How we became who we are now.

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
mykcob4's picture
How we became who we are now.

I have pondered how I came to where I am in my life, how I define myself, who I am.
As I reflect what I have done, which turns I made, I started to realize that everyone BECOMES someone. Most have no idea what that will be. Some have a plan, but rarely does the plan go exactly how they envisioned it.
My story.
I was very eclectic in my interest and talents. In high school (when most of us actually start to think about what we REALLY want to be, I lettered in 4 sports and thought that I could make it as a Major League baseball player. I was also an exceptional trumpet player and had visions of being a musician. I could act and played the lead in the musical and high school plays. I was on the journalism staff and thought I might be a journalist. I had a rock band that actually had some success and thought maybe we could make it. Dreams, half-baked ideas, dreams, and aspirations. All fell through or failed to some extent.
I secured a choir scholarship and a baseball scholarship. So off to college, I went.
While there, I joined a very popular fraternity that will remain unnamed. Too busy by far. PLUS I ran for freshman class president and won. Well, in that first year I suffered a major shoulder injury in a game. my baseball hopes were dashed. My depression lingered to the point that after my first year I didn't go back.
So what to do? I investigated different avenues while working what seem to be a million jobs. I finally happened upon a Marine recruiter that convinced me that I could be an air traffic controller. So I joined the USMC. At Bootcamp, I learned that I was an exceptional shooter. So the Marine Corps made me a scout sniper. I thought great, after a 4-year stint I would go back and finish university....didn't happen. I did 10 years that seemed to fly by. One thing about the Marine Corps. Every career Marine after a time becomes either a recruiter or a Drill Instructor. I became the later. For 2 years I was a D.I.
After that, I went back into the Fleet and I attended schools that made me an aviation electrician. For the next ten years, I was part of Marine Aviation. During that time I was recalled to my primary MOS (job) as needed. That made a total of 22 years service so I retired.
Well, I started working for a commercial airline. I didn't like it for various reasons. I came upon an opportunity to sell bookkeeping. I took it. I was so successful at it that the owner of the company offered me an office and equity that I would acquire by sweat. After 6 months I owned the office outright. As a side business, I started (with partners) a commercial debt recovery business. It also was a success. I soon grew tired of the ups and downs of both businesses and the exhaustion of running two full-time companies. One of my customers approached me into buying into his company and also becoming te Director of Operations. I sold my two businesses and bought into his company. After a short while, I and 3 other officers bought out the original owner and each now own 25% of that company. That is what I do to this day.
I never in my wildest dreams thought that this is where I would end up. I still don't know exactly what the future holds for me.
Atheist, Progressive Liberal, Veteran, Business Owner, that describes me now, but how I got here was a wild and twisted journey. I left out a great deal of detail because it would be too hard and too long to post but to say the least, it was wild and unexpected.
That is how I became who I am now. How about you.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

MCDennis's picture
Interesting life. Most of us

Interesting life. Most of us I fear live dull lives in comparison to this

mykcob4's picture
Thanks, MCD but I imagine

Thanks, MCD but I imagine that your life is just as colorful.

LogicFTW's picture
I have lived a very different

I have lived a very different life than yours mykob, so far anyways. I have only had 1 real job/career so far, but one I done quite well in I feel. In my younger years before and during college I worked a bunch of retail jobs. I do travel a lot for both business and pleasure.

mykcob4's picture
Awesome Logic. What do you do

Awesome Logic. What do you do?

LogicFTW's picture
Freelance coding (small jobs,

Freelance coding (small jobs,) QA work(in regards to code,) and consulting. I work with a lot of small/medium size companies to help with plugins to fit their unique needs. A lot of my work lately has been security related. (Recently wannacry exploit gave me a bunch of work as companies become aware of the need to improve their cyber security when exploits like that grab the news headlines.)

I purposely keep it a one man operation, allows me to pick only the most lucrative jobs, for which I already have most of the resources and tools, so that I can complete the job quickly. It also allows me to pick jobs that I can complete in a week, (or usually far less,) giving me the freedom to travel and take care of family as needed.

