After graduating high school in 1994, I failed myself out of a community college and then spent a few years bouncing around from job to job. I've done everything from dairy farming to office management, pizza delivery to factory technician, a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
After a near-death experience made me realize my life needed a direction, I knew I had to make some changes. I figured I had to start with an education, a trade of some kind, and the two-year Associates Degree in Automobile Technology at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson really spoke to me. I graduated top of my class in 2001, 3.9GPA, Dean's and President's Lists, and Honor Roll. I attained my ASE CMAT (Certified Master Automobile Technician) certificate once I finished my internship and maintained that certification for ten years. Since I'm no longer working as a technician, I have not bothered to renew it.
Where it get's strange, though, is that the way the automobile service sector is set up, specifically the flat-rate-pay system, does not encourage quality of workmanship. I'm a perfectionist, and it is more often a curse than a blessing when it comes to automobile repair. I spent ten years with Lexus and Toyota and know these vehicles inside and out, attaining Senior and Expert status in reach, respectively. I specialized and tooled myself in electrical and electronic diagnostics and repairs. Unfortunately, this also means I got the most difficult problems to diagnose, especially vehicles that four other people have failed to repair properly.
After being dismissed from my last technician job, in January, 2012, I came to the realization that I needed a new direction in my life. So, now what? I'm reinventing myself:
I've always been interested in Automobile Alternative Fuels, an interesting field. At the same time, people have always told me I have a way with words. Backed up by an analytical mind and the ability to turn gobs of data into meaningful communication, I have settled into my new role as Freelance Automotive Technology Writer. While I have not found riches as a Freelance Writer, it has enabled be to focus on other life-goals. So far I'm finding it very interesting and engaging, and I am sure that others will find my work the same.
I was born in 1976 and raised in Upstate New York, you know, somewhere in that vast unexplored wasteland outside the city limits. I did all the things that kids did in those days, especially spending time in the outdoors, and that's something that has always stuck with me.
I am a fairly well-rounded individual. I can cook a gourmet meal (Italian is my specialty) as well as I can rebuild an engine. I build and maintain my own PCs, and write poetry from time to time, if so inspired. I enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, and surf fishing, science fiction movies and books. I have been one of Jehovah's Witnesses since 1993 and I am very active in the volunteer preaching and teaching work.
I have been happily married since 2004 and we had a beautiful daughter in 2009. I've lived in Upstate New York, Central New Jersey, and Since September 2012, highland Perú, my wife's homeland. What originally started as a six-month vacation has turned into two years, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Here's a great quote regarding travel, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." — The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It by Mark Twain.
What are my long-term career goals?
I was never one to know what my five-week-plan was, much less my five year plan. I have pretty much always flown by the seat of my pants, as the saying goes. It has taken me some time to mature, but I am always making progress. I have tried to find happiness in possessions and pleasures, but these are at best short lived and leave the heart wanting.
I have always been a spiritual man, but in my youth it was not much of a priority. Over a number of years, one of the things I have learned is that knowledge requires something of you both before and after you get it. When you know something, it is upon you to live by it, that is, wisdom is in the application of knowledge. My main goal in life is the supporting of my family and increasing my service to God.
One of the things about service to God, though, is that it is entirely volunteer. A man who cannot take care of his house cannot be serving God, because that, too, is his responsibility. Making sure these things are taken care of, as well as expanding my ministry, takes a lot of effort in terms of budgeting time and money, but the personal rewards and the happiness of my family cannot be priced.
I would have to say that my long-term secular career goal would be work at something that supports my full-time spiritual career goals. Having recently started freelance writing, I find it interesting and fulfilling, and it keeps my schedule free for more important things in life. My hope is that clients will find my writing compelling enough to make this possible.