July 21, 2020•1910 words
This is my place to write, to pay tribute to my journey.
In ten years I have re-imagined my life. I have changed careers and remodeled houses. I married my wife and am a proud parent. I am inspired when I remember my journey, my career, my family, my upbringing in Utah, and the large family that I come from.
In a decade I have changed careers from working for a coal mine as a seventeen year old, to working with "The Cloud" at a fortune 100 company. In 2009 I worked for the coal mine owned by my family, C.W. Mining. In 2019 I worked for Oracle(ORCL) as a Technical Analyst in their Infrastructure as a Services Cloud Customer Support division.
One blog I love to remember was by an old friend Garret Jenkins who I played softball with eight years ago. Garret Jenkins detailed his bike rides on a blog that I can't seem to find anymore, but I remember the impact it had on me. I admired Garret because he and I both rode our bikes all the way out to the softball fields. I enjoyed so much Garret's blog where he detailed his bike tours.
Thank you Garret for inspiring me to write and to ride.
I need a place to revisit my past and remind myself, I have struggled and fought and won and lost. My journey compels me to write because I can not stand to let my past be wasted, useless in my thoughts.
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What I write about:
I am a Cyclist
I've been kicking petals on my bike since before High school. Since my youth I've completed 100 miles on a bike in a single day, survived downhill mountain biking, and other feats I never imagined as a young dude. I have intimate experiences with my petal bike in the city I've lived all my life.
My wife and I keep one another sane and connected to our children's world. I want to write about parenthood and the experience I dreamed of all my life. My parents and my great big extended family taught me so much about being a parent.
My great big Utah Family (By my lineage and my patriarchal blessing I am a Kingston)
I have the largest extended family in the world. There are many others from my extended family who share my experience with our great big family. My family has centered around Utah. There are so many family stories of the past that deserve to be told.
Why I help people with technology and my career in tech.
I enjoy helping others learn about tech. My career in tech began in Technical Support. I obsess about the tech I support and work with. I want to write about my experience with the technology I try to own, but often ends up owning me.
Places I've known and places I go
Utah is my home. The closest my wife and I have been to travelers is on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. In the meantime I write my local adventures and places I venture too in the city I've lived all my life. My wife and I don't travel often enough, though I someday hope we can.
My job at the CW Coal Mine (and many other crazy jobs I worked at, like WRE)
Many of my relatives worked in a Utah coal mine which our family owned. Some of my family worked at this mine for most of their lives. I grew up thinking I would mine coal (I trained to be a coal miner and worked at a coal mine). Many of my relatives also grew up thinking they would be coal miners. I hope by writing about the time I spent as a coal miner I can benefit others who also used to mine coal. I worked at so many other crazy jobs after the coal mine.
I was supposed to be a coal miner when I turned eighteen. I wanted to work inside the coal mine with my older brothers when I came of age. My family had owned this coal mine for half a century.
In 2009 four of my older brothers worked inside the mine, two of them full time, and two part time on weekend crews. My eldest brother spent four years after he graduated high school working underground in the coal mine. Our dad had worked in this same mine, when he was fourteen.
I never got the chance to work underground. Instead I worked at the tipple operations where the coal was sent on conveyor belts after being mined. Our family mine, C. W. Coal Mine was named after my great grandfather Charles Kingston. At seventeen I was thrilled to get away from city life as a young adult and make the long drive to Trail Canyon where the man-camp was. My uncles worked at this mine as did many of my relatives.
I trained to work underground with my brothers and other family members at our church in 2009. Many of my friends, brothers, cousins, and uncles who were old enough took this same underground training. Our religious leader taught us that we would work wherever the church needed us too. This coal mine was there to turn us into men.
I remember the physical weight of coal lumps I have handled, packed, and piled. Wet coal would leave dark smears on my hands and clothes. When coal spilled off conveyor belts onto the mountainside our weekend crew shoveled the side of this mountain to save what coal we could. I spent so many shifts sorting rocks from coal on the incoming conveyor belt in the picking room. We worked the weekend crew shifts our religious leader asked us to.
My life has come along way since I last worked with coal. The last time I delivered coal was to my wife's grandpa for his coal furnace a few years ago. When I was younger I helped deliver bags of coal to friends and family who also had coal fireplaces. Coal is not a regular part of my life anymore. I have made a living without coal, though I'll never be able to think of my past and not think of coal. The CW Coal mine shaped my family and my future plans as a teenager.
I remember coal fireplaces that burned in my grandmothers ranch house I visited as a child. From so many fireplaces at so many houses, I can imagine the smell of coal as it burns. The smell of burning coal takes me back to these moments in my past. I will never forget the dirt and smears that coal left on my memories. These memories come back to me anytime I think of coal or my grandma or my childhood.
I want to write about the grit and smears that I remember from coal yards, mines, and other places my family owned. I want to write about my present and how fortunate I am to not have to spend my life as a coal miner at the C.W. Coal Mine. By chance now I get to live a different life.
Had the C. W. Coal mine not gone bankrupt in 2010, I likely would have spent many more years as a coal miner, and worked underground when I turned eighteen.
I want to write so much about my present. I now have a complete opposite lifestyle of the life of a coal miner. I want to write so much about my present, but also about the fact that my family operated a freaking coal mine, until it went bankrupt in 2010. This isn't just about coal, or my families coal mine. I want to write about me and the family that brought me up to be who I am.
I haven't often had the motivation to dig into difficult parts of my past. Parts of my past felt like a black hole when I dug deep in understanding. Now I have the time and effort to think about my past from a place of comfort and peace. I've learned that most conversation I want to have with anyone about my past falls into a pit of meaningless. Good conversation about the past I shared with so many in Utah is rare. I don't enjoy being my own soundboard.
I come from a big family and for much of my life I enjoyed so many comforts of my parents large family. Over the past eight years and without constant interaction with people I love to this day, my older and younger brothers and sisters, my uncles, my aunts, my own parents, all my friends I grew up with, I get to explore other parts of myself and the big bad world. I am fortunate to live the life I do and have the privilege of my family and my career. I am fortunate to have my wife and our kids.
Rejection is a great lesson, and through the fires of rejection I am reminded again and again that not many of my family know me like I know myself (except my wife).
Big families have a way of making everyone feel together and alone at the same time.