The Life Chronicler
My Story - Adult Life (1)
Following a six-month training program and after working in Toronto as a bond arbitrageur, I moved to work in the Halifax office in Nova Scotia. To this day I cannot recall why I did that. Anyway, about a year after returning to Halifax, the itch to leave came back. After doing some pre-internet research, I quit my job, hopped on a plane, and landed in Chicago. I had never been to Chicago before and did not know anyone. I had decided I was going to be a bond futures trader at the Chicago Board of Trade and pursue a specific dream. It was never about the money. With my outgoing personality and background, I likely would have achieved financial success as an investment banker in Canada. There was something else deep inside my being that was driving me.
I drowned. There was no Plan B. I lost everything I had including capital provided by five wealthy investors including one many would know. After the loss, and in the spirit of what I learned from one of the biographies I had read, I met with each of my investors. I apologized for my incompetence. To a man, each told me to keep my head up and to look the for next opportunity. I think those successful men admired my self-start nature despite the fact that I had blown myself up and lost their money in the process. The dream was shattered but it never went away.
The biography that inspired me to meet with my investors and apologize was "Goal, My Life On Ice," the Rod Gilbert story.
It was time to start over. I had met my future wife asking for directions to The Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago was the place we were going to make home. It took four years in purgatory before the universe presented a second chance.
A serendipitous meeting with a gentleman led to a business partnership that lasted years. I became a self-taught software engineer in the CLIPPER language. It was that introverted, autodidactic nature again. This intense self-learning time was a period of my life when I withdrew, relatively speaking, so as to not interfere with the critical objective of becoming an accomplished coder. Over the years, we did some impactful work for several corporate clients. My personal magnum opus was in writing every line of code in BASIC for the user interface of a Point-of-Sale system that was used by Sears Roebuck nationwide for over 20 years. Heck, my code might even have rung up a sale for you.
My 39th birthday was the lowest point in my life. It was on that day that I accepted the fact that I would never be a father. There were issues holding us back. That day I thanked The Infinite One for my life but wanted to know why I was destined to be without a child. So, I simply said “Thank You” every single day for about 18 months until one day I simply forgot. That day was when I realized that I was finally free from the most painful time of my life. I still regularly say “Thank You.”
It was shortly after my 40th birthday that a major pharmaceutical company, Abbott Labs, and one of our clients, offered me a job. I could not pass it up. My business partner bought me out and a new career began. Not long after accepting the job I found myself in the role of IT Project Manager. Following the announced off-shoring of IT jobs at the company, I was fortuitously picked up by the R&D team. That offer later morphed into a role as an R&D Global Project Manager. I retired 24 years, almost to the day, after starting in the pharmaceutical business.