Since taking a somewhat extended break from writing, I am with you today in a completely different place than I was in February. As a coach, I was part of a baseball team that took home a Regional title and a second place finish in the American Legion State Championship, a first in program history. As a person, I have experienced so much growth in many areas of my life. I continued to grow a relationship with the most special woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and on August 16th, I got down on one knee and asked that woman to spend the rest of her life with me on Kalaloch Beach Number 3 in Kalaloch, Washington. In a trip where so much beauty was experienced, whether it was being one with the trees in the wilderness of the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon or in awe of the glow of Mt. Rainier (the photos do not do it justice), this moment with my best friend was the most special of them all. Leah and I will be getting married in Hudsonville, Michigan in September of 2017.
Another area where I have experienced a ton of growth is in my vision of what I want to do with my life. Since announcing my last day at my job in August, I have been on the search for a company to impact. I have always wanted to find a company that would not only value me and my time, but also allow me to be creative and do what I do best, relate to people and be someone who will listen to them. As I have gone through the sometimes frustrating periods of every job seeker (scanning internet job boards and LinkedIn, emailing and talking to recruiters, emailing companies to see if they are hiring, going on interviews, etc.), I have come to realize that my successes and failures here do not define me as a person. I know that my patience, perseverance, and positive attitude will land me in the right spot when it comes to a career. More than anything, this time has me constantly thinking about the commencement speech at my college graduation.
“Do not get a job. Do more. Start a business. Create a job”,Peter Layton said with authority to the utter shock of everyone in the crowd. It was a very nontraditional and bold statement to make. It also goes against what we are conditioned to think. I was in the crowd for that speech in May of 2013 and not a day has gone by where I have not thought about those words Mr. Layton spoke. The words have been burned into my brain and I have been trying to figure out the best way to make this a reality for myself. The journey I have been on has been my constant inspiration and I will be using the concept of the journey we are all on as my launching point for my very first business venture.
I am currently in the process of putting my Trailblazerry brand together, where I will encourage people to embrace the journey that is every day life through weekly writing and blogging, photo sharing, and encouraging others to share their daily struggles and triumphs through these same channels. I will also be putting together an inspirational, multi-faceted clothing line under the Trailblazerry brand name. It will be a brand that not only reminds people to love their “today”, but also something they can feel comfortable wearing whether they’re working out, relaxing at home with the kids, or having a night out with friends or family.
Through this brand, I want people to know that the stress and struggles they experience in life are normal and that they are not alone in this world. I want them to realize that each day is special in its own way and that while it may not seem like it, we win many small battles on our daily journeys. My goal is to inspire, to love people where they are at, and to do whatever I can to be a source of encouragement for all who need it. I’m so excited to get things started and I will keep everyone posted when things get rolling. 2016 has been a year of many blessings and I’m going to finish it strong.