Updated: Jul 10, 2020
| This is the 109th story of Our Life Logs|
I’ve always been the type of person that would go out and experience something for myself rather than watch someone else do it, and I think having that mindset has helped me enjoy life more. Instead of putting myself on a strict timeline, I did what made me happy at the time. I’ve been open to trying new things and meeting new people, and from that I’ve found fulfillment.
I was born in 1980 in Cincinnati, Ohio where I’ve lived all my life. I was one of four children in my family. We lived in a neighborhood littered with kids in our age range, so our childhood was filled with happy, carefree memories. All the neighborhood kids would get together most days and play games. We’d hold street hockey tournaments and bicycle games, playing until the sun set. I always loved baseball the most. As I got into my pre-teen years, I would get into standard mischief with my neighborhood buddies like toilet papering houses. I had a great childhood full of laughs and freedom.
When I was 16, my parents divorced. Since it happened when I was a little older, it didn’t devastate me. It was a relatively amicable split. It was also around this time that I found a love for motorcycles. My mom didn’t like this idea at all. She thought they were too dangerous. She told me that I couldn’t live at her house if I had a motorcycle. It sort of worked out that way because it helped me easily decide whom to live with after the split. My dad liked motorcycles too, so I moved in with him. I wanted more freedom. I trusted that I’d have a better time living with my dad. There was always at least one of my dad’s friends over at his house, so from an early age, I took an interest in getting to know people.
While there wasn’t much I needed to escape from, school was still a getaway for me. It was a place for me to socialize and be a part of various groups that I couldn’t be a part of outside school. I was part of the student council, planning committee, basketball, football, tennis, volleyball, golf, and baseball.
My high school economics teacher, Jim Moore, made me want to become a teacher. I loved his teaching methods and thought I would enjoy the job because I loved getting to interact with people every day. I graduated high school in 1998 and began at the University of Cincinnati. But as I started getting into the teaching program, I began to wonder if I should really pursue it. I felt narrowed down by pursuing a teaching degree. I didn’t want to box myself in this way, so I changed my major to Communications. There were a lot of routes I could pursue with that.
Through a job at a golf course during college, I got to spend more time with my high school teacher that had originally inspired me. He always encouraged me to pursue what made me happy. So, I took his advice. At 22, I knew that a motorcycle would make me happy. It was kind of funny that once I’d gotten a bike, the rest of my family (except my mom, of course) bought motorcycles too. It was great riding bikes with my siblings and dad. Over time, they sold their bikes, but I’ve kept mine. I’ve always loved feeling the wind hit me as I ride my bike.
As I finished my degree, I just stayed at the golf course because I enjoyed it. I could have pursued something in Communications, but what was the rush? I loved the camaraderie of working there. I often socialized with the frequent members. They were my friends.
In 2010, I bought a house. It was strange at first to live on my own since I had always lived with someone. I have always loved being around people. I had a three-month stint where I was living alone in a big house feeling lonely before my friends moved in. It was a horrible, draining time because I wasn’t interacting with anyone. Once my friends joined, I felt much better. I need to interact with people to keep me energized.
A few years later, I started dating a girl named Kylie, who fit right in with my friends and me. In 2013, she decided to move in with me. I was of course happy for her move, being used to a full house all my life.
Eventually, I worked my way up into management at the restaurant at the golf club. In hindsight, I realized that I had worked at the golf course for way too long. I stayed there 10 years after college when I should have probably tried to jump start my career after obtaining my degree. I just got too comfortable, and I was happy, but not fulfilled. I was 33 with a Communications degree, but no Communications experience. I didn’t regret, but felt it was time to move on and try to pursue a job in my field of study. I was lucky enough to get in with a recruiting company where I worked with bigger companies to help them find good candidates for their job listings. I stayed with that company for about three years until they closed their doors. For the first time since I was 16, I was unemployed.
In between my job changes, around 2015, I was in search of something to fulfill me creatively, in ways a regular job couldn’t. After finding another recruitment position, I started doing something completely different from anything I had done before. I started acting. This was not something I would have been into 20 years ago, but it’s an interest that I grew into. I never took drama or anything in school, so I was going in with just my wits. I knew in my gut that acting would be a good fit for me. It was giving me another opportunity to meet and connect with people, something I thrive on.
Cincinnati had been given a large grant for films to be shot in and around the city, so I took the opportunity to become a part of some of the projects. I trusted that pursuing acting on the side was what I was meant to try. Since I began working as an extra, I’ve been in four films and one Beats headphone commercial. Some of the best times of my life so far have been working on these movies. Something I realized from being on the set is how much work is put into a movie. One shot can take hours to get perfectly, and one scene sometimes needs to be shot at a bunch of different angles. I definitely have more respect for the entertainment industry now that I’ve dipped my toe into it a bit. I’m glad I trusted my instinct to start acting because it’s a great hobby to do outside of work.
I feel that my life has taught me that you never know where life can take you. If someone had told me 15 years ago, that I would be an extra in movies as a side gig, I probably would have laughed. You just never know what will happen. Since the future isn’t always clear, I’ve also learned that every day must be enjoyed. People take for granted how quickly life can go by. I do what I can to remember to be grateful for each day that I wake up. I worked way too long at the golf course, but did I enjoy myself? Absolutely, and I was still able to start my career afterward. If you want to try something, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Why not?