I’ve been here before, but it wasn’t easy the first time, so I wouldn’t expect it to be so this time. A little catch up so you can follow…in ’99 I joined the Navy with a six year contract. In October of 2002 (almost to the day) I re-enlisted for six more, but in early 2003, I incurred my initial left-shoulder dislocation. Before the end of the year, I had transferred off my submarine (Hooyah, Rickover!) and awaited orders while serving with Sub Squadron Eight. Shortly after, my right-shoulder was jealous of my left and then went out for the first time ever as well.
Now, I’m left-handed, and so my left-shoulder injury (and a couple more in the next year and a half because it was now weakened) affected my ability to pass the PFT (then PRT)—in other words, I was unable to support my weight in the push ups portion of the test. We explored surgery as an option, but the docs explained to me that I essentially hadn’t been in the Navy long enough for it to benefit them to attempt the surgery and keep me in not at full strength. If you do the math, at this point, I was in for about four years and having entered the service at 17, soaked up the lifestyle and honored traditions quickly and felt proud to be a part of such a revered team. After leaving everything I knew after high school, I found a niche and began to make a home for myself on the east coast in this brand new life.
But the time came to start a new chapter.
On September 20, 2004, I separated from the Navy with an Honorable Discharge for medical reasons.
Relationships. Army contractor with General Dynamics. Maryland. Oklahoma. DC. Texas. Oklahoma. Life refocus. Move back to California in March of ’05.
- Move to a new area and become a part of a team (Navy).
- Major career event/change (medical discharge).
- Long distance move (VA to CA).
Working in bars. Delivering pizzas. Start at DVC and return to the theatre that I felt comfortable in before I joined the Navy. After a fairly smooth transition back into the performing arts, I had reached a point where I felt like I was waiting for a professional validation to get me to the next level. That came in the form of being selected as the Advanced Student Director of 2008-2009 to direct Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. A great victory was shared among friends and this experience will never be forgotten.
- Move to a “new” area and become a part of a team (DVC/east bay).
- Major career event/change (‘A’ Train).
- Long distance move (Bay to LB).
- Lather, rinse, and repeat.
In 2009 I injected myself into CSULB theatre. Before the end of 2010 I had broadened my effective spread and launched the Long Beach ActingExaminer (#LBAX) and Long Beach Theatre Arts Collaborative (#LBTAC) in addition to getting a job on campus with the Forty-Niner Shops (#49erShops). I was almost let go with the majority of rush employees in Book Info after that first summer, but I was snagged by HR to join the reception desk team upstairs before throwing in the towel. Eventually I had joined the Communications Department and became much more involved with the company. I’ve reached another plateau (for reasons unstated), and it has become time to refocus with a major life event over the horizon—I’m getting married.
- Move to a new area and become a part of a team (49er Shops).
- Major career event/change (getting married).
- Long distance move (Long Beach to South Bend).
So it looks like my number has just came up and things are going “according to plan.” The questions I had in my head were sorted out in the typing of this blog. Although it has been difficult to acknowledge, my upcoming departure from the Shops isn’t a reflection of a lack of effort on my part, it’s more similar to the reasons the Navy wouldn’t operate on my shoulder to keep me in. So instead of looking at this as a lack of professional validation, it’s time to regard this as the world ascertaining the upcoming move to Indiana. The biggest difference in this chapter—it’s not just me anymore. I’ll be taking these next steps with a wonderful, beautiful, supportive wife.
Thanks for coming along with me on this little, late-night realization journey. Sometimes you just have to blog things out to make them clear.