For the younger people on this board, if you are willing to learn a couple of different coding languages, are self motivated, there is almost an unlimited amount of work available out there. You don't even need an advanced degree, although it helps when you are first getting started. I get constant 6 figure job offers from my clients and headhunters even though I have not updated my linkedin profile in years or done other networking, the demand for competent coders willing to do the not so glamorous jobs is insane.

jamiebgood1's picture
I was a born-again christian

I was a born-again christian all my youth. When was 17 I went on a mission trip to south Africa. I fell in love with the people and the music there. One day we went to an all boys school and I was told by this egotistical youth pastor that god told him I was to give my testimony. I fought him saying no, no he didn't, but he persisted and won. I got up infront of these really cute guys who were just a year or two younger than I and began to take the many of the stories I had heard through the years and make them my own. At the time my biggest sin had been masterbation, but my story to these boys included drug abuse, sex and more. I have always been a horrible liar and when I attempt to my face turns red and I choke up. Which is exactly what I did at the boys school. The youth pastor saved the day and finished the production with something amazing I forget. I was so confused why I had said those lies. Later I talked to my older sis and she said she had done the same thing on her missions trip in Australia. I began to see how full of shit christians were, Including myself. They speak another language that I've begun to not understand. What comes out is not what is meant, so interpreting christians and their motives have become difficult. Now Im almost 40 and I see the world so differently. I hope to continue to change my perspectives. I want to learn about people unlike me. The people I've been told to dislike and judge in the past have now become the ones I'm drawn to most.

mykcob4's picture

How funny. You were worried that you lied and found out that your sis did exactly the same thing.
People lie all the time for many conscious and subconscious reasons. You obviously lied to protect your anonymity.
Trump lies because he is pathological.
there is a vast difference.
I lie when I don't want to insult people.
Christians lie because the truth is there is no god and they just don't want to believe it.

Harry33Truman's picture
My life is about one fourth

My life is about one fourth as long as yours:
As a kid, about 7 or 8, I was diagnosed with asbergers syndrome, and so went to a form of special needs class, but separate from the rest of the special needs kids, for autistic children that is, until the 5th grade, when I decided that special needs was too easy and that I no longer fit in with the kids there, so I went on to a general education class for the 5th grade onward and did pretty good.

I have a very good mother, and she worked very hard throughout my childhood to teach me the skills I was lacking due to asbergers (social skills, communication, manners, and common sense), so now I am able to function normally, though I still have a few areas where I am lacking, I am making progress.

Soon I will be in college and go into the financial sector.

When I was 15, I noticed inconsistencies between the New and Old Testament- this eventually led me to conclude that Judaism must be the truth. A year afterward I started reading the bible and realised the Old Testament was not internally consistent, and was filled with bullshit, so I became a deist. As time went on, I became more agnostic as a deist, later becoming fully agnostic, then drifting toward atheism, and antithesis. This change was gradual, the others almost all at once.

mykcob4's picture
Dear dear Harry,

Dear dear Harry,
You have a great opportunity. Although the world is much harder for you as it has become much more complicated, youth has its privilege. I am so happy that you described your mother. This means that you have a solid support system.
You can literally change the world maybe just a little, but who knows maybe a great deal. I see a huge potential in you that you may not understand. All of us with age know what chances you have and wish we still had them. It is kind of "if we only knew then what we know now", thing.
May I suggest a few books?
Profiles in Courage by JFK
The Audacity of Hope by Obama
Reason by Robert Riech
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
These books among others will give you insight to community service and personal change and development. They will make you look beyond yourself into a greater world.
I have found that the greatest education is a fully well-rounded one that includes art as well as disciplined academia. This gives you perspective.
I know that you have embraced a conservative "libertarian" idealism. I ask you to look at how cynical that focus really is. I am not asking you to become a progressive or a liberal. I am asking you to look wider upon the horizon.
Just as you pulled back from the christian world and found it lacking, if you take a wider view of the world you will see it much differently.
Nature teaches us that what is most important is to take care of ourselves first. You can't help anyone if you need help. Secure yourself first, THEN serve others. The reward for doing so will be great and fulfilling.
"Isms" are full of selfish motivations. You cannot lock yourself into an "Ism". It will do nothing but hold you back. It will fill you with anger and frustration. I know because I have lived it. Yes, I am a Progressive Liberal, but not to the point beyond reason and common sense. Many people that first meet me assume that I am very conservative.
Also, may I add, seek adventure. You owe it to yourself to explore. Take a chance once in awhile. Do something spontaneous. Go somewhere that excites you and is different that what you already know.
The 3 biggest dangers in life boil down to one character flaw.....imediate gratification. These are Sex, Alcohol, and Drugs.
Moderation is the key. Excessiveness robs you of everything. I know because I am an alcoholic. I haven't had a drink in 20 years, but I am still an alcoholic.
Avoid counter-cultures. They may seem attractive but they don't serve you whatsoever. Embrace other cultures, foreign language, music, cuisines, traditions. Research your own culture for a base to start out from.
That leads to recommend one more book. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
Now dealing with us old farts.
1) There is a wealth of knowledge that people have acquired with personal experience. That doesn't mean that they know everything. You will have to cherry pick what is valuable and wade through the minutia of the rest.
2) Everyone is stupid about most things. You are not stupid yet because you are ignorant of most things. Ignorance is NOT stupidity, it is just not knowing as of yet. Just understand that you have not experienced many things yet so you can't know.
I hope that this post will be of value to you.
Good luck Myke

Harry33Truman's picture
Thanks for your response- I

Thanks for your response- I am not a conservative BTW, I am a Classical Liberal. There are a few books on it if you care to read them.

mykcob4's picture
We won't get into that Harry.

