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The History of Fatboy – The Beautiful Years

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The History of Fatboy

The CoupleThere she is. The woman who saved me from myself. Words cannot express how she has changed my life, however, as a degree-bearing professional writer, I will give it a shot.

I’d known of Beautiful for a couple of years. Their family started going to our church when she was 16. The oldest of their children, she moved from one end of the country (California) to Tampa at the same age as I did. She didn’t have eyes for me, though.  To shorten the weirdness portion of our history, I was laid off in February, 2002 and got a great new job working outside in May. I had money again, and over the summer, she decided to hitch her trailer to mine. To this day, I’m still amazed.

So were her parents. She was just 18 and the whole dating thing hadn’t been discussed and came as a surprise. Eight years later, we can look back and make fun of some of it, and others we let be water under the bridge. All is good now. Gooder than fine, actually. Holidays, no problem. Family vacations, easy. We all like each other like family – like family should.

But, you can see why there were some problems when you look back at the Unfortunate Years. I was not well. I knew my potential, but that wasn’t what I was showing the world. I was showing the world: loser. Loser of epic proportions. Putting oneself in her dad’s shoes, I must have been a creep. She was lots of fun to hang out with, but we all know that can’t last forever. It goes somewhere or it goes away. It went somewhere. To this day, I’m still amazed.

We dated clear through her four years at USF while I finished at the community college to get my A.A. and a “real job.” My outdoor job was fantastic for my health with the exception of the amount of dust I was exposed to. There was lots of lifting, high fat foods, sitting around watching other people work, and that sort of thing. It was the $400 paychecks that were killing me.

After I got my A.A., I got a job where Beautiful’s dad works when he noticed a position open on the job board that fit my skills: desktop publisher. I was promoted twice in two years and was finally getting somewhere in life. I had a cubicle, two flat screen monitors, my own phone line, and a programmable keyboard that could run 48 macros! Have I mentioned that I’m a nerd?

Under ConstructionSo, like I said, she graduated. When she did, I proposed. She said, “yes.” That was June of 2006 and we were married in October. We had a first floor apartment in an upscale neighborhood and I got promoted again and she changed jobs a couple of times for big raises each time. We thought we were doing pretty good, so we bought some new construction out in the ‘burbs and have been here since May of 2008.

The company she was with at the time got raided and shut down for paperwork oversights, but they paid her a few months of severance while they tried to work it out. Actually, they got shut down right when we were signing the contract on our townhome, so that was nerve-wracking. She’s been with her latest employer ever since, so that’s good, even though business isn’t good at the moment.

I, on the other hand, was not going any where and took an opportunity in September 2008 to work from home for an Internet start-up with some guys I’d been doing contract work for. They were in Oklahoma, but there was also a guy in North Carolina. Neither one of us is still with them. I got the call the morning after the 2009 Super Bowl that my services were no longer needed.

Okay… breathe. I had been working on the side with late nights to do extra work to make up for the loss of some benefits of working for a big company. I could just do that harder and make this work. I was a wreck, though. I asked Beautiful to not make me go get another job without giving this a chance first. She agreed.

Fatboy and Genshaft 2010Here is where I will both harp on laziness of some of my fellow CFers and praise my incredible woman. For the last year, I took 31 credit hours of senior year college courses to graduate with the goal of walking in May 2010. Beautiful was beside me the whole time taking as much weight off me as she could with stuff around the house that I had been doing so that I could do homework after working on the business all day. I was getting up at 6am and rarely in bed before midnight. We sacrificed time with family, time with each other, money. We struggled with my health being so busy and stressed. I was on IVs twice in the last year of school as a result. Stress does take its toll.

We now have her health insurance through her work and I have an individual $5M HMO policy that takes about $8k per year out of pocket, but it beats working for “the man” and the daily grind and commute. The sky is the limit, my friends. My market is the world and my LLC is here to meet the world’s needs.

Don’t let anyone say you can’t do something just because you have CF. Sure, certain things are unreasonable, don’t be stupid about it, but go for it! I’ve seen CFers who go on to get law degrees and other higher-level degrees. I don’t have the money, nor the time, at this point, but I wouldn’t say that I am not capable.

I would not have this confidence if it were not for Beautiful, though. She saw something in me. Something that I knew was there many, many years ago, but no one seemed to recognize; until I forgot it myself. She is the first person to step in and put me in my place when I’m being overly optimistic and the first person there with a hug and a plan when we need to work things out to make things better.

Looking back at the first material on this site, you’ll see that it was a long, late conversation with her that kicked me off into this “beat the crap out of CF” mode. She is a motivator, but we do not live without fear. We plan the best for the future and face things together as they come.

We are a team.

These are “The Beautiful Years.”

Comments

  1. That was a great trilogy, Jesse – even if it did remind me of lots of heart wrenching events. What she saw in you was the same thing we have always seen in you. Talent, drive, intelligence, determination. I saw that determination the day you were born. Praise God that He brought someone into your life who could draw it out and help you focus it in a constructive way. I'm rejoicing in knowing how you are dealing with your lot in life.

    You know I've told you before, but I'll repeat it here for others to consider. No one knows how long they will live. I used to tell you that you may out live me. It seems that, every year, those chances increase. 😉

    And, BTW, if you ever want to talk about Rachel, let me know. There was pain, but beauty too. She was incredibly brave. Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of her home going. But if you don't want to hear it, that sounds perfectly reasonable. I love you and I'm proud of you.
    Dad

  2. That was a great trilogy, Jesse – even if it did remind me of lots of heart wrenching events. What she saw in you was the same thing we have always seen in you. Talent, drive, intelligence, determination. I saw that determination the day you were born. Praise God that He brought someone into your life who could draw it out and help you focus it in a constructive way. I'm rejoicing in knowing how you are dealing with your lot in life.

    You know I've told you before, but I'll repeat it here for others to consider. No one knows how long they will live. I used to tell you that you may out live me. It seems that, every year, those chances increase. 😉

    And, BTW, if you ever want to talk about Rachel, let me know. There was pain, but beauty too. She was incredibly brave. Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of her home going. But if you don't want to hear it, that sounds perfectly reasonable. I love you and I'm proud of you.
    Dad