I’ve been through some shit. Who hasn’t, right?
I grew up in a small, midwest, blue collar town. I never felt like I quite fit in. I was an above average athlete but didn’t turn out to be quite tall, strong or fast enough to go beyond high school. I also grew up with a heart condition that was eventually corrected with open heart surgery while I was in college. It sounds dramatic but for me, it was on the one hand, losing something that made me feel special, and on the other hand, providing a new found freedom.
I always enjoyed the arts, especially musicals. Apparently I had creative talent with piano and painting but was too busy bouncing a basketball or swinging a golf club, to properly pursue my creative interests.
I got two A+s in college. Folk music and piano. But I graduated with an accounting degree and a job as an auditor at Price Waterhouse. Can you say, pragmatic?
I was married for twenty years. The length of time doesn’t mean anything good or bad. I ultimately realized, when I listened to my inner truth, that we were on different paths and wanted different experiences in life.
We struggled to start a family. Plenty of people do. We eventually had twins via IVF but unfortunately our babies came early. I started Graham’s Foundation in memory of my son, and my daughter, Reece, is now 15. The parenting journey is a challenging road to navigate no matter the circumstances!
I built a couple of custom homes. One in Hermosa Beach, CA and one in Perrysburg, OH. Both were built with great thought and care with an emphasis on being proportional and efficient but looking back, I wouldn’t do it again, because I also tore down two structures in the process.
Throughout much of my adult life I have been focused on success as my measure. I had grand visions of being a benevolent philanthropist someday. As I’ve grown older, and hopefully wiser, I have learned that my desires for personal and professional success led me to unhealthy expansions of everything in my life. The pursuit of more, more of everything, is why, I believe, we humans are on a bullet train to our own demise.
I am now intentionally trying to shrink my footprint, continually challenging my minimalist ways to be a more thoughtful and conscious human being, with a goal of giving my community and the planet more energy than I take.
I have become far more radically anti-consumption and anti-capitalist the more I grow to understand how our consumptive and capitalist ways are impacting the health and well being of our communities and our planet. As a citizen of the United States, I feel an obligation to do my part to help change the trajectory of our planet.
I am experimenting with a men’s accessory line I created called Pocktie. We use recycled ties to create pocket squares and boutonnieres. We operate as a cooperative, working with local resources, paying living plus wages and sharing in the risk and return. I love the creative outlet and the people I work with and hopefully we have a chance to demonstrate how a circular fashion company can become fully operational.
I write songs to express what I want to say. I create art to express what I feel. I’ve started to play with stand up comedy to poke fun at myself and the world around me. Who knows what I’ll do next?