We won't get into that Harry.

Wednesday Addams's picture
I grew up outside of NYC. I

I grew up outside of NYC. I became an atheist as a teen. It was 9/11 that did it for me. I was always hearing people say to survivors "You're blessed." or "God was watching out for you." What about the 3,000 other people who died? They weren't blessed? God wasn't watching out for them? And then my brother's best friend came out to his family that he was molested by the family's priest. Teen me again with all the questions. Why would a God allow any child to get hurt, sick or die? They are just children and are innocent. They all deserve a fighting chance. As an adult, I worked for a law firm that helped bring in companies to the new One World Trade. It still made me sick to see religious groups (mainly the real nut jobs) say hateful things to anyone who looked different down there. Or how this is God's will. My Husband, on the other hand is relatively new to being an atheist. Just a few years ago he read God is Not Great and some Dawkins, that really sealed the deal for him.

mykcob4's picture
So Wednesday, what is YOUR

So Wednesday, what is YOUR story, not just the reason you became an atheist.

Wednesday Addams's picture
My story is interesting... I

My story is interesting... I moved to Manhattan right after High School. I was going to college and working full time. But being the city, it was expensive. So for lack of a better word and because I'm new here, I'll just say I went the Bettie Page route. It wasn't a secret among anyone who knew me, but a lot of people had less than nice things to say. After that, my family began falling apart with divorces and death. So I moved to FL (where they all moved to) to help out where I could. But the city never stopped calling my name and I moved back. Got married. Once we decided to have a family, we went back to FL to be near family and cheaper homes. We struggled to have our only son. And I heard a lot of "everything happens for a reason" and "God will bless you with a miracle". Science was what helped, and I proudly tell people he's our science baby. And now, I'm here with you fine people.

mykcob4's picture

How interesting and colorful! I loved every sentence. thank you!

mykcob4's picture
Okay, folks, I laid out MY

Okay, folks, I laid out MY story from 18-59. I am not asking for detail but maybe you all could be brave and reveal a little of your story. Come on, it won't hurt a bit!

algebe's picture
Yorkshire, Hampshire,

Yorkshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Sussex, London, New Zealand, Tokyo, Queensland, road construction worker, English teacher, dead sheep counter, linguist, judo-ka, interpreter, tour guide, translator, high school board chairman, parliamentary candidate (luckily not elected!), Rotary Club president, husband, father, grandfather, atheist for 50 years, anti-anti-vaxxer, anti-smoker, whiskey drinker

That about sums it up for me.

mykcob4's picture
What a complicated person you

What a complicated person you are Algebe, but we already knew that!

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
A bit late to the party lol..

A bit late to the party lol.. glad to be here though. Warning: I will be detailed.

26 years ago, I was born into winter season in NY city. I was lucky enough to grow up with both my parents. My father is a first gen Trinidadian & my mother's family had already been there for generations and generations before (Since the time Indians were first brought to Trinidad for labor)

I am an only child. My cousins and I are 1st Gen Americans. I was taken to Trinidad when I was a little sponge at the age of four. We stayed a while. I did not come back until I was 5. I came back with a really strong Trini accent, eventually learning how to turn it on and off like a light switch.

Identity had always been a confusing topic for me at a young age. Growing up with dark skin is an on going struggle with understanding yourself and what you hear from the outside world. I always thought that it was bad to be dark and that something was wrong with me. The first time I witnessed racism was from another Indian. She was trying to insult my mother. A mistake. My mother needs no one to defend her. She handled that situation like a boss. The first time racism was directed to me was in 1st grade. An Asian kid who I considered a friend would hang out with me. I shared my toys with him. One day, He brought in a brand new GI Joe action figure. I asked him if I can see it. He said no. When asked why? he responded "because you're black" from then on there was that lingering question? "What's wrong with me?" it's a real confidence killer. From then on I made friends with Black and Hispanic kids. Never really cared for the Indian ones. The Italian kids were ok, but they were so mis-informed about Indian people. Especially West Indian people. When 9/11 happened I lost a lot of friends. I still retained my best friend from Spain & El Salvadorian neighbors/ friends who treated me like family. Through them I initially learned Spanish. Believe it or not, not many people know that Indian people are not a country of Osama Bin Ladens. A lot of people I knew had lost someone in the attack. Some were scared. I got ganged up on and jumped for this. After a couple times going through that, you learn how to fight. At 13 I was Finally making friends again. With the cool kids too!.. then Murphy's law decided that My parents & I were moving to Florida.

