Hopefully by now you are starting to see how much I love meeting new people. Hearing their stories and finding out what makes them tick.
This interview came from me reaching out to a total stranger over Instagram. Asking a guy I didn't know to meet me for coffee.
The guy I met was one I hope to have many more chats with in the future. From his journey and perspective you can see why I had such a great time and was inspired after a little Q&A with Robbie.
1. Tell us who you are, not what you do.
I was born and raised here in Charlotte, North Carolina, as were my parents. I came up through public school as a golfer, basketball player, music lover and comedian. I come from a long line of funnymen with my Dad's Dad being the Rodney Dangerfield of the family. He was hysterical and I loved him very much. Throughout my young adult life, I was the entertainer among my friends but was always too scared to do it as a profession. I tried a couple of times on stage but the stress was too great for me. I am an alcoholic. A recovered one, but an alcoholic nonetheless. I battled my obsession with the elixir for over a decade with a myriad of external and internal consequences. Once these consequences broke me, I got help and quit. Since then, I have earned a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling, married the love of my life, am co-parenting an angel of an 8 year daughter, and just recently began a new business consulting family members and loved ones of those battling addiction. I am sensitive, curious, introspective, fearful, sometimes shy and sometimes cocky. My natural behaviors are ones that I work hard at changing.
2. At what time in your life did you feel like you finally stepped into being the real Robbie? Why?
There have been multiple steps up the Robbie stairwell. I'm currently on the 41st floor. I think naturally we see the most recent "awakening" as the big one, but I'm confident another will come soon. Four months ago, I found myself very unhappy. The majority of my 40th year alive was spent trying to hit insanely breaking curveballs, all while sliding down the rabbit hole of "halfway to death" thinking. This resulted in the discovery of my life goal.... contentment on my death bed. I have one shot at this life and it could even end today... so I am going to practice love. Because love is good. And love makes me happy. And when I became aware that vulnerability and honesty and altruism results in real love... the 41st floor became glorious.
3. When/how has fear played a role in you living the exact life you want?
Fear is at the root of all of my hurdles. It is also at the root of all of my successes. Fear ran my life for years and years and kept me from being who I had the potential to be, then. But without that fear, I would not be who I am today. I certainly do not think that amount of fear and it's control over me was healthy and I do not think everybody needs that level of fear, but I do think I was fortunate enough to learn from it and grow into someone that is very familiar with it. I was always told I had a lot of potential in a lot of different areas. But if you look back at my life, only a couple of those areas shined. Fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of loneliness, fear of distress and emotion ran through my veins for the majority of my young adult life.
4. What has been your greatest success personally so far?
Stopping the obsession with and consumption of... alcohol (for 12 years and counting).
5. Do you ever feel the pull of “the herd” to change parts of yourself or how you live to fit in with others?
I do. I suffer with bouts of wanting to be well-liked and included in events that involve people I know. Occasionally these bouts have made me change my personality or comfort level to display that I would be a great addition to the event. And then when I don't get included in the next event, I feel like a hooker. When this happened enough times by enough people that I used to be friends with, I made more changes. I recognized that even if I was invited I probably wouldn't go nor would want to, simply because I don't share those particular interests with these people anymore. I just want to be included. And that is the pull of the herd.
6. If you could sit down with the 70-year-old version of yourself what do you want them to say to you?
7. What guidance would you give the 20-year-old Robbie?
Do everything it takes to eradicate your addictions and upcoming addictions to mind altering substances. Get sober and stay sober. If you
don't you will ALWAYS wonder what it could have been.
You can see why after I left hanging out with Robbie I just wanted to talk more. There is so much to take away from this. I hope this gives you a little inspiration to continue on your own path (whatever it may be!)
Have an amazing day!