Growing up in rural Illinois left much to be desired. As early as grade school, I was dissatisfied with my surroundings. As hard as I searched, I couldn’t see my future anywhere. There were no opportunities for me, save one…
When we would visit the local diner, you could count on seeing a group of old men, each wearing a hat describing the military service or war they had served in. I would eagerly listen to their stories, imagining myself in their boots. They told stories of adventure, stories of camaraderie and serving something greater than themselves.
These men had experienced everything life had to offer… and had seemed to shape our world.
They were interesting, wise, and iconic to me.
This was the only future I could see for myself. My military service wasn’t very remarkable compared to anyone else whose service was defined by 9/11, but it showed me the world – the difference between trouble and problems which are luxurious to have. It set me on the path of serving something greater than myself, which has been the cornerstone of my journey.
My Dad would tell me:
“Life is a series of ups and downs. We all get the same shot at it. Some people will enjoy life no matter what is going on. Other people will never have a day of fun in their entire life; because they choose it.”Duane E. Wenzel, 1949 – 2018
Thoughts & Stories for Owning Life starts here, in these small town diners. Where an overwhelming sense of discontent made me restless. A conviction that the purpose for my life was being hidden from me by this cornfield. The certainty that my entire world was conspiring to trap me into their life of mediocrity, forcing me to run a maze of meaningless expectations.
If you join my journey, you won’t hear a superhuman story. You’ll follow an angry child on a journey to prove people wrong, to find adventure in the hopes of discovering something meaningful… a purpose worth the struggle. You’ll learn the lessons of a young adult who is nothing special, yet has experiences which have been the topic of discussion in cafes and diners all over the world.
Maybe you will find yourself in a different context, a different reality, starting a new journey. A journey to find purpose & meaning worth the struggle.
A journey to correct past mistakes, to reclaim opportunities you previously passed up…