I was born in FL in 1988 into a modest living in a tiny area in the swamp/woods called Old Town. We never had much in the way of money, but still had a great time. We were always out doing stuff together as a family.

My paternal Grandmother and Grandfather were an integral part of my life when I was young because my Dad was always away for work and my Mom was busy getting the mobile home together for us to be able to live there. My Grandfather was quirky and fun, full of life and positivity. While my Grandmother was a little more serious, but super empathetic and full of compassion. I get many of my personality traits from my Grandma. Every morning we would go on a 3-mile walk and pick up trash on the roads. She had a bunch of dogs that would come with us and would just be running around off-leash. She has always volunteered at the ASPCA and is a huge participant in getting animals adopted. I assisted with this A LOT as a kid, but if we could not get the dog adopted she would just keep it and provide a good life for it.

Eventually, my Dad and Grandfather ended up working together and we had to do A LOT of traveling. All 5 of us lived in a small camper and traveled around the country following my Dad and Grandpa’s work. Due to this I was unable to establish a friend group, or lead a “normal” life. However, I was able to see SO MUCH of what this country has to offer. By the age of eight, I had been in, or through almost every state in the country.

We finally found a place to settle! My Grandparents went back to FL to the house that they had built before we set out on our travels because my Grandfather retired and we ended up in Macy, IN. It is here that I met my still best friend Jessica. We have been best friends for 23 years now and still really close, even though we have lived a huge distance apart for a long time (I inherited my Dad’s affinity for travel and have lived all over the country since college). We actually even came out to each other at the same time, which was a huge bonding experience, as I’m sure you could imagine.

Jessica and I were always hanging out. We cleaned up local creeks and areas of the lake that we lived on and spent a bunch of time adventuring around our area. However, in Middle-High School, we ended up in different cliques. She became more of a jock and I was a bit of a loner because I couldn’t really connect with anyone. I was depressed and was going through A LOT at home and then went to school where I was to be an average student and was constantly bullied.

I eventually gained enough confidence to join the track and field team, where I became the anchor for the 1600 meter relay and was also MVP for our endurance team. My main events were 1600 meter and 3200 meter. Our team was not very good. We were too small to win anything, but we still practiced constantly and kept positive attitudes.

Graduation was no big deal. I was ready to move on to college and get to the real adventure. I seized the opportunity to restart my life. I made great friends that I’m still in touch with today and was on the Dean’s list every semester.

Graduation from college came quickly and I immediately moved out to Jackson Hole, WY. I became a ranch hand while also working at a Hampton Hotel. This was all part of me finding myself. I wanted to be immersed in all sorts of people and cultures. WY is a beautiful state where cowboys and Native Americans are not just something you see in story books. I wanted to live that life and I LOVED it! It was very carefree and intriguing, just getting to hang with the animals and every day was a new adventure.

That too came to an end. I needed to do something that was going to make more money. I was not able to keep up with my student loans, so I moved to Iowa and started working for a shoe company that trained me in sales and management. Then they gave me shares of a store in Florence, KY once I proved that I could do it. I did really well, beating sales goals and meeting new people every day.

I was in love with the challenge of a sale, but it was more than that. I was actually helping people solve their problems and saving them a bunch of money by doing so. I found this very fulfilling and ended up moving to a larger store in Norman, OK.

It was in Norman where I met my partner of 6 years. Something I never thought that I would have time for Love. I continued working really hard and getting nowhere fast. There was just too much construction in the area and traffic to the mall I was in was bottle-necked. I was working 75+ hours a week and was constantly exhausted. I was trying really hard to keep the employees that I had. They were and are all amazing people that have done wonderful things with their lives, since working for me.

My partner graduated from NYU Law and received a job opportunity in NY. This is the first place, since IN where I actually was able to establish a non-professional friend group!

While in NY, I dabbled in the restaurant industry as a Floor Manager and also in a distribution warehouse as an Operations Manager. During this time I realized that I just couldn’t work for anyone else anymore. My brain is simply too progressive. My partner had told me many times that I should try real estate and I finally decided to listen.

I quickly realized that I have a strong affinity for real estate and that I can still help people in a tremendous way. I can help their dreams come to fruition. I did particularly well my first year and my second year. However, my partner and I were quickly realizing that home ownership was very unlikely to be in our future if we stayed in NY. Westchester County is one of the most expensive counties in the country to live. Not a great place for people with an astounding amount of student debt!

I cracked the books and started researching our next spot and cross-referenced with my partner about where he is likely to do well also. We decided on Charlotte, NC for many reasons, but I will not go into that here. We have been here for about 6 months now and love it, even with the pandemic. I am practicing real estate still and work for an amazing office in Matthews, NC where I have already met some of the most inspirational and motivating people.

Now… I’m in a wonderful area, surrounded by wonderful people, and a group of humans that I’m excited to meet one day. I have a lot to look forward to in the years to come!

Thank you for reading and sorry for the novel. :p

This incredible story was shared with us by a human named Joseph.

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