Hi, I’m Mike, the other half of Since We Woke Up and the “hammer” behind Feral Forge. I grew up in a small town in Montana. As a kid, I was shy and awkward, but always kind to those around me (or, at least I hope I was). Honestly, I just never felt comfortable in my own skin or around other people. I never felt like I was good enough.
This led me to join the military in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL, an undisputable title of Badassitude. I trained hard and did well in the program, but I didn’t make it through. I’m happy about the outcome now, but for over a decade, this experience only exacerbated the feeling of not being enough.
It’s taken a long time to shed my belief about what “being a man” actually meant. It required a painful plunge into my ego and how I’ve allowed that 3-letter word to dictate everything I thought, everything I did, and how I wanted to be perceived. What I discovered was that I was asking the wrong question. I shouldn’t have focused on what type of man I wanted to be. I should have focused on what type of person I wanted to be.
In the end, I learned that I didn’t really like the person I had become. I was so wrapped up in trying to prove something (what, I don’t know) that I lost sight of what really mattered. Instead of asking how people perceived me and whether or not I was a legitimate tough guy, I should have been asking more important questions.
Are you kind and compassionate? Are you accepting and tolerant of other people, even if they have different beliefs and opinions? Do you judge others? Do you love unconditionally? What are the motives behind your actions? Are you a conscious, aware, and considerate human being?
Now, I try to live my life based on those questions (not always successfully). I am many things – a husband, a father, a friend, a writer, a blacksmith, and much more. But the truth is, these titles don’t mean anything if I am not proud of the conscious being inside the image facing me in the mirror.
Today, I split my time between helping Tawny grow and manage Since We Woke Up and working in my shop. My passion is forging knives but I also make jewelry and dabble in woodworking.