“What if they knew who I really was, and didn’t accept me?” This isn’t something that I’ve necessarily always articulated, but I feel as though it’s always loomed over me throughout my life. The last two years have been somewhat of a personal exploration of myself, life, and what it all means. As most people, I have found myself following the same path as most Americans have for the several decades; go to school, get a good degree, find a job, spend the rest of your life climbing the corporate ladder, living a mediocre life controlled by everyone else but you. It wasn’t until recently I began to question all of this.
I spent a lot of my life moving around. This resulted in finding myself in new areas, having to meet new people, and make new friends very often; rather than growing roots to grow up and develop from, I constantly found myself being uprooted and trying to settle in again. When meeting new people and making new friends, it tends to be easier to be amorphous; easily blending in to already established social circles. This led me, to a certain extent to, filter my degree of self-expression.
The reason I’m sharing all of this is to kick off a bit of a personal experiment. As many know by now, I am planning a month long trip to Argentina during the month of January (2012). This trip is more than just a vacation; it’s something of a transitional phase in my life in which I’m taking control of what I want to do with my life and how I want to do it, without living in the constraints of the world we allow others to define for us.
During this journey, I wanted to create a blog to share my thoughts, stories, and adventures.
As I said before I moved around a lot as a kid. I attended four elementary schools, one junior high, and two high schools. It wasn’t until college that I felt like I really settled down. I attended the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. There I studied Industrial and Operation Engineering, which is basically a collection of ergonomics, supply chain optimization, inventory control, statistics, and finance. I addition to that, I also minored in Economics. As seen in the picture above, I also enjoyed playing hockey as well as dabbling in a few investment clubs.
My “Professional” Experience
Before I even graduated, I was amazed to find myself with a job offer, let alone in the struggling state of Michigan. After graduation I went to work for a consulting firm, best known for it’s previous affiliation with Tiger Woods and vaguely odd, airport ad campaigns. Since I started, I’ve helped a Michigan chemical company divest an entire business product line, improved quality control at a Dallas, TX mortgage lending firm, and translated industry codes for a Michigan health insurance payer.
In my free time, I have been working on starting my own functional beverage company (more to come on that), learn web development, SEO, and marketing techniques, and am managing the creation of a parenting book with the mother of your truly.
Outside of work, I remain fairly active. In the past year I have remodeled both my bathroom and master bedroom, obtained my real estate license in the State of Michigan, gone skydiving for my second time, become a PADI certified SCUBA diver, and have become self-taught in HTML and PHP. Aside from my recent endeavors, I love to travel, try new foods, and explore new cultures; in fact, I have been to Spain twice, visiting mostly cities near Madrid.
My trip to Argentina is just the first step in a much longer journey; I hope you can join me in my pursuits!
Jason M. Shoemaker