It Finally Happened

Well, it finally happened. For a long time now, people who have read my excessively long Facebook posts have told me I should start a blog. After ignoring that advice for years, here it is. I finally have a blog. I figure it only makes sense that my first post should tell the story of how I got to this point.

Growing up, I never had any interest in writing. I very clearly remember writing research papers in high school and thinking it was torture. I hated it. My attitude toward writing changed when I took an Expressive Writing class in my first semester of college. My professor in that class was also my academic advisor. This guy was unlike any other teacher I’d ever had throughout my school career. How many professors have KISS and Smashing Pumpkins CDs blasting in their office every day on a college campus? I only know of one. This professor and I always got along great, mostly thanks to our shared love of music. He constantly complimented my writing and encouraged me to write more. He taught me how to add more details to make an otherwise quite bland story seem more interesting. The things I learned in that class have stuck with me, and have helped me to learn to love writing. By the end of that first semester, my professor told me I should write a book someday. Although I had experienced a lot of things in my life to that point, life was just about to start getting interesting.

While in college, I really had no clue what I wanted to do with my future. I was a Marketing and Business Administration major, but the only career that had ever interested me was music. Unfortunately, I was lacking one key skill, musical talent. It’s hard to get into the music industry when you can’t sing, and are a below average guitarist.

At the same time that I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I became friends with the members of my favorite local band. Every time I went to one of their concerts, I stayed after the show and offered to help them tear down their gear. Long story short, I eventually quit college to travel with the band full-time as their merchandise salesman. I spent six of the greatest years of my life living my lifelong dream of traveling across the country with my favorite band. I was very fortunate to meet a lot of really great people during my time on the road. I met people from all 50 states, as well as several countries around the world.

After six incredible years of non-stop fun, I eventually came to the realization that there was no future in what I was doing. I was having the time of my life, but wasn’t making any money. My 30th birthday was approaching and I knew something had to change. That change came in the middle of a sleepless night when I saw a TV commercial for a golf school that has a campus in the Orlando area. Golf was a hobby of mine from a young age, but I had never considered the possibility of making it my career. When it’s the middle of December in North Dakota and you see a commercial for a golf school in Florida, it’s really not hard to convince yourself that moving to Florida is a fantastic idea. Nine months later, I was living in Orlando and starting school. I now have a college degree and get to teach golf for a living. I never in a million years would have guessed I would be a golf instructor one day, but here I am.

Living in the Orlando area, I am also able to fully enjoy my love of the beach and all things Disney. I am a Parrothead and have always loved the beach. Living a short drive from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is a dream come true for me, although I wish I could spend more time at the beach than I do. I spend as much time as possible at Walt Disney World. Every time I visit the parks is every bit as exciting and magical as my first ever visit. Since I am in the parks all the time, sometimes as often as 5 days a week, some of the cast members have started to recognize me, which I think is pretty cool. I can’t even begin to describe how much joy I feel when I enter Magic Kingdom, and a cast member greets me by saying, “Welcome home! It’s great to see you again!” It makes my day every time. A few people have asked why I am at Disney so often and why I am almost always there by myself. Magic Kingdom truly is my happy place. If Disney would let me, I would live in that park. The friends I have made in Florida are people I have met through golf. None of them live close to me, so I have learned to have fun by myself. I love spending time with other people, but am also fine with spending time alone. Disney is magical whether you’re with people or alone, so I am perfectly happy enjoying the parks by myself.

Whenever I am in the parks, I try to go out of my way to start up a conversation with a complete stranger. The people I have met at Disney have been, for the most part, really wonderful people. I have met people from all 50 states and probably well over 50 different countries. The people I’ve met at Disney, as well as the people I met in my travels, are the inspiration for this blog. There is a lot of hate in this world, but the people I have met have reminded me just how much good there is in this world, also. There are really wonderful people in every country on this planet. Just because a specific country, religion, etc. has a bad reputation because of what is reported in the media doesn’t mean that all of those people are bad. Everywhere you go, you will find good people and bad people. Race, religion, social/economic status, sexual preference, etc. don’t make you a good person or a bad person. Your character determines the kind of person you are. I try my best to spread a message of happiness, positivity, and love everywhere I go and in everything I do. This world is a pretty wonderful place when we all put our differences aside and look at all of the things we have in common.

Those of you who are reading this and don’t know me may be wondering what “Positively Rolling Through Life” means. I was born with Spina Bifida, and rely on a wheelchair for most of my mobility. I can walk, but not very far, so I use my wheelchair most of the time. My disability has forced me to find my own way of doing most things in life, but it really hasn’t slowed me down much. I was born this way and can’t change it, so there is no point in complaining or feeling bad for myself. You only live once and have to make the best of it while you have the chance. Life isn’t perfect and nobody is happy all of the time, but you can choose to always look at life in a positive way. I can’t imagine living life any way but positively. It’s just the kind of person I am. I’m a dreamer and honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. The hard times that we all go through in life lead us to something positive without fail. You just have to keep your eyes open and be willing to look for the good in the situation. “Positively Rolling Through Life” is what I do. “Rolling” is a reference to my wheelchair. It is how I go through my life every day, and is a big part of who I am. I don’t complain about it, I embrace it. I live my life the only way I know how, and never think about my disability very much. My goal in life is to spread happiness and positivity to everyone around me, and to inspire everyone to find a way to overcome any challenges they may face. There is ALWAYS a way to achieve your goals. You just have to find a way to do things that works best for you, and adapt. Don’t worry about what anyone else says or does. Other people don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with. Only you can decide what is best for you.

I will probably update my blog quite often. I have a lot to say, and hope people enjoy reading the things I have to share. My posts will be focused on life, the things I experience, and the impact that I want to have on the world. You can count on lots of references to Disney, the beach, and golf. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy this journey of “Positively Rolling Through Life”.

CastleMK

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