If you don’t follow, or at least read, The Family Alpha you are missing out. Hunter Drew has some good things to say that many men today need to hear. This Post from June 7th, struck a cord with me. Go read it and tell me if it doesn’t stir something in you.
Hunter has done something most men lack the motivation to do. Maybe not motivation, more accurately the balls to do. After serving in the Navy previously, he has enlisted in the Army National Guard as an Infantry Officer. Hunter describes something missing from his life that he had as member of the armed forces. A mission.
There are many men who meander through life with no real mission, or worse making their wives their mission. However, some of us, particularly those who served in the military or as a first responder, feel lost when we leave behind our mission. When I was closing in on retirement from law enforcement last year, it was a mixed bag of relief that the stress and political BS plagued by most departments nowadays was over and scared to death of not finding anything to provide the rush and mission that the job provides. I have found both to be true.
The day before I walked out the door I volunteered for a particularly dangerous assignment as the point of contact in an arrest of a violent offender. As I sat, waiting to do my part, I was wondering what the Fuck was I thinking and how am I going to leave this job. How can I live a life without real danger, purpose, mission. I took a picture of myself that morning (yes a selfie.. I know…) decked out in gear I seldom wore as an undercover officer. To this day I look at that picture at times and remember that day, that feeling of adrenaline rush, fear and purpose all bundled together. It was the end of my partner and I’s long term (several year) investigation resulting in federal drug and human trafficking charges, and it was going to be my last arrest as I walked out the door. It all sounded great, until the last day came and the mission was over.
Now I admire people who find their mission in business or some other arena. I, as of today, have not found my mission in such venues. I can’t find the satisfaction you get helping a victim of child abuse, elderly abuse, human trafficking, heroin dealers. Generally you get no appreciation from your victims. With the latter cases they often hate you… at first… Even if you never get any appreciation from them, knowing you ended a shit bags reign of misery infliction was satisfaction enough.
So here I am, feeling adrift without a real direction, no real purpose. Oh I have a job, but it lacks something. No rush, no sense of accomplishment. I just can’t get into it.
So when I read Hunter’s post about how he is handling his search for a mission, I felt I had to give him kudos (not that he needs anything from me). I feel like I could have written much of what he is feeling. A little different path and circumstances, but very similar spots we find ourselves in.
I’m not sure where I will end up, but I need to scratch this itch somehow. I have to find a purpose. I have to identify my “WHY.” I am not ready to quit just yet. I still have some fuel in the tank. I’ve had friends (who haven’t walked where we have) who say “just be glad you made it out alive and enjoy it.” They mean well, but they cannot understand that once you have looked down the barrel of a gun on a dark roadside, alone, at 3am, and fought your way out, that having Panera pastries delivered by a vendor in the break room just doesn’t do it for you…
Hats off to you Hunter, and all those like you, who have the balls to walk the walk.