Dear Jack: The Power Sander You Invented for Rebuilding Hot Wheels

12 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday night, Mommy went to Nashville with her friend Cheryl to see Lady A in concert. That meant that it was just you, me, and your sister.

After dinner, while I was getting your sister ready for bed, I didn’t see you or hear you around anywhere. I just assummed you where outisde in the cul-de-sac playing with the neighbors.

At 7:55 PM, I opened up the door leading to the garage and found you working on your cars:

Disassembling them to rebuild them.

“Look, Daddy, I built a power sander!” You showed me how you took a pencil and attached it to your power drill, using the eraser side to sand the new paint job you gave your Hot Wheels.

In the course of me writing my Enneagram book this year, I finally came to the realization you are truly an Enneagram 5 with a 4 wing:

The wacky inventor! 




2022 in Review: The Lyrics to the 12 Songs I Wrote This Year

Over the course of this year, I wrote a total of 12 songs that I published on my YouTube channel. Not only is this the ideal number of songs, in my mind, for a complete album, but it also serves as a good representation of the year itself for me.

The lyrics I write for my songs are extremely important. I am always interested in realizing what I discover about myself, through the process of extracting each new song inside of me.

So I figured it would be an interesting idea to look back on the 12 songs I have written in 2022, so that we can see what my most recent year of self-discovery has taught me.

I didn’t record any songs during the first half of 2022, as I was diving deep into understanding my true Enneagram type. Once I finally figured out I am a Counterphobic 6 Wing 7, the song material easily presented itself.

In case you’re not familiar with the Enneagram personality types, I am a Type 6; which is focused on finding security through other people and by facing my fears. I invite you to search for these themes here in my songs.

Below are the lyrics to all 12 songs (the chorus is in bold font) along with the video of me performing each song:

1- “I Was Here”

I remember walking in the woods when I was young – I saw a tree, I took out a knife, and there I carved these words: “I was here” – I was here – Now I am a grown man, that was a lifetime time ago – But I’m still looking for a way to say that same phrase: “I was here” – I was here – I always need to feel something like I’m here with you now – Not gonna live like I’m lost when I know that I’m found – I am more than aware: “Life is short, make it count” – I’ll leave my mark on this word before I get out – So I can feel like I was here – So I can feel like I was here – I could have been born any year in any other place – I could have spoken a different language, completely difference face – But I am here, I am here – We so could have easily have never known each other – If I had a different father or a different mother – But I am here, I am here – I don’t need to take up much space – No, this won’t take too long – What I’ve learned in 41 years: “Be brief, be brilliant, be gone”

2 – “Ship’s Goin’ Down”

Ship’s goin’ down, I’m sinking with it – I’ll be underwater in under a minute – And I see no signs of a rescue – Make no mistake, I was more than committed – Had a chance to escape – And when I could, I didn’t – But I still don’t feel like a dumb fool – Ship’s goin’ down, I’m sinking with it – Ship’s goin’ down, I’m sinking with it – Waves crashed up over the deck but I showed no signs of fear – While everyone else was a wreck, my anxiety cleared – Warning signs were there all along but I didn’t mind being wrong – If anyone could overcome the sea, I knew it had to be me

3 – “The Overthinker”

I am the overthinker – A skeptic and a believer – Sometimes, an in-betweener – I am the overthinker – Hold on, let me analyze this – I am the reluctant leader – A loyalist and a people reader – Sometimes, a future seer – I am the overthinker – I am the stability seeker – Calm in a storm, a life lesson teacher – Sometimes, I just sit in the bleachers – I am the overthinker

4 – “An Honest Worship Song?”

Some days I feel like I’d make a good Doubting Thomas or the prophet Jonah – And I could relate when I’d hear the prodigal son had an older brother – Is this proof of my fear in God because I think I might actually be terrified? Is this proof I’m a chosen one because I can’t deny I’ve always felt this hope inside? Makes me wonder: Is something wrong, do I not belong? Makes me wonder: Would God want an honest worship song? I don’t raise my arms up – I keep my hands in my pockets – Why don’t I display stage presence yet I pray alone in my closet? Would God really want an honest worship song? Some days I feel like I’d make a better agnostic than I would a Christian – Got so many questions I feel like I can’t ask about my own religion – Is this proof of my pride just because I want to find all of these answers? Is this proof of my faith just because I care about what I think matters? Some days I’d make for a typical black sheep of the flock – The fact that I ask all this could mean I’m jaded but I am not lost

5 – “What If We Could See Beyond These Labels?”

