Our feature this week epitomizes what it means to Live Life Without Limits – Passionate, Enthusiastic, Energetic and just full of life. Mark is passionate about Creativity and Community and is about inspiring others to Let Go of the Shore in order to Experience the Vastness of the Ocean. I’m sure you will be inspired as you read His brief bio here shared.
- About Mark
Welcome to my creative little world of journeys, dreams and adventures! When I wasn’t accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, I decided to focus on what I always wanted to do, which was to live a life of adventure and follow my dreams. At age the age of nineteen, I decided to blaze my own trail in life, live my dreams, and be the person I always wanted to be!
After quitting school, I went on a bicycle adventure of 8,000 miles with a friend around the United States in 1976-1977, from Flint, Michigan to Key West, FL, to Rockport, TX and eventually up to Seattle, WA. I stayed in Seattle for the next two years, and while working for a company there I flew hot air balloons as a co-pilot and ground crew manager – and had the opportunity to travel around the Western United States on a number of different adventures. In the spring of 1979, I decided to take a solo bicycle adventure through England, Scotland, Wales and France, and followed that up with more travels around the US and a visit to Puerto Rico.
At that point, I returned to Michigan State University to earn a business degree, and during that time period, I was able to take a solo bicycle trip through Ontario, Canada, during spring break. A friend from Seattle also invited me to take a yacht trip on a 42’ Grand Banks with him and his family from Everett, WA, to Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls, BC, Canada.
After graduating from MSU, I didn’t want to spend my life working in a cubicle, so I joined the United States Air Force to fly fighters as a navigator, or Weapon Systems Officer (WSO). I went on to fly the F-4D/E/G, F-111E/G, and the F-16D, while spending 16 years of my 20 year career serving overseas in Germany and England between the years 1983-2001, including participation in the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War.
I met my future wife in West Germany on the very first day of my initial overseas tour in 1983. We later married in 1986 and had our son the following year, and we’ve now been married over 29 years. Life overseas during those years was challenging for us to say the least, as we moved from base to base many different times, as well as, dealing with my two separate deployments to the desert in the Persian Gulf area. After retiring in 2001, our family moved to Keene, NH, for four years while our son attended high school, and then we moved to Tucson, AZ where we are today.
- On Creative Mondays
Creative Mondays is a wonderful way to showcase stories of people who have followed their passions and dreams in life, and demonstrate to others that we can all live our dreams! When we’re young, we don’t really know who we are and what we want to be, and through the lives of others we can see how they were able to find their way in life, and overcome the challenges they faced. It also teaches us that failure’s not the end of the road, but the beginning of new opportunities in life for us to embrace and explore!
- Why I Create
I’ve always been a work in progress, and it was through this life of challenges and adventures that I had lots of time to explore my thoughts, and discover who I really was and wanted to be. I kept journals during all my adventures, which over time led to my desire to write stories. In 1984 while serving overseas, I began my first story called Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) on a manual typewriter, which I’m now posting online in its third draft and first digital version: http://jonathansamazingadventures.com/
After our son was born in 1987, I began reading him bedtime stories, including creating an imaginary character called Sam the Tugboat, and making up stories about his many adventures of rescuing his friends in the waters of the idyllic coastal community of Beach Harbor. Sam the Tugboat was seemingly inspired by my two years as a Marine Patrol Sheriff Deputy and Search and Rescue SCUBA Diver during the summers of 1975-1976 while attending MSU. I told stories about Sam’s little world out of thin air in the moment during those years when our son was young, and I’ve begun creating similar stories today called The Adventures of Sam the Tugboat and posting them online: http://samthetugboat.com/
I had always wanted to write songs, and in a quiet moment while sitting at my piano in the fall of 1989, I asked God in prayer for the gift of songwriting, if it was His will for my life. In that very moment I wrote two songs, and would go on to write 261 songs at last count during the years 1989-1993 – and made simple demo recordings of many of them in the mid-1990s. I’ve posted many of my song lyrics and SoundCloud links on my original blog Life, Love and the Human Condition, as well as my photos here: http://livelovethinkexist.com/