I've always had an accent anywhere I go. To New Yorkers I sounded like Trini. To Southerners I sounded like a New Yorker.
My High School was a Trade School where I chose to study IT. We Competed in a professional competition called skills USA. My friends D, E and I Won the regional & state competition in the catagory of Audio/Radio Engineering. We went on to Nationals in Kansas City, Missouri. We were Against people from all over and in all industries including the military. Long Story short, We are the 17th best Audio Engineers in the country. Yay. My highschool Sweetheart & Broke up right after graduation.

College was awesome. I recorded mucho rap songs and performed a lot. DJ'd a lot too.

@ 19 Took a course with "Landmark Education" The best $500 I ever spent in my life. Check this out.. For 4 days I sat witha large crowd of strangers in a big huge ballroom and listened to others talk. The forum leader would take a different approach to our problems and ask questions as to why we were thinking and acting the way we do. For those of us who participated, These exercises introduced a new line of thinking that is EXTREMELY effective at problem solving. Be it professional or personal. It helped me mend relationships and live more efficiently. Everyone had thier own type of breakthrough. Mine was fucking mind blowing. A White woman had overheard me on the phone arguing with my Ex. She was disgusted by me. At some point during my participation, she saw who I really was and treated me with love & respect. A white man, a shrink, Told me that I reminded him of his son who passed away and that my parents should be proud. I was really really mind fucked. There's no other way to describe it.
THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME that I recognized that a white person can look at me with out contempt or in some other unfavorable way. We are still friends to this day. A lot of inner ignorance in me died that weekend.

Over the next 5 years, I've worked Retail, Real estate, Medical, Hospitality, Education and Animal Husbandry. @ 24, I dated my Highschool sweetheart again. We thought it was meant to be. Almost came close to a ring and children. however we finally ended it @ the age of 25. Unfortunate.

Now I'm a bachelor & loan specialist in NY. I moved back last July. Some people say I sound Southern.


mykcob4's picture
What a compelling story. It

What a compelling story. It reminded me that no matter how hard I try, I am still prejudice. I don't hate the other races. I am naturally prejudice. I cannot know how they actually see the world. I try to, I really do. I don't discriminate against other races, quite the opposite, hence my form of prejudice. I bend over backward to accommodate people of color. It comes off as insincere and patronizing. It's not but it appears that way.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
It is a quandry. How can you

It is a quandry. How can you truly put yourself in one's shoes when you haven't lived under the same conditions? It's true that white culture is totally different from others. At the same time, hatians are different from latinos, latinos are different from asians, they are different from black people, but we minorities have a common ground. That is that we feel the struggle of being a minority. I think it's considerate of you to carry on the way you do with minorities. You sound genuine in the desire to understand. I can't speak for all races, but I have immersed myself with a few different communities other than my own so far and am eager to expand that horizon. It helps. You say you feel insincere sometimes. Give me of an example of what you do, perhaps I can give you some perspective. I'd be happy to.

mykcob4's picture

To answer your question, "Give me of an example of what you do," I tend to be over accommodating. I am too friendly, to enthusiastic to reach out and make friends with people of color or different cultures. I don't assess them the same way that I do white people or Europeans. I automatically side with them without assessing the situation. I am sometimes wrong about them because people REALLY are the same. There are good and bad people no matter their race or culture. It is impossible for me to be color or culturally blind. This appears insincere.
Everyone is racist to a degree and in some way. My racism is overtly pro-color, pro-foreign culture. It isn't anti-white. To a white racist, it seems anti-white. To a common black person, it seems fake. It is truly neither, but I can't help how it comes off.

chimp3's picture
I won't bore you with details

I won't bore you with details but my life is like a train wreck that still made it on time to the station. I have been fairly successful but I don't know how. Passion I guess. Unlike mykcob4 my life has lacked discipline. I struggle to stay focused. When I was younger I was into desert survival training, judo, and film making. I have been a nurse for over 25 years and now work an administrative position. Reading has been a consistent focus in my life. My goal at 58 years old is to learn writing and get something published. I will settle for self published.

mykcob4's picture
Sounds like a cool life

Sounds like a cool life chimp3. I wouldn't call my life "disciplined."

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.