You can wave your rainbow flag, identify the way you like – Adopt children Roe Vs. Wade could not reach – Or you can wave your Confederate flag, try to justify your Southern pride – Though to many it’s perceived as hateful and obscene – You don’t even know what I believe – My views are irrelevant the way I see it – Either way, it’s just the same to me: What if we could see beyond these labels? What if we would simply love our neighbors? What if we prayed for our enemies and we agreed to disagree? You can live as an atheist or bow to Allah to be blessed – Or think you’ll be reincarnated as a willow tree – You can trust in politics, red or blue, just see what sticks – Or worship overpaid athletes on a team

6 – “Matter”

The world never knew that I ever got here – Not a face in this crowd would notice if I disappeared – No need for me to look to the stars – To notice how small we really are – Why does it bother me that the world doesn’t need my help to turn around? Why does it bother me the universe without me in it wouldn’t be any worse? I’m here to give life meaning – I feel alive when you need me – I need to matter to you – I’m invisible to billions – But I don’t question my existence – If I matter to you – I’d be relieved to learn the Earth is flat – I’d be slightly more relevant in terms like that – But gravity’s got this hold on me – So I’m hanging on upside down, reluctantly – Am I more than just matter? Am I more than just matter? Am I more than just matter? Do I matter to you?

7 – “Sunflower”

There is comfort in the routine – There’s excitement in the unseen – I am your anchor, you are my wings – I am your rock, you are my sunflower – You are my sunflower – And the rain begins to fall, been awake for too long – Too much time to think about my life, so many ways it could go wrong – And the sky begins to clear, been asleep until now – Too many things to do while we are here, time is always running out

8 – “Room Full of Eyes on You”

You’ve got a room full of eyes on you right now – And you still haven’t figured it out – Room full of eyes on you right now – You stole the the show – No, there isn’t a doubt – I’m the great detective here by your side – It’s no surprise to Sherlock here when I find – You’ve got a room full of eyes on you right now – I’m never not watching people, can’t mind my own business – I’m so good at pointing out the person of interest – It’s obvious that character is you, the crowd agrees – I’ve got a front row seat to the irony – You’re unaware they all think you’re someone they have seen – In some Americana magazine – I suppose that’s the way this trade off works – If you could see how exceptional you truly look – Could your smile still be so innocent? I suppose that to look like you on the outside – The inside can’t afford to be tangled in pride-  Because you’ve got a heart that’s so genuine

9 – “It’s Time to Start Another War!”

It’s time to start another war! Like the ones we did before – Who’s next on our hit list? Who’s calling who the terrorist? It’s time to start another war! We’ll need a motive we can all root for – Maybe out in Asia or the Middle East – Say we fight for freedom – We fight for peace – What we need is another Vietnam Nam – We don’t have to win if we just keeping running long – Let history repeat Afghanistan – For twenty years we occupied that land – Forgot we were still there – What we need is another foreign face – A different religion, a darker race – Post traumatic stress disorder in the making – Why help the world when instead we could be invading? We’re running a business here – Never forget – Never forget – Never forget – Never forget – We’re the good guys – The Lord’s on our side – We’re the heroes – We’re the heroes you should fear

10 – “Wi-Fi in My Coffin”

Book me a U-Haul to pull behind the hearse – I need my essentials when I’m buried in the dirt – Don’t forget my selfie stick for my podcast and Instagram – Got to get my followers the updates wherever I am – Give me Wi-Fi in my coffin – When I die, I still ain’t stoppin’ – I want a fancy casket: bells and whistles and gold – Then bury my money with me below – So much for FOMO, I don’t know what I’d do – If I were detached from all the action I’m plugged into – Make sure my funeral gets five star reviews – Include a salad bar and karaoke too – Maybe get some board games and even a water slide – I’m thinking a bounce house and of course we can’t forget pony rides – I just don’t like the feeling of being so weighed down – Got to keep things moving, that’s what I’m all about, you know – I’ve got places to go, I’ve got people to see – Don’t try to drag me down, man – Just keep this party flowing free

11- “End Up Somewhere Good”

