• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
The Best Value From Knowing Who You Are In Life

The Best Value From Knowing Who You Are In Life

Knowing who you are. Accepting it, operating within the constructs of what that means. Staying true to yourself. Knowing who you are in life is a low key superpower. Many times on this site I’ve stated that I was always that guy from small town Texas regardless of where the journey that has comprised my life took me. I always brought my boots and my accent as I like to say. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve made the realization of how comfortable I actually am in my own skin today. That certainly was not always the case. For a long time I felt like a fish out of water. Why was that?

I’ve grown as a person, matured (somewhat!) over the years. We all change a little with age. I believe it was coming full circle in life by moving back to small town Texas that instilled this sense of peace inside of me. The peace derived from knowing who you are and being comfortable within the boundaries we all set for ourselves. The culture that engulfs us, and defines who we are. I have to admit, it feels pretty great. I would like to deep dive into this topic and share some thoughts that hopefully will help you the reader attain a similar sense of self. Let’s get it!

The Country Executive - Knowing who you are

Knowing Who You Are – Explained

Everyone knows how much I love Texas. I am a walking, talking stereotype of what it means to be from rural Texas….literally. Almost comically so. When I ventured out as a young man who I was and where I’m from made me different. That’s a true statement for anyone, somehow it felt more true for me.

Embracing change put me in distinctive situations. It forced me to adapt at such an impressionable age before I honestly knew how. The further I got from Texas, the more unique I was as an individual. At that time when you were young you did not necessarily want to stand out. I believe most young people back then wanted to fit in, be part of the crowd. Be normal.

I’m not certain I ever left Texas before joining the military. It was all I knew. This was pre Internet, learning about the nuances of other places was not easily accessible. The world is a smaller place today. It’s difficult to not be at least somewhat familiar with what it is like in other parts of the globe. But for me back then it was the great unknown. I couldn’t wait to experience what was out there even though I had no idea what I was walking into.

Knowing Who You Are – That Country Guy

I was different though. I was a big country kid from a place in Texas most people never heard of. The values that were both imparted upon me as a youngster, and some I was just born with, seemingly made me unlike anyone I was around. Friends would poke fun at me because of my accent. Call me country bumpkin, things like that. Mostly in fun.

I knew how to feed livestock. Drive a tractor. I could throw hay bales like no ones business. I was comfortable around all types of animals. My friends and I grew up playing in the woods. We went to rodeos and even participated in them sometimes. We wore cowboy hats, boots, and Wranglers. Pickup trucks, going to the lake, and firearms were second nature. All of that was normal to me.

I can laugh at myself with the best of them, but being that stereotypical country guy from small town Texas outsiders seemed to possess a sense of the line that should not be crossed. It’s never been a problem per my experience. I am not oblivious to the fact that there is a presence that coincides with all this. A demeanor if you will. It’s simultaneously a good and a bad thing.

Knowing Who You Are – The Journey

I left small town Texas for more than twenty years. Those years were spent building a career in technology. Advancing my knowledge base. Gaining experience. Applying that knowledge, those lessons learned in varying cultures, environments, and within many of the disciplines that comprise the IT career field as we know it today. I was unknowingly increasing my value as a professional.

In 2018 Mrs. Country Exec and I were afforded an opportunity to return to small town Texas and we decided it was time to go home. Twenty-two years had passed since I left the East Texas piney woods blindly marching towards an unknown future. The journey of my career and my life as I call it.

It didn’t take long for me to ingratiate myself in my new adopted hometown. I work for the city itself, so the transition may have been easier than most as I had a front row seat to the inner workings and subculture that existed. It fit me like a glove, and I knew it right away.

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Knowing Who You Are – Country IT

I have never not been myself, but when I made the transition back to small town Texas in 2018 I found myself in a culture I was (and still am) incredibly comfortable with. I appreciate it, and I am flat out grateful to have a career in local government that allows me to lead a technology evolution in my adopted hometown of Seguin, TX while existing in an environment that suits me as a person perfectly. Country IT as I call it.

We’re a little left of center. A professional organization no doubt, but with an edge to it. There’s a little wild streak to our game. Big country personalities. Incredibly talented good ole’ boys and gals. Undoubtedly a fun bunch, and one of the more unique IT Departments out there. I wouldn’t trade my team of Country IT all stars for anyone.

I love it personally. It’s the manifestation of my dream to work with technology within a meaningful environment. To do something that matters, and do it my way. Upstanding professional types might cringe a little if they knew how we handled our business. It’s not for everyone. We’re public servants, trying to do right by the community as best we can. It gives me great pride to be a native Texan serving my fellow Texans. That’s who I am and who I want to be.

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Knowing Who You Are – Conclusion

Knowing who I was and never turning my back on those values led to the realization of what has proven to be the opportunity of a lifetime. I believe knowing who you are can help lead you to the same. There are many ways this is said in our culture. Be yourself. Stay true. Follow your dreams.

There’s a reason why these great quotes that have been around seemingly forever. It’s because there’s a redeeming quality about them. Spoken truth in a simplistically eloquent and beautiful form. It’s personal integrity to adhere to the knowledge bestowed by those before us.

A certain degree of conforming is required to get along in society. That does not mean you have to cater your personal values to ingratiate yourself. Being the person you expect yourself to be is of more value that being what others expect of you.

A great sense of self can be realized from being comfortable with who you are. Know who you are and make no apologies about being that person. You’ll be a healthier and happier soul by accepting it. Better yet, embrace it. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

The Country Executive