Episode 005 – Chesty Kemper

“Hitting rock bottom” was a memorable line from my guest in this episode of The Fortytellers. He apologetically called that line “a cliché”, which is certainly is not! After battling years of depression, loneliness, debt, and an addiction to gambling, Chesty Kemper spent a long period of time where every day he talked himself out of suicide.

He finally made it through one fateful day where he could have ended his life and instead decided to live. Now what? Chesty began a long period of self-reflection. “Rewiring his brain”, he calls it.

The fifth episode of The Fortytellers is a meditation on life, imperfection, expectations, self-awareness and renewal all at once. Chesty’s story is not much different from that of so many others. People struggle – both publicly and privately – with their lives, careers, relationships, money, direction. It is hard to find the time to reflect on what is important to us and even harder to talk about it in depth with someone else.

In fact, I ran into Chesty, a high school friend, in Las Vegas in the fall of 2015. As I was there with a group of my girlfriends, we chatted only on that fun, lightheaded level that Vegas invites people to do. In this episode however we dig deep. Now in his forties, Chesty looks at his past with maturity, wisdom and a clearer sense of purpose about where he is now and how he fits into the world.

Fittingly, Chesty and I struggled with some technical issues during this recording and the sound quality ebbs and flows more than I would have liked. And yet… if you listen past the imperfect sound of this episode, you will hear a compelling story that makes you think of your own story too. Perfect in all its imperfections.


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