I’ve made many attempts to tell my story, hoping that it would help me explain myself a little better to people. Turns out what makes up me, Jordan Dunford, is a bit of a complex series of events and streams of thought. Not trying to brag or validate myself by saying that, in fact in learning about myself I found that I’m a lot like many other people. I suppose a difference between me and many others is I went on a bit of a journey trying to understand how to help myself out of my life’s problems and pitfalls. Such a pursuit is always a work in progress, but the point I have gotten to thus far has been empowering. I genuinely feel that I have a thing or two I could share with people like me, or with those who’ve been where I’ve been, and I have felt it a duty and pleasure of mine to try and share myself in hopes that it helps other to find their way in their own life’s problems and pitfalls. So without further delay, let me share with you a bit of my story.
Growing up, I was a bit of a poster child. I tried to be obedient, went to church, tried to work hard, I decided I was going to be an engineer when I was about 4 years old and didn’t deviate from that goal all the way up until I was several years into college. I was typically the subject of envy among my peers, friends, and some of my family. It left me difficult to relate to and with others in many scenarios, I guess I didn’t let that stop me though from pursuing my interests though because at the time they were definitely more important to me.
That began to change though once I decided to take a bit of a break from my schooling and go on a proselyting mission for my church in the country of Chile. In that setting, nobody cared how smart, talented or good looking I was. Somehow every skill I had developed showed no signs of being useful in that setting. I liked being successful, so I learned what did work and I adapted. In doing so I learned a great deal about myself and others, but developed this growing sense of emptiness inside myself.
Things weren’t the same after that experience. Somehow going back to school, my studies lacked purpose, and I felt like I was supposed to make a shift in my life but didn’t know how and to what. Soon though I met a great love of mine. She rekindled purpose in my life and I still look upon those times with fondness. Unfortunately, much like the mission I did, I found my skills and position weren’t quite sufficient to satisfy the status quo and I began to adapt. This time around though, not only did the emptiness inside me well up again, but our relationship just went more sour the more I tried to change. I couldn’t figure out why she seemed to treat me worst the I did what she wanted. I loved her very much, but soon learned that I couldn’t make her happy, and if I couldn’t do that for her, I should allow her to be with someone who did.
Her loss was devastating to me, and by the time we separated, I had changed so much I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Emotionally and mentally I had changed so much that even my parents found my motives and interests a bit puzzling. For all intents and purposes I had essentially died, because of the nature of the relationship me and my lover had, I never really got the chance to speak to her again. In that way she more or less died too. My love, my interests, my personality, money, confidence, reason to live, everything was more or less gone. When I called it off with my lover, I talked to a friend sometime after and he asked me how I was, to which I replied, “I am a broken man.”
I became addicted to a couple things and for a very good while faced a killer on a regular basis, suicide. Feeling like you could be your own murderer is really intense, every day you have to convince yourself why you shouldn’t kill. Even in my wildest imaginations, I never thought I would go from what felt to be such an exemplar upbringing to such an absolute low. Over time a very good friend helped me see the purpose in my life, and soon I decided if I was going to live, I was going to figure out what it meant to live life to its fullest, because at that time I would have killed myself if I didn’t believe it was possible to achieve such a state.
After about 4 years of endless study, therapy, discussion, writing, self evaluation, experimentation, an academic suspension, some acts of bravery, and a series of complete leaps of faith, I feel that I’ve gotten where I want to be and have never been happier. One of those acts of bravery and leaps of faith led me to my wife, who has been one of my life’s greatest blessings and I wouldn’t have found her had I not believed there was something better to be found in life. No not all my life’s problems and pitfalls are resolved and everything is perfect, but I have developed the skills and tools needed to confidently work on them and to find happiness in the perpetual progression of myself and those around me.