UNCLE DARYL wants YOU… to find your FREEDOM too!
Somewhere inside Daryl’s head… “Should I use the goofy picture or the professional one? Goofy or professional? Which is it going go be? Oh, what the heck — you KNOW what the answer is going to be. The one with the goofy hat, of course…”
You see, I never was very good at being a conformist. For twenty years, I tried to be a good little corporate rat (OK, I admit didn’t try too hard) before I made my permanent JumpToConsulting. But looking back, it all makes sense now.
It probably started with a hat. When I was nine years old, we moved to another town. At the new school, some of the kids started teasing me about my stocking cap. Now growing up in Nebraska means cold winter days, and I happened to like stocking caps — they kept my ears warm.
Nowdays, with no hair left, that is even more important. But I digress. I persisted with the stocking cap, and pretty soon all the other kids were wearing stocking caps, too.
The lessons stuck — it’s OK to be different — it’s OK to go off in your own direction — and eventually, others may even decide to follow you.
By high school, I realized I was not normal in other ways. I was a geek. When the other kids souped up their cars and chased the girls, I was busy chasing “DX” with my ham radio. But as the only radio nerd for a while in my small town, it was lonely being a geek.
By the time I got to engineering school, I was pleased to find there were other geeks like me. And many were just as goofy and independent as I was. I still keep in touch with my college friends, including John of green shirt fame. (Update 2012– RIP John.)
While there, I met an equally independent young woman who became my special friend, life-partner, co-conspirator, and wife. Not a geek herself, though, I think she still sometimes wonders what she signed up for.
When I finally entered the work force, it became apparent that I was still not normal. After blowing one important interview, I calmed down and landed a job. (Where did they come up with those stupid questions, anyway — and why did I say THAT?)
I really did try to fit in, but eventually the pressure to conform would become too much. That led me to consulting — first part time, and then finally full time.
Yes, it all makes sense now. For me, consulting is about being free. Being able to call my own shots. Being able to make my own mistakes — and not having to clean up somebody else’s messes. All things considered, it has been great fun. And, if I want to, I can even wear goofy hats!
Finally, the hat is NOT a political statement. As an aside, my politics are not with those who “wrap themselves in the flag…” But rather, the hat IS a statement about PERSONAL FREEDOM. Somehow it just seemed fitting to use a picture from an Independence Day celebration.
Daryl with co-conspirator Mary — notice her goofy hat too!
(Special thanks to DIL Kate Gerke for her outstanding photographic skills.)
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