Who Am I Today?

 Vantage Points Header Joel Elveson     Into a dancer you have grown

From a seed somebody else has thrown

Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own

And somewhere between the time you arrive

And the time you go

May lie a reason you were alive

But you’ll never know

“For A Dancer” by Jackson Browne

WHO OR WHAT I am today is not easy to explain. The main reason for this dilemma is that I am not sure who or what I am today is or if even today is a reality. With this thought perhaps with your help I can discover who or what the he-l- is this being by the name of Joel Elveson.

Politically back in the 1970’s (when this article was written back in High School) I was a long-haired liberal minded kid who enjoyed rock n roll and pot. Going to clubs to “hang out” and smoke even more dope was a Friday night ritual.

Today I have no use for drugs (haven’t used them for close to 30 years) or going to clubs to “hang out.” As far as politics go I now lean decidedly to the right of the political spectrum which is to say Conservatism. My life revolves around family, writing, amongst other which are in no particular order.

Still who am I today? What am I today? I have searched the rivers and the canyons of mind for an answer but still clarity eludes me. Back then it was called having an “identity crisIs” or living outside of your body. Today the answer is find a therapist who can help you “get in touch with your feelings” so as to help you get to know yourself.

My path to weight gain started in college and grew more intense during my early Brooklyn disco era years. A challenge was put to me to gain weight. I accepted that challenge issued by my then girlfriend who wound up becoming my best friends’ wife. I ate donuts and drank bottle after bottle of chocolate Yoo Hoo. My skinny 110-pound frame gained a noticeable stomach that my best friend’s girlfriend (now my wife of 30 years) took a disliking to.

Today the stomach is bigger than ever and I am as of today 180 pounds at all of 5’5” tall which means I have plenty of weight to lose. The music I listen to today is the music of the 1960’s, some 1970’s, and some 1980’s is what I always listened to. Then and now I have a “thing” for acoustic folk music as performed by singer/songwriters. I always loved this type of music even during the days of jet black greased hair with sun glasses and a leather jacket as I was heavily into the New York Punk Music scene.

My favorite band back then was The Clash whom my friends and I hung out with and smoked “weed” with on several occasions. Nonetheless I was crushed when I heard about Phil Ochs killing himself (Phil still is my favorite singer/songwriter/poet) and crushed even further when I found out Harry Chapin was killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway.

A local DJ on FM radio (Vin Scelsa) during a transit strike here in New York City compared Phil Ochs and the Clash and Phil Ochs as rock n roll revolutionary’s as Phil started to deteriorate from binge drinking that is how he saw himself. I miss Phil!

Gone forever are those days yet I remember them fondly. Paul Simon penned a brilliant line to the classic Simon & Garfunkel song the boxer which was;

No it isn’t strange that after changes upon changes we are more or less the same.

I came across numerous journals, poems, songs, articles, etc. that I wrote in high school and college and could not get over the accolades I received for my writing along with the encouragement to keep writing. One college professor noted that when my writing becomes very “opinionated” it has real strength. I am very opinionated these days.

Still I get goosebumps when I see the Rolling Stones on You Tube or Simple Minds opening power chords to their hit “Don’t Forget About Me” from the movie The Breakfast Club. Rock N Roll is still a part of me today but the liberalism behind the music (sometimes I wish I could feel that way again but obviously do not) is in stark contrast to the lifestyle I live today.

This question of whom am I today took on a life of its own as I was pouring through all the material that I referenced above that I wrote so many years ago. The answer to this question I am posing to myself is best answered in the lyrics of the hauntingly beautiful ballad as written and sung by Jackson Browne.

I am who I am which is to say the infamous sum of a bunch of different influences that shaped me into what I am and who I am today which is to say who am I today and what am I today.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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