Last week I was honored to meet Jordan Drake the author of “Bad Luck is What you Make it“. Jordan’s poems cover the range of life, family, political and military experiences and come as close as you can get to a raw look at life from a man who views every obstacle as a blessing in disguise.
This is the first book of poetry on DODReads.com and the first book of poetry I’ve read since 5th grade. Needless to say I was impressed…… with some of the writing. I loved some of the poems, and I hated some of the poems. I whole heartily agreed with some of his writings, I fundamentally disagreed with some of the writing, and I may have even got a bit misty eyed over some of the writing. Regardless of the content Jordan did open my eyes to a different way of expressing philosophy and making the best of what life throws at you. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Why is reading important for our Military and/or the Nation?
Being able to effectively communicate and listen are essential in a person’s life especially a leader’s effectiveness. Reading helps to develop the mind by increasing language skills and teaching us how to listen efficiently. The most valuable asset in our Military is our people and as leaders we must know what makes our people wake up in the morning and what issues they have when they step out their door. Reading people is similar to reading a book, if you skim through you’ll miss the finer details that make the book, or person, beautiful and different.
How did your leadership and ethical philosophy develop?
The foundation to my leadership and ethical philosophy developed early on in my life but was refined during my time at the Naval Academy. I was surrounded by a wide spectrum of people growing up, from my incredible family, coaches and teachers to felons, drug dealers and thugs. I was very observant when interacting with everyone taking note of how they carried themselves, interacted with others or handled certain situations and if I liked an aspect of them I would add it to my repertoire of characteristics. Later on at the Naval Academy I learned more in deftly why certain techniques worked in leadership and the history behind them. I was also able to learn from and follow some of the most outstanding and intelligent leaders I’ve met.
How has writing “Bad Luck is what you make it”made you a better thinker and better man?
Bad luck is what you make it is a very honest portrayal of myself and my inner thoughts. Some of the poems and short stories describe my inner turmoil, others tell stories of mistakes I’ve made and still regret. However, every aspect of the book is how I became the man I am today. Writing Bad luck is what you make it helped me realize that I’ve gotten to where I am because of my own decisions and that I must take accountability of my actions. I’ve also learned to take advantage of the opportunities that are placed in front of me regardless of if I asked for them or not.
Is there one short story from your book you would like to share?
I was always nervous sneaking around her room but this time was different. This time I held her silver revolver in her walk-in closet, my legs crossed on the carpet but careful to not disturb the mess of clothes that surrounded me. It was lifeless, cold and much heavier than I expected. After examining the gun I carefully placed it back in its “locked” case. Sliding the case into its precise location while I slowly backed out of the closet erasing my footprints in the carpet with my hands was difficult. I got to be pretty good at hiding evidence that I was snooping around. When my mom knew I snuck into her room while she was at work or at the store or in the living room or asleep she would beat me awake with a leather belt. The thin ones hurt the most. I’m thinking it had something to do with aerodynamics and physics, which I’ve never been good at. We lived in a pretty nice two story townhouse in Peachtree city Georgia, my mom and I. At the time my mom was dating a rather wealthy sports agent; I would tag along with him and my mom on occasion. I remember being in someone’s hotel room, the bed wasn’t made but it was a high class and very expensive room. Listening to adults talk but not paying much attention. The next thing I know some large, light skinned guy handed me a signed Toronto Raptors basketball. Eventually down the road, in high school, after I accidentally smudged the signature dunking on door frames did I realize Vince Carter signed that ball. That’s how I remember my elementary years. Sneaking around like a spy, gathering information in regards to my mom and her whereabouts and meeting new men, athletes and potential father figures/step-dads. This meeting of men became a chronic occurrence in my life. I took something good from each of them. If they had nothing good at all, which happened a few times, I would take note of what they did wrong and vow to never do it. From the start I always felt like I was searching for myself, like I was piecing together what I thought a man should be; searching for the revolver to shoot at the beginning of my life’s true race, my life’s true purpose.
Where can people reach out to you?
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jordan_drake13/?hl=en
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/unconditionalluck/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/BadLuck_FYA
With 20/20 Hindsight every obstacle was a blessing in disguise while growing up as an only child in a single parent home riddled with bad luck. From domestic violence and loneliness to hardships and heartbreak, it is a miracle that I stand here today successful and sane. What’s beautiful is that I didn’t do it alone. The words in between these pages are some gritty poems and short stories that tell the truth about the light and dark aspects of my life and beliefs, regardless of how embarrassing or who they might offend.
Jordan Drake is currently a Supply Corps Officer in the United States Navy. He graduated in 2015 from the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in English and was a three year starting inside and outside linebacker for the Midshipmen. Jordan is happily engaged to the beautiful Stefanie Maher who he met while stationed in San Diego, California. Bad luck is what you make it is Jordan’s first book that he started writing his senior year in college instead of doing homework or passing classes. He is motivated to continue writing and hopes to eventually share every story of his with the world