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 childhood wandering started when my family left Fall River, Massachusetts, when I was at the age of three, to move to Oakland, California, where my father stationed on the USS Alshain, a navy supply vessel.
Later, I spent three years attending an elementary school in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and even later spent another three years going to High School at Subic Bay in the Philippines, where I graduated.
Because I took the SAT tests in the Philippines, my 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, wandering around. This include visits to Idaho, almost every port on the West Pacific circuit and multiple visits to Vietnam. My naval career basically ended, after a dozen years, when my son was born. My wife and I decided that staying with the family was more important than my naval career. I definitely do not regret that choice, given that Mary and I have been married for over forty years and our two children are healthy, happy and “family”.
The next season of my life was another dozen years as an electronics contractor, working everywhere from Navy research laboratories, to repairing bank teller machines. That led me to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, where I was part of the operations support team for their new Super Computer center.
That was also the end of our roaming. Silicon Valley has become my home. I joined NASA as the support manager at Ames for all those newfangled computer workstations that were coming out and as their first “webmaster” for the rapidly evolving Internet. Six years later, in the traditional Silicon Valley way, I left NASA to join a Start Up. Unfortunately, it didn’t really get off the ground and 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, by saying that I got tired of working nine hour days, so I shifted to ten. 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 be when I grow up? That is the question I am exploring.
Today I am looking the concepts ranging from of becoming Computer Center security and operations consultant, or a freelance commercial writer. I’ve been spending time at the American Writers & Artists website, looking at the options and testing the waters. At the same time, I am working with the local ISACA Chapter to get certified as an Information Security Manager (CISM). Who knows where this will lead?
The one thing I do know is that life will always present you with surprises and only time will tell “What I will be when I grow up.”