Bringing home with me

Let me paint a picture for you: A 27-year-old dreamer, leaves his parents’ home where he had just spent the night enjoying a football game, a nice home-cooked dinner, and the camaraderie that one can only find at home. As he begins the short journey to his house, tears begin to well up in his eyes. At first he tries to hold in the emotion. “A 27 year old man can’t be crying driving down the road.” Eventually however, the feelings take their toll. Tears fall down in a way that is difficult to discuss. In the dark of night, the man sits in his driveway and tries to wrap his head around what lies ahead. All the hard work of the last four and a half years has paid off. He earned the opportunity to take the next step in his career; the chance to own his own business. He knew he was ready to embark on a new and scary journey with his fiancée. He begins to think, “Why is this so hard?”

About three weeks ago, that man was me. It was the day before I was set to interview for a promotion within State Farm to begin my career as an entrepreneur and small business owner in Omaha, Neb. This opportunity was something that I had dreamed about since I started with the company in 2013. It was all right there in front of me, and yet I was sitting in my driveway in tears. There was something that would be missing with this opportunity that would leave a hole in my heart: Home. As all of the emotions came to me, I begin to spend some time in prayer and thought. “How can I balance this new opportunity with the emptiness of leaving home?” That is when it really hit me. This opportunity in Omaha is not about leaving home for me. Omaha is about spreading the lessons that home has taught me to the rest of the world.

To many people who have never lived here, Marshalltown is considered a tough town. Like many communities outside of a major metro market, Marshalltown is a place that is only seen in the public eye when something negative happens. Just like most things in today’s society, quick, brash judgments are then passed by the outside world with just a small amount of information. As I begin the next phase in my life, I thought it was important to set the record straight about this amazing place. It is important to me that people know that I am the man I am today because of where I am from and the people in this town.

To understand Marshalltown is to understand its people. Diverse in ethnicity, the people in Marshalltown share a common work ethic that cannot be matched. Nothing is flashy about hard work. What makes headlines in today’s world is not what drives this town. It is not glitzy. It is not sexy. It IS, however, a “bring your lunch pail to work” type of attitude. Nothing is given in this town, everything is earned. In the society of instant gratification that we live in today, the people of Marshalltown have taught me that nothing worth having happens quick. It is about waking up every day, looking yourself in the mirror, and making a decision to work harder than anyone else. These people have taught me that if I do that, day after day, than my dreams can become a reality. That work ethic will be coming with me to Omaha.

To understand Marshalltown is to understand its culture. Those who have ever read my writings or listened to me speak, know I believe that culture wins more today than ever before. This town has taught me the true value of culture. Culture is not just about how “I” perceive things, but rather, how “WE” perceive things. I have learned that only when we agree to learn from others who think, act, and look different than us, we can find growth. By seeing the daily interactions between all walks of life, from our youth to our senior citizens, we have created a culture in our communities that is based solely on the individual’s heart. That culture will be coming with me to Omaha.

To understand Marshalltown is to understand its leadership. As I look around town, new exuberant leaders begin to pop up every day to help carry the torch lit by the amazing people who have come before us. When the world begins to tell me that the next generation doesn’t have what it takes to be successful, I smile and tell them they need to meet my friends. People like Alfonso Medina of El Portal, Kelli Thurston of Coldwell Banker, Samantha Vance of Five Star Reality and many others, have constantly reminded me that the status quo is not good enough. It is our duty as the next wave of workers to help provide a light for the next generation to follow. It is not simply about performing a job to these people, it is about impacting lives. I will be bringing that passion to change the world with me to Omaha.

To understand Marshalltown is to understand the importance of family. Nothing in the world has impacted my life more than my family. In my completely unbiased opinion, I am the luckiest person in the world. I was, and still am, blessed with a family who, above all else, has never turned their back on me. Social media does a great job of showing the world a fake reality of life. There are very few photos out there of people messing up and disappointing the people they care about the most. What I have always valued about my family is that in those “behind the curtain” moments, when life is extremely tough and I can’t seem to find a path that even resembled the right one, my family never gave up hope. They stood by me on my highest highs and the phone calls in tears when it seemed like depression would have been a step up from where I was at. Life isn’t easy for anyone. Life has been harder for me than anyone knows but my family. There have been some really tough lows. My family showed they cared during those times. I will never forget that. It is my goal to share that love and care to the rest of the world. I am bringing love and compassion with me to Omaha.

As I sat in the driveway, tears running down my face, I knew if State Farm offered me the position, I had to act on it. The next step is going to be extremely challenging, but I know the lessons I have learned throughout my life have prepared me for what is ahead.

And for those lessons I humbly say, “Thank you Marshalltown. I can’t wait to show you off to the world.”

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Tyler Peschong resides in Marshalltown.