Introductions are in Order

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I wanted to say hello.

For a while I will be keeping a slight sense of anonymity as I believe it’s not so much about me but my journey and the adventures I strive to have with my family and the people I choose to surround myself with.

Given enough time you may be able to figure out who I am (not like it matters) but I hope you enjoy the ride with me. 

We decide which direction our lives point and I can attest that just because your life is pointed in a direction you do not want it to be, that does not mean you can not point it in the direction you want with enough muscle and determination. 

The blog will be about my life and what I will be going through while playing “The Long Game” to ensure my life turns out the way I want it to. In life I believe we are handed cards but we ultimately make our own luck.

– Signed, Determined.

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Wow, time flies

Here we are. The baby is 10.5 months old and I’ve been at my job for, coincidentally, 10 months. I hate being as busy as I am all the time, but honestly, I’m not sure if I would know what to do if I wasn’t going 100mph all the time. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. I am back in school for my Bachelors degree, which my company will reimburse as I pass my classes. Yay.
  2. Along with that, I am working a 2nd part time job to go along with my full time job so we can make sure everything is covered. Paying for school this semester upfront and every other thing that always seems to appear out of nowhere is taking it’s toll. Maybe 6 weeks of working two jobs and I can back off after we get back from vacation.
  3. My youngest son is getting to the point of almost walking. He’s standing and holding on to everything as he goes around the house and terrorizes every cabinet knob we have. He is also saying Dada, Bubub and Mom-ma.
  4. My wife is as beautiful and awesome as ever. She takes care of the house and holds it down when I am working to provide.
  5. My youngest is still a pain in the butt when it comes to school but he’s so damned smart. He just needs to learn to apply himself and he will grow up to be whatever he wants to be.
  6. My oldest just turned 16 and he’s got the Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling state tournament coming up. Placing top 3 qualifies him for Nationals and top 2, I believe, qualifies him for team Indiana for Cadet Duals. No matter what he places, I am proud of him. I will touch more on this in my next blog where I talk about his and my journey that we are starting together on.

I wanted to give everyone a glimpse into my life before I actually started blogging about the things I want to. This way you see where my opinions come from and hopefully you enjoy the ride. This blog is going to be going for a while because, after all, it is about the long game.

I plan on blogging about wrestling, finances, health and other things that people can relate to.

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone.

Nine months later I get a message from a security recruiter that a company has a security internship available. After some deliberation I made an extremely hard choice and decided to go for it……………..

I go into the interview and I didn’t try to bullshit how much I knew about IT or Cyber Security. I just went in there and answered their questions to the best of my ability. I knew if I could get in the door that I would do really well. I just needed to be in it, day after day.

I went home pleased with how I did. Now, just to hear back. I was scared though, scared I would get the position and scared that I could not take the position because I had mouths, other than my own, to feed at home. I really had no idea what the pay was going to be, but I knew it was an internship, which now-a-days seem to pay but back in the day interns were almost like free child labor to have college interns do the remedial work that companies didn’t want to handle on their own. Whatever it was I knew it wasn’t going to be close to what I was making as a warehouse manager.

I interviewed on Monday and got a call on Friday. The internship was mine if I wanted. The pay was very good for an internship but it was $25k less per year than I was making at the shitty warehouse. I had my wife, 2 older sons and a baby on the way. In fact the baby was coming June 14th and I was here interviewing for this job a month prior. Wracking my brain to figure out what I had to do is an understatement. After talking to my wife we decided that we would do what we had to do in order to make it work. This way I could get into the field I wanted and after a bit of time we’d be far better off than before.

It was hard for 4 months. But my wife and my 2 older sons were great and 100% that support system I have mentioned before. We did what we needed to and cut back where we needed to in order to make sure we were ok. After 4 months I was hired on as a Jr. Information Security Analyst. My boss didn’t want to make me a Jr. but H.R. said I needed a B.S. and a couple certifications. So I’m back in school right now and don’t have long to get my B.S. and then I’ll get moved up. I’m very grateful and life for our family has finally begun.

Finding My Way

You can’t achieve anything entirely by yourself. There’s a support system that is a basic requirement of human existence. To be happy and successful on earth, you just have to have people that you rely on.

-Michael Schur

Jan 10th, 2012.

That day stands out as the day I started talking to a beautiful woman that knew what she wanted in life and fortunately that included being in mine.

Fast forward to September 28th, 2013 and I am marrying my friend, my lover and the person I want to be with for the rest of my life. Unfortunately the boys were still living with their mother. This date was the beginning of everything good that has happened in my life so far.

