WHAT'S UP. I'M CHAD.
I'm a mix of things.
I grew up in a tight-knit, exuberant, hyper-driven family of five and spent most of my time earning As, trying to lay people out on the football field, and challenging societal rules put in place for very fair and foundational reasons. With Microsoft HQ 10 minutes away, a '93 Chevy Cheyenne truck, and a glistening lake down the street, life was pretty dang sweet.
I had it all laid out (for me).
The combined forces of my achievements, devoted parents, and love of change propelled me to Carnegie Mellon University, where I studied business, played football (I really just practiced for two years), and struggled to make friends due to my annoying West Coast slang and my expectation to be the Big Man on [a new] campus, 3,000 miles from familiarity.
As my city and social life changed, I clung to what I knew: handle my responsibilities, fill the margins with random extracurriculars, and punish the rules for existing when time permitted.
I was on a really fun path to nowhere.
This approach worked for a while, but near the end of college and into my early career, my definition of "success" got foggy and my flippant breaking of rules had evolved into really ugly patterns and addictions, including morning cigarettes, weeknight binge-drinking (which led to a DWI), and behaviors with women that missed "good guy" territory by a mile.
My two worlds -- responsibility and rebellion -- could no longer coexist in harmony, but my buddies, cultural icons, social media, and other sources condoned and even celebrated my behaviors. I was just young, having fun, and figuring it out. On I trekked, confused about where I was going and (when not numbed or distracted), pretty dang empty inside.
Marrying Daniella in 2015 and having our first child, Deacon, in 2016 changed everything.
For the first time in my life, the mirror (held by my wife) demanded that my two worlds finally "duke it out." I needed to finally treat my rebellion -- past and present -- as a responsibility. I finally faced demons, opened up to counselors and other "seeking" men, cut toxic influences out of my life, and established new norms that would help me become a better husband, father, friend, and man.
The path has been brutally rocky at times, but it has led me to a good place.
I've since learned where my streaks of rebellion originate, where they must end, and how I can channel them to create life instead of destruction. I've been given new responsibilities that genuinely motivate and fulfill me: to love, serve, and work for God, my wife, my kids, and others. I am nowhere near perfect nor near the end of the path, but my purpose and direction are much clearer to me now.
I want that for you.
Whether you're a young man comparing the many roads before him, a 30+ year old guy figuring out how to balance work and your new baby, or someone in-between, I want to encourage and equip you to clearly define your dreams, channel your energies, and begin to walk in purposeful manhood.
We can do it together.