Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Breaking the ice speech

A life in progress

A life in progress, What does that mean?  I guess to me it encompasses not only the day to day process that is my life,  and not only the experiences of my past, which are both important in shaping who I am, But also including the word progress means that I have much more to explore about myself, and quite frankly, much more to learn in life.

I guess me standing here vulnerable, with all of your eyes transfixed upon me and the words coming out of my mouth, is some masochistic way to seek progress in my life.  

Now I believe this icebreaker speech is meant to be an easier speech, because the topic is about me.     Which sounds easy enough, but for me, I see myself as the listener,  and not so much the talker.  I would much rather hear about you, which I have had the privlidge over the last 2 months to hear some amazing and fascinating things about many of you, than have to talk about myself.  Oh well, I will now do my best to spin a fascinating tale about who I am, or at least hopefully not put you to sleep.  Slide of sleeping person.

Let’s start with what I would call my best decision in my life. My wife and I got married on August 18th, 2001, or just over 11 years.

My wife would be considered a very type A personality and I a very type B personality.  This of course can create some conflict, though more often than not, it is a nice balance and we tend to be able to learn from each others strengths.

We also have two wonderful children.  Abby 10 years old born June 19th 2002 and Andy 8 years old born June, 23rd  2004.  For anyone trying to do the math, Abby came 10 months after our wedding, 9 months of pregnancy, equals a whole 3-4 weeks to learn how to be a married couple.  Though one of those weeks was our honeymoon in Hawaii, which was pretty cool.

My children both go to L’etoile du nord French immersion school and are both becoming very fluent in French.  To answer the next question your probably thinking, my extent of the French language is Oui, Bonjour, and Google Translate.  

On this note, my daughter will be going to France in January on an exchange program, which I am mostly excited about, with the other part being nerves.

Oh yes, we also have our hamster Pebble Snitch Marek, which for those Harry Potter fans out there, if she gets out of her cage, she is just like trying to catch a snitch, though without the flying broomstick.  

Well, moving on.  My first career that I have had was as a Personal Trainer at Lifetime fitness in Highland Park St. Paul.  I did this for 7 years and loved many aspects of this job.  I often get the question of why I left this, which my typical answer is that it was 100% commission job, and not always conducive to family life after we had our second child. 

After I left training, I spent the next couple of years in what I would call the “I’m trying to find myself” stage.  This consisted of mostly sales or recruiting jobs, with one time I even tried to become a Farmers insurance Agent.  I think I will call that the “What was I thinking” moment of my life.  

 This now takes me to a couple of moments that have lead me to where I am now professionally at Capella and in my Academic pursuits.

Those moments include:

Getting laid off from my job
Losing my uncle and my wife’s Grandfather
And Crashing the car which all happened within a couple of months

Luckily enough I was able to secure a job at the Minnesota School of business shortly after, though this ended up leading to a much more depressed version of me. 

OK now that I have thoroughly depressed you, there was another moment when when I was at MN school of business  that I was reviewing their MBA program and I thought, what the heck am I doing. 

This is not  to say anything bad about the MBA, which is a fabulous degree, but more about the fact that  I was trying to live a life of what I thought I was supposed to be, and not what I really wanted. 

So after much soul searching, and Therapy I enrolled here at Capella, and yes I actually started the degree before I became employed here, which was in 2009.  I enrolled in the Mental health counseling program here, with a goal to someday become a therapist with my own private practice.  And After about 4 years I am getting close to the end of the degree. 

In preparation to my future endeavors, I currently volunteer at a crisis hotline where I work with individuals going through different situations such as suicidal thoughts, abuse, mental illness and many other situations.  I find it very satisfying being able to take someone from a crisis situation, to being able to help them see the current options that they have. 

Quick tibbits about me, I also enjoy Tennis, Basketball, Reading, working out, spending time with my family.

Last but not least, answering the question about why I joined toastmaster, which is a valid question for breaking the ice.  I could easily say this is for professional reasons and wanting to better my public speaking skills and communications.  Though that would disingenuine and only a part of what I consider progress. 

I love to listen, (Which I state before and is probably good for a future therapist).  I have been fascinated with the courage and the passion of people sharing a little bit about who they are in their speeches, Which I believe not only allows me the courage to share a little bit about myself, but also to be able to further explore the question to myself of who I am, and continue my life in progress.

Thank you,

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