It’s 2016 and I’m past the point now of knowing I want out of the warehouse. I knew I wanted to do Cyber Security which consisted of me starting over again in classes. Now my two oldest boys “L” and “D” are living with us full time. I could not be happier. It was the best situation for them and something I wanted very badly.

I decided I was going to go to school full time so I could knock out the classes I needed to get my Associates in Cyber Security. My wife, “A”, would make sure that everything was taken care of at home and make sure the boys were where they needed to be while I was working full time and going to school full time.

If it wasn’t for her taking such good care of the children, children that were not biologically hers, I wouldn’t have been able to do what was needed in order to get my degree. She took care of and held everything down while I was going to ISSA meetings so I could network and make sure I knew people when I was done with school. The two years I was in school was very taxing and trying.

I was working full time on the weekends as a warehouse manager and going to school full time during the week. After the 2017 Spring Semester, while working as a warehouse manager on the weekend shift, I took an internship with a Security Consulting Company so I could have the much needed experience for me to get into that field after I got my degree.

I either have drive and ambition that is unrivaled or a hidden level of masochism that I wasn’t aware of. I loved the internship, but I was working 7 days/ 80 hours a week for 4 months between working the internship for 40 hrs a week Monday through Friday and working my warehouse manager job for 40 hrs a week over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I finished with the internship and headed into my last semester.

Fall semester comes and goes and I now have my Associates. I switch jobs so I can be present for my son’s sports that are all on the weekends (since that’s when I worked). L had just entered High School and I was not going to be absent when he had his sports. I had nobody there for me in high school because I was in foster care and I knew how it felt to look around and have nobody there to support you.

I started working as an Inventory Manager with a Monday thru Friday schedule at what would be my last warehouse job. The pay was good but I HATED that job. Nine months later I get a message from a security recruiter that a company has a security internship available. After some deliberation I made an extremely hard choice and decided to go for it……………..

Getting my Associates

I finally now have time so I will begin to elaborate on my previous blog on the past two years over my next few entries.

I’ve been fighting with that demon for over 10 years. I started going back to school a long time ago when I was married (for the first time). I had been working in warehouses for 2 years and wanted to better my life. At that time I had no idea what I wanted to do so I started looking at network security (as Cyber Security wasn’t a think that long ago).
I went back to school part time and started to cruise through the basic gen ed classes and took a few degree specific classes and I was doing very well. Then after 2 years of general education classes (at part time status) I ran into some classes specific to network security and found out that I loathe programming. I can do it, but I did not want to sit in front of a screen all day doing it, day in and day out. I soon started to think about what other stuff I enjoyed doing or thought sounded cool and that’s where the downward spiral began.

For the previous 2 years of me going to school my wife at the time wasn’t working because we both agreed staying home with the our new son would be a good option. Because of that though and needing to cut back on some overtime at my job in the warehouse to concentrate on my schoolwork, I started taking out loans from Sallie Mae (aka Navient aka mafia loan sharks) that weren’t necessary to support our cost of living so she could stay home.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I’m hoping anybody reading my blog can learn from my experiences and never have to deal with these sorts of things again.

I have always been good with math and engineering sounded soooo much better than warehousing so I switched to Mechanical Engineering Technology. So, after the switch I took a few MET specific classes such as hand drafting and autocad (both of which I got A’s in) and was feeling good. Then I realized that while a supervisor at the moment I was making about 10k more a year than I would be making in Mechanical Engineering Technology (which is, indeed, very much different than Mechanical Engineering which is more theoretical and pays substantially more). Well damn me, time to figure out what else I wanted to do.

Since I had no idea What to do, I succumbed to the fact that I was going to spend the rest of my life in a warehouse and decided to get an A.S. in Business Administration. This way I could just continue to move up at my warehouse job. After one year, I decided that I no longer wanted to work at a warehouse and have a job, but I wanted to get out of there and have a career.

Reflection, the past 2 years have flown by.

The past two years have been a whirlwind.

Some highlights from the past 2 years

– I got my Associates Degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance
– I worked two summer internships, one with a Security Consulting Company hacking into clients networks to help them understand their security posture and one with a utility company where they liked me so much they decided to keep me around and I now have a full time position there.
– I had a beautiful baby boy. He is now 9 months old.

I love my life and where it’s heading. All of these things happening in the order they have and were (essentially) planned was awesome. However, these things aren’t normally spoken about in the proximity they were gained by a man in his late 30’s.

Yup, as of this Month, I turned 39 and the ride is just beginning.