, but I felt I had no recourse, so I stayed.  I slept on the couch when it was available, or the floor when it wasn’t.  My brothers did their best to make me comfortable and at home, but they were dealing with their own daily struggles and really couldn’t take on a 15-year-old fresh out of the FLDS.

As time passed, I realized that it wasn’t all that bad.  I wasn’t scared anymore.  I had just adapted to what my new circumstances were, and made the best of what I had.  I began to realize that being afraid or scared of the unknown only existed in my head. Everyone else around me was dealing with their own daily lives just as I was dealing with mine.  I was trying to make the best decisions I could with the life experience I had at the time.

As I look back, I realize that I may have made some bad decisions, some good decisions and some decisions that just make absolutely no sense to me, even now!  But guess what? That’s life.  If you fall into a pile of shit, you have to dig yourself out.  Plain and simple.  No one else is going to do it for you.  We each have 24 hours in a day, and we each have the choice what to do with those 24 hours.  We can bitch and complain about how life dealt us a bad hand, or we can take life by the balls and make our life the way we want it.

The second time I made a life changing decision to get out of my comfort zone was when I joined the U.S. Army.  I had been thinking about joining for a few months now, but it was just that, a thought.  Then something unimaginable happened that changed everything.  I got a phone call from my Mom early in the morning on 9/11/01.  She asked me to turn on the news to see what was happening in New York.  When I turned on the TV, the terrorist attacks were on every channel and most people couldn’t believe it was actually happening.  My mind was jumping all over the place.  Was this real?  Is this a movie?  Is this someone’s idea of a sick joke?  It was not a joke.  It was very real and my heart hurt to see so many people die from this senseless tragedy.  

Now it was time to make another life changing decision.  Do I sit on my ass in Utah and continue coasting through life, talking about how I wish 9/11 didn’t happen?  No.  I walked into the closest Army Recruiter office on 9/12/01 and joined the Army.  Did I know what was in store for me after I made that decision?  I had no IDEA!  And that is the part of decision that changes you fundamentally as a human being.  To begin moving forward into the unknown and being able to adapt to each new challenge and obstacle that is put in your way.

Fast forward 7 years of an Active Duty Army enlistment, 2 tours in Iraq and whole lot of life experience later, I landed back in Utah again.  What was I going to do next?  I had no idea and I was completely ok with that. I worked in Utah for a while as a Loan Officer for a local mortgage company because I needed to get a job and needed something to do.  I did relatively well at it, but I didn’t love it.  I was presented with an opportunity to move California to try a new business venture with a friend and I took it!  I was moving to California!

I continue to make my life decisions based on these questions:  What am I doing to make this world a better place?  Do I love what I’m doing?  How can I challenge myself to become a better person?  What am I doing to improve the lives of those around me?

I have made many more life changing decisions in my life concerning business, personal life, travel and where I live.  I find comfort in having the ability and courage to change my life when I’m in a situation or circumstance that I do not LOVE.  It has taken many years to develop the courage, but it’s here to stay.

My next adventure in my life is now helping those who are less fortunate than I am.  There is no greater reward than to be able to give back to someone who is unable to give back to you.  And there lies the double-edged sword:  I know my time spent volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico will be the most rewarding and life changing experience to date. Helping those children overcome their violent and tumultuous past and realize that there are good people in the world that care about them will be the greatest reward…  All it takes is: The Power of One.

What are you doing to change the world?

Crazy Ones

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