I’ve posted most all of the song demos I’ve made on SoundCloud, which proved very difficult for me to make, as I’d never been a singer or musician. I call my primary SoundCloud playlist of 105 original song tracks, running 4:47 hours long (free downloads), One Enchanting Evening (A Musical) | Broadway-West End Mix – as I’d like to adapt them one day as a musical performance on stage: https://soundcloud.com/mark-jones-100/sets/one-enchanting-evening-a-7
In 1994, following my participation in the Persian Gulf War, much of my life came into focus for me, and I began writing my autobiography called In Search of the Meaning of Life (An Autobiography), and am now posting it online as well – so far only through 1984: http://insearchofthemeaningoflife.com/
In 2000, while thinking about retiring from the USAF, I began writing a book called Organizational Aerodynamics about the Art of Visualization – a technique I’ve used all my life to visualize my dreams and the life I wanted to live. I’ve since expanded on the original concept, and created a blog to include the YouTube Motivational Videos that I’ve begun making this year: http://organizationalaerodynamics.com/
Here’s the link to my YouTube Channel, where I’ve also posted a number of music videos I made based on my original songs and photos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSxj71mFjdobxrqmq-tLttQ/videos
In 2009, I decided to write an online novel, and this new story became The Many Portraits of Life (A Novel) – about the lives of seven different couples/families in transition by choice or happenstance, from where they were in life, to where they found themselves going: http://themanyportraitsoflife.com/
Around the same year in 2009, I was searching for a new opportunity in my life, and over the next two years prayed for an opportunity to come my way. I didn’t know what I wanted, but my mind was focused on trying to figure out something along the traditional pattern of a new job for my life. After those two years, the only thing that came to me was this vague feeling that I was to join Twitter and begin tweeting. I’d never even seen a tweet at that time, and only heard about people tweeting things like what they just had for lunch. So I thought at the time, that if I’m meant to start tweeting, perhaps I can help bring meaning and purpose to Twitter – when in fact, the process of sharing my little world online helped bring meaning and purpose to my life through all the people I’ve met! So today, besides my six WordPress blogs, you can find me on online at:
G+ as Mark Jones, Tucson, AZ
FB as Mark D. Jones, Tucson, AZ
LinkedIn as Mark Jones, Tucson, AZ
Pinterest as Mark Jones, Tucson, AZ
Life continues to be an adventure of discovery for me today, just as it has been for the past 40 years of my life! I still have so many future dreams to fulfill, and have no idea where I’ll be in the process next year – or even ten years from now! It’s literally been the journey of a lifetime!
- Who I Create For
The overall theme of everything I do, and all I create, is to show people that they, too, can live the life of their dreams! If I could – a boy who grew up in Flint, MI, never having a silver spoon and going off on an initial adventure based on a whim and a prayer with a few dollars in my pocket – then anyone can! At the moment I give all my content away to folks for free, and hope in some small way, that what I’ve been able to accomplish over the years can help inspire others to live the life of their dreams, too!
- Closing Thoughts and Upcoming Projects
My primary creative focus now is to complete all my projects digitally online, which takes time – as all my stories were originally typed in hard copy years ago. My overarching goal is to finish up everything I’ve started in the years ahead of me. Eventually, I’d like to publish all my stories, explore creating versions of my stories on film, and transition my current story websites to author pages; record and do justice to my songs and the simple demos I originally made, and adapt them to a musical format on stage; and create more professional YouTube motivational videos than the simple ones I make today using my desktop camera – all to help inspire others to live the life of their dreams, too!
I’ve been fully retired for almost two years now to work on all my projects, and hope to also work on any other creative projects that interest me in the coming years. My wife and I would like to move to the Seattle, WA, area one day – as I left my heart in Seattle when I originally moved away in 1979 to return to Michigan State University. In addition, I have many more creative hopes, dreams and adventures to achieve in the coming years, including a desire to pursue my lifelong passions for art and photography. Thank you very much for visiting my little world, and I wish you all a lifetime of making your dreams come true in life! Cheers, Mark