I can remember being about 19 years old and looking at Milledgeville in the rear-view mirror of my Toyota as I headed up 441 to go to work in sales somewhere, or at that time, ANYWHERE else.  I felt that Milledgeville squelched my ability to grow and express myself.  I needed to find out who I really was and I didn’t think I could do that here.  I felt that I didn’t belong at all in any groups at school, my first attempt at college didn’t reveal all of life’s secrets to me, and I had no idea how I was going to support the dreams I had of being someone with something to offer others.  I set out alone and eventually found myself living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Corpus Christi, Texas, Drums, Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Helen, Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, and Orlando, Florida.  Different sales positions had a way of finding me, and I was recruited by Marriott Corporation while I was working in Helen.

I moved to Orlando and that’s where my life changed.  I suffered from migraine headaches and a friend of mine introduced me to his chiropractor.  That chiropractor got rid of my headaches and I knew then that I was destined to be a chiropractor.  If this guy could do that for me, I had to know what he did and how to help others with it myself.  For the first time in my life, I had a burning desire to find my true purpose for being on this planet.  I had spent many years wandering around and running from myself in a futile attempt to make it in a world in which I wasn’t very comfortable when I was finally shown what I was meant to do.  Once I listened to the inner-directed part of me the universe basically aligned for me and the way to become a chiropractor was mapped out.  I sold my Marriott stock, horrified my family with my announcement, and went to Atlanta to go to school.  I was 29 years old before I found my purpose in life, but was it ever worth it!!

School was very difficult but rewarding at the same time.  I worked hard and soaked up every bit that I possibly could.  I went to different technique workshops to learn different creative ways to adjust the joints of the body and I was amazed every time I learned a new thing that the body could do.  I graduated magna cum laude as a result of all of my hard work, and I remember the day I turned my tassel with the rest of my classmates.  I cried for hours bursting with pride.  I had completed what I knew was the preparation for my life’s work.  The real work was about to begin, but I could only be grateful at that moment for actually accomplishing a lifelong goal.

I had always wanted to live in coastal Georgia, and Savannah seemed like a great place to me, so that’s where I decided to move after graduation.  I did not know a soul down there, but that had never stopped me from moving to a strange town.  At least I was in Georgia this time.  My clinic partner in school, Tracy Green, and I decided to move there together and pool our resources to start our first practice.  We bought a dilapidated old Victorian house near downtown and rolled up our sleeves to renovate it on our shoestring budget.  We did all of the work ourselves and three months later opened for business.  The experience was enriching, but we were in an area where we had to dig the crack baggies out of our flower beds and run the vagrants off our front porch before we could open for business.  It was a challenge.  I found myself driving back and forth to Milledgeville often to visit my family and after two years in Savannah got the idea that this would be a good place to practice if I could talk my practice partner into it. I managed to talk her into it.  We opened our practice in Milledgeville on May 18, 2001, and it has been a roaring success for us. I now appreciate Milledgeville for its beauty, history, small town flavor, and proximity to everything else Georgia has to offer.  I get to water ski in the warm months and can easily access the cultural offerings of larger cities when I feel the need to go there.  Like many other people who have left Milledgeville only to return with a new appreciation for it, I am making my home here.  There is something about this place that gets in your blood.

Part of my education was that I was running from my own victim mentality my whole life.  My father was absent for practically all of my life, I came from a working-class family where a silver spoon was nowhere to be found, and I spent most of my life blaming others for my failures to succeed.  When I finally realized that the only way out of a private hell is to take responsibility for your own life and get busy building it, all of the reasons for me not to make it seemed to disappear.  Gandhi was once quoted as saying that we must be the change we want to see.  I have spent every day since I heard that profound statement being the change I always searched for in my life.  Success is possible for anyone who really wants it.  The change is not geographic and it is not one that comes from the outside.  The only thing that has ever changed to improve my life is me.  I will be forever grateful for that.