# TurnTheLightBulbOn – Behind The Hashtag

# TurnTheLightBulbOn

We all have defining chapters in our life that take us sometimes on unexpected journeys. My entire life has been filled with them. It wasn’t until I moved to Southern Illinois how much I realized someone was turning the light bulb on for me and I just wasn’t seeing it.

When I enlisted in the military back in 1992, I was completely excited about serving my country and being a U.S. Army soldier – HOORAH. I was 18, full of energy, and ready for life. It was the night of one of the basketball championships and I got to see Michael Jordan with The Bulls on TV do what Michael Jordan does, be unbelievable. I was sitting in the hotel room by myself thinking about what I had really signed up to do. I decided to get a drink out of the vending machine so I walked down to the end of the hall. The light was out, but unexpectedly it came back on as I walked back to the room.

# TurnTheLightBulbOn

My first tour was in Seoul, Korea for 1 year. My entire class went to Germany except for Private Harness. I had the joy of taking the 15 hour flight overseas by myself. The honor of being a soldier is that you are NEVER alone. We have each others back and we move forward. Our plane landed and I still remember the smell as I stepped off the plane. The smell that I would later know as Kimchi. An overwhelming feeling of sadness and loneliness came over me. I boarded the bus with everyone else and we headed to Camp Carroll. The window seat was open and I decided to lean against it and watch the countryside as we drove by. I looked up at the street lights and noticed one was out, but turned on right as we went by.

# TurnTheLightBulbOn

In 1996 I got out of the military and made my way to Southern Illinois to start my civilian life. I moved in with a great family from Murphysboro, IL and they adopted me as one of their own. The transition wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either. I made a lot of stupid choices and ones that could have changed my life forever, but something always kept me on the path I was meant to be on. Numerous times I would drive home from partying in Carbondale and notice a street light turn on. It always reminded me at the right times in my life that there was something bigger and better waiting for me.

# TurnTheLightBulbOn

I can’t tell you how many stories I have for when I have seen the light bulb turn on in my life. Sharing this story is one of the most vulnerable pieces I have ever written. The purpose for sharing it is to let all you entrepreneurs, business owners, parents, veterans, etc… know to keep your eyes open and your hearts free. Take a step back and always be open to the possibility that great things do happen to great people simply because they just do. I will continue to keep my eyes open for the light bulbs turning on and I hope you do.

If you like this blog article, I plan to share more #TurnTheLightBulbOn moments throughout the years to come.

Tom Harness | @itomharness

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


  1. Awesome

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