I came into existence in 1973’s August Town Kingston Jamaica as the firstborn son of Diana Cunningham and, maybe as the third born child of Tony Broderick. My father was an auto-mechanic his entire life, and I never knew what my mother worked as if at all, the first period of my life. I spent my 10 first years growing up in a small house with many aunties, cousins and, other relatives under impoverished conditions. There was always a sense of safety, camaraderie, and fun, as well as a harsh physical discipline when one’s behavior was deemed inappropriate. Our house was situated atop a little hill and naturally surrounded by trees and other plants that bore fruits, nuts, and coffee beans. It’s a place I today miss very much and consider paradisal. I get homesick each time I talk or think about it.
On my tenth year, and straight out the blue, my recently absent mother showed up and said we are moving to Sweden. It was March 1984 that my brother and I experienced snow for the first time. It was as cold as it was fascinating. I still enjoy snowy winters wholly, and sometimes I miss the snow, like around Christmas times. My life drastically changed again at 25 when I became a father for the first time. At this point in my life, I had no plans nor future goals and had just experienced a dramatic accident that had me bedridden for a year. I came to know depression on a deep and personal level. And having just become a parent myself, any sense of joy I might have had was replaced with complacency, self-pity, and sloth.
My turning point came when I reluctantly accepted a friend’s invitation to watch the Stockholm Marathon he was participating in. I saw handicapped people competing in wheelchairs and crouches with but one leg.
My self-pity dissolved. The compartment syndrome, with accompanying pain from the resulting nerve damage which had a firm grip over my life, finally gave way to a new reality and new possibilities along with the realization that I, nobody else, could put me on a better life path and start making conscious choices. These two incidents – the accident that almost turned me into a morphine addict and the marathon that inspired me to regain control over my life, have shaped my perception of what is essential and encouraged me out of a downward spiraling cycle fueled by depression.
I have since believed that the stories that matter most are the ones we tell to ourselves. This belief had me on a clear path of meaning and desire to spend my time in a way that there would be nothing to regret later in life. Professionally this meant educating myself within the IT industry, where I worked as an IT consultant in various roles such as project manager, leader, educator, manager at large consulting firms, as well as starting and operating my own consulting business for many years. My first business, Silverlinc, started back in 1998/99 after frequent requests to help friends and others with their computer issues as a self-taught PC technician. But it was not until about a year of practical studies and learning how to administer, maintain, implement, and support a Microsoft Server Network that my IT career really took off.
I have had professional and personal setbacks over the years, which tested my resolve and forced me to make big life decisions. But I have also had successes. This is something I have come to realize later in life. Reflecting on past actions, outcomes, needs, and wants was a skill I learned years later.