Jack Canon's American Destiny

Broken Pieces

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

John W. Mefford on Internal Struggles & Mid-Life Enlightenment @JWMefford #AmReading #Suspense

I look in the mirror, and what do I see? Extra lines, less hair, a little more weight, depending on my current level of fitness. Time stands still for no one. And, if you’re open to growing, learning, that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
By looking at that reflection—literally and figuratively—I’ve seen more changes than I can possibly count over the years. With more salt than pepper in my goatee, my facial hair shows some tread on my tires. Muscle strains, joint pain, squinting to read small print, all come with living a full life year after year for almost five decades. And don’t get me going about my torn rotator cuff. But it certainly beats the alternative.
I’ve never been one to hide my age, starting when I was a young kid, and looking even younger. I always had a stubborn, driven core that pushed me to work hard, even if the task or nature of the job was unappealing, or even if it made me want to puke. In my teenage years I built banana splits and flipped burgers, then mowed yards in triple-digit temperatures. Once I made it out of college, I worked long hours trying to scoop my rival reporter at the cross-town newspaper—my first paying gig in the writing world. But my drive and competitiveness hit an advanced level once I hit the grind of corporate life.
Information Technology was the field, the very hot field that sucked me in like an F5 tornado. It’s a remarkable industry, with an amazing array of talented, visionary people, especially in the early days, before anyone had used the term start-up.
From day one, I never quite felt comfortable working in IT, and most of the time truly felt out of place. Technology has never been a keen interest of mine. I had a few talents that helped me along the way…I’m pretty good with numbers and motivating people to get stuff done, even if I didn’t truly understand the nuts and bolts of what the hell we were trying to accomplish. It didn’t matter. I was told to break through the brick wall, and I did anything to reach the goal. I was about the best grinder around. Many were smarter, but few worked as hard. I never let my brain relax, because I couldn’t afford to.
And then I woke up. It wasn’t an overnight epiphany. I had internal struggles for years, my true voice softly telling me to find a job or business that suited me. It took a good ten years for me to take action, to recognize that little voice as my true self.
I have a friend who knew what he wanted to do when he was fourteen years old, maybe younger. He dreamed of working as a nuclear physicist. I’m not kidding. He was—is—brilliant. He wanted it so badly he could taste it. He talked about it all the time, studied everything about that world, and mapped his path toward his destiny.
Outside of dreaming to play for any number of sports teams, while growing up I could never figure out what I was destined to do with my life. Working as a reporter allowed me to work a muscle that I’d never used. The job itself was bit confining, but it ignited a creative spark in me that stayed alive like the Olympic flame. Then came the IT gig.
It was all meant to be…to provide life experiences that have taught me plenty, that I can share with others, my family, and, yes, write about in the most unbridled, embellished way possible. It’s empowering to finally admit the truth about who I am, how I want to contribute to the world, to evoke emotion from readers of my work. Is it a mid-life crisis? That’s not how I see it. I don’t want to buy a red sports car, I love my wife more than ever, and I have great fulfillment by watching three kids grow up and figure out life.
Instead, I’ve experienced a mid-life enlightenment. I might be in my late forties, but it’s better to admit who you are and what you’re passionate about before there’s no life left to live.
My only advice to my kids and anyone else of any age? Listen to your true self. Find your passion and then don’t hide it. Work like hell to be better at it, and be proud of who you are and how you impact the world.
It’s funny how things work out in life. My friend? Well, the government shut down funding for the super-collider, and after investing seven years of college and low-paying internships in cold-weather cities, his dreams of making a living as a nuclear physicist were flushed down the toilet. Now, though, he’s one of those visionary, brilliant people in the IT industry. He’s damn good at it, and I think he enjoys most of it. Bravo for him!
As for me, I’m a writer. I think I’m pretty damn good at it, and I’ll work my ass off to get better. That’s my passion. I hope you find yours.

Behind the fa├žade of every corporate takeover executives pull levers this way and that, squeezing the last profitable nickel out of the deal. But no one knows the true intent of every so-called merger. 

No one knows the secret bonds that exist. 

An Indian technology giant swallows up another private company that has deep roots in North Texas. For one unassuming man the thought of layoffs, of losing his own job to a bunch of arrogant assholes feels like a kick to the jewels. 

Until the day Michael’s life changes forever.   

Perverse alliances. An affair of the heart. A grisly murder. A spiraling string of events thrusts Michael into a life-or-death fight to save a tortured soul and hunt down a brutal killer…one who lurks closer than he ever imagined. 

Greed knows no boundaries.
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Genre – Suspense, Thriller
Rating – R
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