Warming temperatures following an active and very snowy winter = flooding. I've put out more Flood Warnings in the past 3 days than I have the past 3 years. RiverPro isn't the most user-friendly product generator, which means a lot of extra QC of the VTEC coding. That got me thinking about the "VTEC coding" of my life and how it is about to be changed.
I recently accepted a position with the NWS office in Wichita, KS, so perhaps this would fall under the continuation (CON) category? It is quite the exciting change for my family and I. Career-wise, my focus in research, projects, etc has often revolved around convection, and what a great opportunity and location for continuing that! But, as exciting as this "CON" is, I would be remiss to not look back at the past 3 years. Just like when continuing a warning...you would be remiss to not look back at what the storm has been doing up to this point.
When I came to Great Falls, I could not believe how fortunate I was to get the opportunity to work for the NWS. I still look back on that time and am so grateful. When I walked through the doors of TFX 3 years ago, I had no idea what was ahead. In a few weeks, I will walk out the doors of Great Falls a changed man.
I know, I know, that sounds so cliche...and I am not a big fan of phrases like that. However, this one could not be more true. See, I came to Great Falls being very particular about many things, both in the field of Meteorology and in my personal life. Wow did I ever get punched in the face in that area! Some things are worth being more picky about, but it's just not healthy to pick every battle. I picked a lot of battles in the beginning and I regret that. But, through some coaching and tough experiences, I came to realize just how picky I was. It blew my mind. I never fully realized I was that way. So much so, I ended up apologizing to my family and close friends, many years after the fact, for how picky I had been. Have I perfected the issue? Nope. But, I am much more aware of it which has helped me to be more intentional about being careful to let some things go. Life is just so much less stressful when you can learn to let certain things go. It's worth the try...
Also, it turns out, I have struggled with communication, fear, and self-confidence issues. Some of those struggles I was more aware of, but didn't necessarily know the best way to address them. Let's just say the past 3 years have been like going back to college. Only this time my major was "Becoming a Better Man, Husband, Dad, and Co-Worker". Some of the courses were pretty intense, but SOOOO worth it. To...um...use another cliche phrase, my life will never be the same after my time here in Great Falls.
Being able to serve people through working with the NWS is a dream come true. Little did I know just how important this dream would be in my life. It has given me the opportunity to read more, to spend more time with my family, to be challenged and to grow as a Meteorologist, to be challenged and grow as a husband/Dad/co-worker, and also to cross paths with people who have had a profound impact on me.
As my family and I head to Kansas, I go there not as a perfected man. Rather, I go there with an improved understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and how to better address the areas where I fall short, while being humbly confident in the areas where I excel. Perhaps there were many different paths to ICT, and hindsight is 20/20, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.