New England Region
Sons of Maine
I did my Men’s Weekend in July of 1998, a little over 17 years ago. My first meeting was with ‘Smoke This’ Division in Maine. At that time it was called “The Gizmo” and Stan Snow was the Division Coordinator. I showed up in a leather biker’s jacket and long hair down to the middle of my back. At that time I was so lost in my life. My family was not working. I was out of work and pretty much at the bottom of my life. I didn’t care about people or anything. I could not have cared less if I truly lived or died back then. I was searching for something in my life that I could just relate to or something that could put me on a track somewhere, a direction. What I saw in Snow at that time I wanted badly in my life! He had a confidence, a strong presence that I just did not have. So I decided to say “Fuck It” and go to the Men’s Weekend.
That weekend is really and truly what kick-started my life. The lessons that I learned in that weekend still, to this day, unfold themselves throughout my years. Prior to that weekend I had no relationship with my father. At that point of my life I told my father, as far as I am concerned, I am dead to him. The day of my graduation from the Men’s Weekend I called him up and told him that I loved him and our relationship has grown immensely. He never would say he loved me or say he was proud of me for anything. He never leaves a call now without saying he loves me and he constantly tells me how proud of me he really is. The relationship with my children really started to take off. Prior to the weekend I was a complete asshole to my children. I was harsh on my punishments towards them and physically put fear into their lives. I ruled with an iron fist, and it was my way, no exceptions. Since then my relationship with my children has flourished. My son and I talk almost twice a week, some times more.
I started stepping up in MDI as a leader in the beginning. My very first job was Sponsorship Manager for the team, then the Division. Back then I definitely struggled with that job, not knowing a lot about leadership. As I grew within the division I kept stepping up and taking leadership jobs. Every time I took a job my life seemed to grow all around me. My experience in leadership really started to affect my life in a lot of ways. I started to accept responsibility in and for my life..
I truly learned how to grow up in MDI. I entered this organization a little boy and learned how to become a real man. It was a lot of hard work, but I truly wanted a difference in my life. So I choose that path and stayed in MDI. Don’t get me wrong, at times I have wanted to leave and say “fuck you” to this organization (little boy behavior). In fact I left two different times. I quit my men’s team, both times due to not wanting to hear what they were giving me. At that time I told them “fuck you I am going to do what I want to do.” Well as I found out through that process, a men’s team was a huge value to my life. When I quit the team I also quit on myself. A few men never did! They kept calling me even when I didn’t answer the phone, and when I did they simply asked how I was doing. It made a huge difference to me. I finally came back to the team and started again on the work of improving myself.
So with all the work and experience, I have learned by being part of a men’s team and part of an organization that has helped me grow and allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them so that my life works. I can only say thank you! My life has never and will never be the same again. I have men in my life that I can count on and who can count on me. I continue to grow in my life due to being on a men’s team! My future is mine to own, and I have a bright future ahead of me. I have become a better father, husband, friend … an all-around better human being. I realized it is all one life, due to being part of MDI.
The important fact is that I wanted this change in my life! Everything, everything, everything that I get and do in this organization is revealing a growth opportunity for my life. This shit works, and it is so valuable. It is worth being part of a men’s team and part of MDI!