At the time I am writing this, I am in the middle of a transition. You could say that my life has been a series of transitions leading up to today, where I am trying to decide; “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
As a Navy Brat, my wandering started when I left Fall River, Massachusetts, at the age of three, to move to Oakland, California, where my father was assigned to the USS Alshain, which is a navy supply vessel.. Later, I spent three years attending an elementary school in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and another three years going to High School at Subic Bay, Philippines, where I graduated.
Since I took the SAT tests in the Philippines, my SAT test scores arrived in Washington to late for me to receive an appointment to the Naval Academy, so I decided to join the Navy as an enlisted man. I spent twelve years in the Navy, with a lot of that time spent visiting every US Navy port of call the South Pacific and multiple tours of duty in and around Vietnam. However, my Naval career ended when my son was born. My wife and I decided that staying home with the family was more important than keeping my naval career, so I resigned. I don’t regret that choice at all, given that Mary and I have been married over forty years and our two children are healthy, happy and “family”.
My next period of time was another dozen years, as an electronics contractor, working everywhere from Naval research laboratories in San Diego, to repairing bank teller machines up and down the California coast. That led me to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, where I worked as part of the operations support team for their new supercomputer center.
This guided me to my next transition. I joined NASA as the Ames support manager for all those newfangled computer workstations that were coming out and as their first “webmaster” for the rapidly evolving Internet. After six years, in the traditional Silicon Valley way, I left NASA to join a Start Up as the manager of computer operations. As is often the case with Start Ups, it really didn’t get off the ground. A few years later I was forced to return to my research center roots as the head of computer operations and support for a corporate research center in Palo Alto, CA.
Which brings me to today. Today I am looking to reinvent myself again. I used to joke about operations support work by saying that I got tired of working nine hour days, so I shifted to working ten hour days. I simply do not want to spend the rest of my life with that type of work-life imbalance. So, what do I really want to do when I grow up? That is the question for today.
Currently, I am exploring a couple of concepts. One is becoming a freelance commercial writer. I’ve been spending time at the American Writers & Artists website, looking at the options and testing the waters. I am also working on becoming a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), to setup a consulting business.
Who knows where this will lead? One thing life has taught me, is that it will always surprise you. Only time will tell “what I will be when I grow up”.