When I was in the first grade I got in trouble for putting a round peg in a square hole the teacher couldn't get it out. I thought well good once I put something together it stays put!

Now looking back perhaps this is a metaphor for my life. I joined the Marines right out of high school against my parents wishes. I grew up fast boot camp was one of the toughest experiences in my young life I don't think I would ever want to repeat it. I have had a good time but I was not your typical Marine. I was a bit more introspective and reserved than most. I have always been told I was mature for my age I get along well with those a decade or two older than I. So I was less of a party animal in my younger days or it could be I started early. I was drinking and partying as a youth in high school buying beer when I was 17 because of a mustache and sideburns. In the Marines I didn't fit the mold of a hard a$$ NCO I was more the teacher type trying to show others how to do things and use reason and dialogue in order to get the task done. This was good but it wasn't what most of my officers wanted they wanted a yeller and someone to use the drill instructor approach to leadership. However in my profession as an artillery fire direction Marine I needed to be able to calculate firing date and that involved quite a few math steps and the ability to organize data quickly and accurately. Same thing as I got older and was promoted I would rather show and teach than yell and scream to get the job done. Now I feel this was the right leadership method for my personality so even though I got promoted slower I feel I was ready for every promotion I got.

Fast forward to now. A friend once said being in the military is like being cryogenically frozen you lose touch with some of the changes taking place in the larger society. To some extent I think he is right. I mean the military culture is very insular you work and live with your military brothers and sisters. I was combat arms my whole career so until about the last 4 years I never served in a unit that had women in it. So you become immersed in that gung-ho, oohrah mentality, tough to retain your sense of individual identity.

Bottom line, I think I am still trying to put that round peg in a square hole in choosing my next career. I have always been happiest outdoors. My happiest childhood memories are riding my horse up in the mountains through the woods and hunting and hiking and camping out under the stars. I really think I would be very happy in a job that allows me to be out in the woods. Here is the dilemma if I follow that path I will limit where I can find work, let's face it not too many make their living out in the woods since the logging industry started dying off. So I am into nature I love wildlife I find peace of mind by going for a walk in the nearby woods where I chose to make my home. I love watching all the wild life deer, moose, wild turkeys, quail, pheasants etc. I think I have just been looking at jobs that are out there instead of looking at jobs I would love to have then going out there and getting the degree or what have you to do that job. I think for me the best thing would be to listen to my heart and start doing everything I can to get that outdoor job. I am not sure I can hang with the years it will take to get a degree especially in wild life biology or what ever but I think I need to do just that. It will mean a tough few years and likely have to sacrifice something's but perhaps I need to do it to be happy later in life.

It's kind of scary for a 40 something guy to embark on a totally new career at this stage of life. I hate to put my family through financial difficulty but maybe I need to be true to my own self.