This is who I am
November 12, 2006
I was born in John F. Kennedy Hospital December 22, 1980. For all of my childhood, I was in Colonia, NJ. I could say that I did enjoy most of my times as a kid. Living outside of NYC was an interesting experience both culturally and as a child. My mother was a student at NYU studying law under a student visa and my father was the good old Irish boy that worked at the General Motors plant in Linden, NJ. Fate would have those two become married and before they bore me, I had a brother and a sister.
Living in NJ was fun. I was able to traverse anywhere in the world practically on my bike. My childhood was made up of riding my bike everywhere I could. I would construct BMX courses with friends at the hidden backwoods of Merril Park or I would be collecting pennies to turn into quarters for an afternoon of Arcade games like Mortal Combat or Street Fighter. The ability to go anywhere was soon halted. I was moving to Franklin, TN.
When I first moved here, I experienced a culture shock to a large extent. I had to stay on a trailer on a tobacco farm in Columbia, TN. While there, I learned how to drive a 4-wheeler, shoot guns and get chiggers. Some experiences at first were fun, some others were not. One of the least favorite experiences was when I started school. There was one teacher in particular that I could not understand for the life of me. He was a civil war re-enactment hobbyist as well as country to the bone. We literally needed a translator for class. He also taught me a little bit of southern manners, such as "Yes, Sir" and not saying "uhh huh." Oh how I remember those lessons.
Two years later, I left Grassland Middle and continued onto Brentwood High while all my friends went to Franklin. Coming from a barely middle-class family into Brentwood was a shock that I could not describe. I found myself surrounded by kids that had not had to hold a job yet, ones that had their cars paid for and were able to afford luxuries like cell phones when the richest kids in NJ only had beepers. I don't know what the right choice would of been, but I don't think I took it. I decided to turn into a social isolate and only hang out with the kids that had a disdain for the "preps." While they were negative about life and didn't see the "Sunshine" I was still able to learn much more about people as well as trying to understand life instead of being the typical high schooler. I take some of these lessons in stride today but in a much more formal way.
During this time, I experimented with many of the objects obtainable to a teenager. While I was not the model child, I still held a certain amount of street smarts and was able to go through high school unscathed.
After high school is where I probably made my poorest choices. While I had a low GPA, I had obtained a very high ACT score and even had Tennessee Tech offer a small scholarship for me to attend. I declined, I had decided to go to Nashville Tech and live at home. I started also getting more involved into IT past a hobby. I employed myself at several retail locations in order to start getting hands on experience. Then I landed a job at Dell and was able to move up to a L2 Technician in a short time. I thought I was on top of the world. Then I let school slide, and I regret that to this day.
While at Dell, I started at least honing my skills I have played with since I was 9 years old. I started reading up on every single book I could get my hands on and started training at personally built labs at home. I was showing a great amount of interest in self-education. I had left Dell for an internship position that turned sour. I was going to be at a security company in Atlanta. Something fell through.
I felt like I had lost direction, but I hadn't lost motivation. I was determined to be more than people would of thought for my destiny. I had applied for the Air Force. I went in the Air Force in the summer of 2002. While I was in basic training and tech school (9 months long), I fought demons that I had holding my back. I also had the assistance of the UCMJ, and some really loud training instructors. During this time, I was able to obtain 52 credit hours in tech school. Apply my IT skills inside of a government organization as well being assigned to test and write the technical documents of an entirely new communication system my shop deployed. I was finally honed into more than just a geek, I was able to obtain the personality to get past that.
So that was only a year and a half ago that I was let out. I have slowly been working my way back up and I am finally at a point in my life where I am comfortable, but I still see my future goals. I started working contracts and going to school full-time when I got home. I have gotten myself to the point of 3 semesters left and landing myself in a job where I could not be any happier. I just bought a new car (GM employee discount and some others for the Dave Ramsey types that would ask why did I buy new). I'm looking into purchasing my first place and I'm going to have my degree as well as a sleuth of certifications that I've had real world experience in.
-Jonathan Edward "Fin"ney