I told ya I loved ya – Ya moved to Australia – That was a strange reaction – I told ya I’d still be waiting in Tennessee when you returned to me – It was a little bit crazy but I wouldn’t change things, not one bit – I never thought about how funny that was – That’s the story of what happened when we fell in love – The younger version of us knew what they were doing back then – We’re here together now because of what they did – We’re a little bit crazy but I wouldn’t change things, not one bit – Let’s run away, let’s run away – We’ll end up somewhere good – Let’s find a place, let’s find a place – We’ll end up somewhere good – End up somewhere good – Well I guess it worked out ’cause here I am now – Singin’ a song and it don’t sound sad – So I guess I’m gonna keep ya – Gonna keep ya around – Singin’ a song and it don’t sound bad – We’re a little bit crazy but I wouldn’t change things, not one bit – Look at what we did when we were just kids – Barely knew each other so we got married – Love was enough, only took a few months – Barely knew each other so we got married – We’re a little bit crazy but I wouldn’t change things, not one bit

12 – “Shadow Self”

I was kind to the world but not to myself – Like somehow I deserved less – Classic Stockholm Syndrome, both the captor and the victim – I’ve allowed myself to be released – My shadow self has been redeemed – Inside of me is inner peace – Can I finally feel complete? Like Saturn and its seven rings – It’s weird to hear your own voice – Is that the way I really sound to everyone else? It’s strange to see your own face – Is that the way I really look to everyone else? I used to be a scared little boy pretending not to be afraid – Convinced myself I was brave – My counterphobic tactic saved me for the past three decades – Fooled myself more than anyone – This is me saying how I feel at the end of another year – In my mind the smoke has cleared – The fear is disappearing

Thanks for taking the time to understand my view of the world! I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment!

The Best Enneagram Test I Know Of, as a Certified Enneagram Coach: The Enneagram Wheel

I speak from experience: It’s not easy for most people to accurately discover their actual Enneagram personality type.

If you’ve taken multiple online tests, then you probably know what I mean: I’m guessing if you took 3 different tests, you probably got 3 different results.

The challenge with online quizzes being accurate is that you often answer the questions A) in regards to how you perceive yourself that particular day, B) how you perceive others perceive you that particular day, or C) how you wish to be perceived by others that particular day.

In regards to free online Enneagram tests, I am definitely partial to Cloverleaf. I was so impressed by their test that I actually ended up getting my Enneagram certification through them.

However, if you trying to figure out your Enneagram personality type, I suggest the first step is to check out the Enneagram Wheel pictured above.

The funny thing is, I am not for certain who created it; nor am I sure where it originally came from. What I do know is, for most people I have helped determine their Enneagram, I had them start with this wheel.

Simply ask yourself: Out of all these phrases, which is the one that best describes how you see your role in society.

Do your best to ignore the numbers, until you make your final decision.

As for me, I am the “Community Developer”, which is in the 6 section, but leaning towards the 7 section.

Therefore, my Enneagram is 6 (Wing 7).

I also invite you to watch my videos on YouTube about Enneagram, as well:


“These are the Good Ole Days” – Song 9 – Enneagram 6 Songwriter – Analyzing Lyrics – Themes of Belonging and Security

My 9th song is one of several that could easily pass as a song written by an Enneagram 4, at first glance.

It feels sad. It is yearning for the past. It is a very entimental song, written from a realist perspective; where I am clearly plugged in to the full scope of my emotions.

But I would say it is a glimpse at the healthy part of my Enneagram 7 wing; where I am able to accept the randomness of life for what it is. I would say that there is a certain balance I showcase in the lyrics:

My life is half way over – My life has never been more in focus – No time machine to take us all back – What’s happened is stuck in the past – These are the good ole days – We’re still living in them – I won’t always be here – You won’t always be here – So shake a hand, shake a leg, soon we’ll all be dead – Don’t want to die, so I’ll try to live while I’m alive – This is it – These are the good ole days – You learn to take the good with the bad things – Life is both a comedy and a tragedy – No way to fast-forward or rewind -Just try to catch up if you get behind

So looking back on this song I wrote over 2 years ago, can you see my Enneagram 7 wing? Can you see my longing for security and confirmation of my own existence; which shows my true Enneagram is actually a 6?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And now you can listen to the song, below, if you wish:


That Awkward Moment You Realize How Embarrassed You are By Who You Were 10 Years Ago

I’ll start by pointing out the obvious. This is 2022. Nobody reads blogs anymore. I know that.

