Javier Hernandez Baylon
December 21, 2015 was the anniversary date of my 4th year since I moved from Monterrey, México with my family to St. Louis, MO. The reason? Many I would say. The main reason? To pursue my MBA.
While in Mexico I was working as a Marketing / Business Development professional in the Medical Devices Industry. Great job! I loved it! I learned so many cool things, met very smart people, made big business decisions, locked down many negotiations, closed many important deals, overcame many difficulties.
My main clients were physicians and cardiologist seeking to save the next patient. In this business your clients can become your closest friends since you spend a great amount of time with them and you get to know and live each patient’s story (good or bad) with your client very close; it becomes a matter of success and failure per each case.
In this industry Lobbying is King and that means a nice, vast, and sufficient budget devoted exclusively to “take care of your client”. Fancy restaurants, cool bars, exotic “cantinas”, conferences, PR events, -you name it- are critical to keep up with your monthly quota; so, the amount of hours in surgery rooms were directly proportional to the amount of hours recovering of a long, hard working days! In other words, I was out of my house from 6am till 1am almost every day, traveling, assisting emergency procedures in the middle of the night, covering shifts, etc. Money? That wasn’t an issue! It just kept flowing in like streams of water during the raining season! That was awesome! I built my custom house in just 4 months and paid cash for it!
Nonetheless, in the middle of this ecstasy I was losing control of my mind, my time, my health, but most importantly my wife and family.
I’m 100% confident that our lives get magically stressed at the right moment, in the perfect time, with the exact amount of energy to test ourselves. It is times like these that awaken us to the important lessons and the real meaning of life and its intrinsic worth. In these moments we have to be able to pause, meditate and evaluate the whole picture in order to capitalize and mature as human beings.
It was September 27, 2010 when all of a sudden out of the blue a shoulders shake from above came to my life and my family. My dad had been kidnapped on his way home from his business. Four days of intense agony, distress, anguish, pain in the chest, insomnia, tears, fear, rage, anxiety, confusion, disbelief and many other feelings crossed my mind. This concoction of feelings crushed my soul and ego, but at the same time made me recover sight of what had been lost in the midst of “professional success.”
This awakening was exactly what I needed, I looked at these moments as a sign that a change was needed. Oddly enough several months later, I received an invitation to come to USA to get an MBA. The blessing was that I could offset the cost of the degree by working as a graduate assistant at the University. While my Father was safely home, I began to think about everything that was really important to me, including my family's safety and also about how to spend more time with my family and not be consumed by work.)
The challenge then became was I ready to leave everything behind for the unknown...... Was I willing to abandon a very promising and stable job, a recently built house for an uncertain future....was I ready to take my family to a different country with a different language 2000 miles away from our family,
friends, customs, food, weather, and amenities. Have I mentioned that by this time I was 32, married and had 2 daughters? Well, this added tons to the equation!
Not reasonable sense…So December 20th, 2011 my family and I hit the road toward St. Louis, MO. The only things that we brought with us were clothes, some blankets, and my oldest daughter’s bicycle along with our minds and hearts filled with faith and optimism. Everything else we left behind. I can still recall the whole trip from Monterrey to Laredo, TX; my wife kept crying and at some degree was mad at me for taking them away from their comfort and for leaving the secure for the unsafe and the unknown. Little did we know the future that was waiting for us!
The first 17 months were challenging to say the least. My family was adjusting to our new life while I was working 70-80 hours per week trying to study and make ends meet. I can probably say that this time made me mature as a person the right way! It is amazing to me how sometimes a decision that doesn’t make any sense turns out to be one of the best decisions of your life…for me this a good reason for being thankful this holiday season.
I would like to conclude this paragraph with the following comment:
How many times have you blame yourself for decisions you have made without deeply pondering the whole picture? Stop now! And take time to analyze your past and your present. Are there any decisions you have to make now in order to change your future? Have you considered your past and how have you improved lately? Are you in the middle of a problem? We must be aware of our life in the middle of our chaos, awareness will bring perspective to our lives. I believe that the new year, is a good time for both personal and professional reflection and I hope all my colleagues, co-workers and friends have that opportunity, as I wish them all a blessed and happy and prosperous New Year.
Javier Hernandez Baylon