And that very fact likely reveals how much time has passed between the version of myself I do not wish to remind anyone of (though ironically, that’s what I am doing here), and the now 40 year-old version of myself who is finally beginning to process the shame, fear, and anger that I didn’t realize has been here this whole time.

Would it be silly for me to apologize to everyone who knew me during the most challenging and darkest time of my life? I can if you need me to.

Because trust me- I don’t like that guy from a decade ago!

He came across as very self-righteous, eager to prove others wrong, and way too caught up in conspiracy theories.

At the time, I was Parents magazine’s official Daddy Blogger; a side hustle that lasted a solid 4 years. During that time, the plant-based trend was really picking up. So naturally, I found myself exploiting the fact I was a hard core vegan, in my blog posts. Sure, it helped my views. But my vegan lifestyle also served as an avatar to reveal my anger and confusion.

If it wasn’t me being a vegan, it would have been something else. My subconscious would have found an alter-ego to demonstrate what is completely obvious to me now:

I was not at peace. I was reaching.

I was reaching for the idea that I could be in control of… something.

Because during that time, I felt like my life was out of control.

My wife and I had moved from Nashville (where we had decent jobs) with our newborn son, back to my hometown in Alabama. Keep in mind, this was shortly following the Financial Crisis of 2008. And not knowing better, we moved there without securing jobs first.

Unlike now, where people my age are migrating back to their hometowns because so many of us are working remotely anyway, it proved impossible back then to find a decent job where I could support my wife and newborn son.

So after nine stormy months, we had to swallow what was left of our pride and ask for our old jobs back.

We moved to Nashville again, but not before our car broke down on the way up.

And of course, we had been living off our savings the whole time we were jobless in Alabama.

That means we returned to our life in Nashville, with no savings- and for me personally, very little dignity. Starting over.

I couldn’t have known it at the time, but I was very angry and was living in much fear; in addition to the shame I felt, for years following our move back to Nashville.

It was about four years ago that I began to wake up from the fog. The company I had been working for all those years shut down their branch where I worked, which forced me to find a new job.

That new job as a recruiter, where I still work today, would prove to be the best place I have ever worked. I became part of a team for the first time. I polished my leadership skills. I felt good about my life again, finally.

Subconsciously, I was beginning to find my inner peace again.

The biggest epiphany began to present itself a just few months ago, after I became inspired to earn my certification as an Enneagram coach.

I learned that I am an Enneagram 7. I am the optimist and the extrovert, out of the 9 Enneagram personalities.

The downside is, my specific fear as an Enneagram 7 is that my time is being wasted, so I constantly feel I have to keep myself busy all the time- and I have to feel like I’m being productive.

Otherwise, the anxiety kicks in. And I realized that the unsuccessful move to Alabama changed my Enneagram wing of a practical 6, to an aggressive and often angry 8.

I will say- it means I’m really good at my job: Convincing people what to do all day; thanks to my aggressive, energetic edge.

But outside of the character I play at work, it can be challenging for me to feel relaxed. Because I have this angry, anxious energy running through my veins.

For me, this is a year of focusing on mental health. I feel like a lot of people have been saying the same thing, here recently.

As an Enneagram 7, my “growth personality” is an Enneagram 5. In other words, the best version of myself is when I am a more analytical and balanced introvert.

Contrary to that is who I was a decade ago, the self-righteous vegan. That was me in my “stress personality”, which is an Enneagram 1, the Perfectionist. That was the worst version of me, on public display.

Thanks to my new insight, I am able to see progress begin.

As recent as… yesterday, actually… I actually began crying tears of sadness, anger, and shame; as I came to terms with the emotions I repressed for over a decade, from the move to Alabama not working out.

This past weekend, I joined what I am ultimately going to call a “Men’s Support Group”; some of us are specifically there to sort out our repressed anger issues.

And while I haven’t been a vegan for years now, I have been secretly going to the gym 6 days a week each morning before work, to help my mental focus before any other challenges can present themselves.

I’m focused on my mental health, my physical health, and my spiritual health.

My anger, my shame, and my fear from a decade ago are still inside of me; yes.

But I am learning how to unpack all of that. How to manage it. And slowly, to release it and redirect it.

And you guessed it: My typing these thousand words here now is part of the therapy for me.

You’re witnessing the beginning of the release.