Tag: Jax Menez Atwell

A Run in with My Younger Self

Written By: Jax Menez Atwell

I’d fallen asleep but found myself awake in a strange place.  An alley.  A dark alley with dim lighting from a lamp above, some fog and mist for affect.  There before me was my younger self.  It appeared he was listening to me.  What was I saying? 

I’m sure everyone at one point has thought, “Oh, if I could just go back” or “I wish I would have known this when I was young”.   For me it is a real dilemma.   If you had known somethings would you have made the same choices in life and would you be the person you are today.  At forty years old, I am full of scars and mistakes that are all a huge part of what makes me who I am.  If I take away many of those supposed “negatives” then would I have experienced success, would I have enjoyed my triumphs, would the positives still be there without the negatives.  Each individual can only answer that question for themselves.

For me, experiencing the height of a mountain only has the elation and joy if you came from the valley.  That physical and true metaphor has a ton of weight for me as I contemplate what I would be telling my younger self.  My life has truly been hills and valleys and deep canyons and mountain tops.  For me the sweetness of the journey, in success or failure, is what makes the man.

Sure, there are lots of silly things I’d probably love to be telling myself.  Just in items of fitness alone: “Don’t lift so heavy, your joints will pay for it when your older”, “Protect your elbows and knees”, “Don’t waste your money on most supplements and learn how to eat correctly”.  I use the fitness items just as an example I’m not sure my younger self wouldn’t have already tuned out! 

If the silly, little things wouldn’t need to be said and I’m pretty confident I believe my journey of ups and downs was truly an exercise in seeing the forest for the trees.  Then what would I actually be saying to the younger me?

I found myself telling him about balance.  Such an important part to this life.   A person has categories to their life. I believe I have four categories.  I believe one category would be my spiritual side.  The physical side would represent health, fitness, body, and sexuality.  The work life or occupation would be another.  Finally, your home life and what that entails.  I was told by a man that you can have one of these categories in turmoil but getting a second into turmoil causes major life disruptions.  If a third category begins having issues then this is when we see life struggles that can cause fierce issues. I’m not sure if it was the darkness, the misty lighting or my cryptic personality but my younger self appeared to be a captive audience so I continued…

I began telling him about a code I’d develop in law enforcement.  One that has served me well as an investigator, father, and just being a good person for those around me.  The code is pretty simple, “There are two sides to every coin”.  This very simple philosophy can be applied to a plethora of things in life.  It keeps your mind open, it keeps you from instant judgements, it prevents prejudice, and it drastically will reduce failures of all kinds.  I’d want my younger self to have this mental power much sooner to deal with things to come.  Even though my younger self looked a bit puzzled I moved on.  Not knowing how much time I would have.

The process of hurt blurted out of my mouth.  Hurt will happen.  People will hurt you.  Expect to be hurt but DON’T let it make you give any less love.  As my dear mother says, “Your rewards will be in heaven”.  I found this to be a very slow and painful life lesson that I wish I’d conquered much sooner.  Always being shocked when someone close hurt me or when that knife in the back really catches you off guard.  As we get older we close people off, trust people less, have less friends…our circle gets so small that sometimes there isn’t anyone around.  I’ve experienced this and done this very action.  It really is a natural reaction to “circle the wagons” but if we do that and don’t experience the gift of giving our love to others we miss one of the true joys in life and one that is unique to the human experience.  Not sure if that one took; his look of puzzlement went to deer in the head lights!

So, feeling like my time was over I simply left him with this, “In this world, dark times will come and go, keep yourself grounded and balanced, look above to God, follow your heart, and survive the storm.”  For me that would be the best advise because I relish my journey.  I wouldn’t want to veer my younger self from the path.  “Enjoy the Journey” would be my last words.   This is where I go slinking into the shadows and disappear!  Oh, the look on my younger self’s face, you should see it!

Did he listen?  Would your younger self listen?  Life’s a journey, enjoy the path.

About the Author

Jax Menez Atwell plays The Scavenger. Jax has more than ten years of investigative experience in law enforcement agencies in Arizona and California. His investigative law enforcement experience and training include under-cover operations, narcotics, SWAT, person and property crimes, etc. Jax has been a private investigator since 2008 specializing in the hard to solve cases such as cold cases, civilian, business and government investigations. Jax was additionally part of a team of three investigative team that explored missing people in History Channel’s “Missing in Alaska.” When Jax is not perusing the truth in his investigations he finds time to throw himself at acting roles. He has been in a number of productions since 2013. Films like “.357”, “New World Order: The End Has Come” and another Montana made film “The Big Muddy” western series. Plus more. Jax brings with him a lot of energy, enthusiasm and a fierce work ethic.



An Adventurer, Investigator But Most Importantly A Dad

This month’s “Dad of the Month” lives out what many adventurers wish they could. He is a private investigator who is solving domestic, civil, criminal and unsolved mysteries. He also helps families stay safe! Who is this humble and interesting dad?!

It is Jax Menez Atwell. Jax is well known as the star of Missing in Alaska and he has been a private investigator for ten years with his company called, Atwell Investigations. But that is not all! When I asked Jax to tell me a little about himself, he humbly states: “I always find it hard to describe myself to others. I am many things and I enjoy wearing many hats in this life. If you look at just my titles, I’m a father, a son, an investigator, a former law enforcement officer, an actor, a writer, an adventurer, an explorer, etc. I don’t think our titles are what makes us up though. I think that is what society has tricked us into believing. It used to be what you would see in your own eyes, felt in your hand shake, observed in your actions, and praised by your deeds.”

I couldn’t agree with you anymore as titles don’t define who we are as people!



To sum it all up, Jax says, “I have been a private investigator for ten years and was in law enforcement for twelve before that. I am the father to three awesome boys and that is really all that matters!” Well said Jax! This is why you are our “Dad of the Month” as being a dad is all that matters!


I had the opportunity to interview Jax to get to know more about him and his business, Atwell Investigations.

  1. What does your company do?

“My company, Atwell Investigations, serves many purposes but really we are a jack of all trades. There is no investigation that we can’t or won’t do. As private investigators we do everything from your basic investigations like frauds, infidelities, child custody issues, and attorney/client cases to the extreme of undercover narcotics and cold cases. ”


  1. When did you start your business?

“As with most self-employed people most the evolution of when you started your business probably happened long before your official start date. I had been doing investigations and personal protection for years while in my law enforcement career. Towards the end of my time in cop work, I had gotten together with several other cops and formed our own business. Through the years that has morphed, like most small businesses, and now it is a solo operation for the most part!”

  1. How did you come up with the idea?

“It isn’t unheard of for cops to get into investigative work in the private sector. The idea to do it while I was younger rather than when I retired was because I wanted to place my energy in what actually helps people. In private investigations you have the ability to truly solve someone’s problem without government red tape.”

  1. How did you come up with the business name?

“My business name is also something that has morphed over time as how I’ve structured my business has moved and built. My original name was very tactical because I was a former breacher on the special assignment unit (swat) and I did a lot of personal protection. As the business moved and twisted into what it is today, I felt like the best stamp you can put on something is your name. So Atwell Investigations is me and everything I bring with it.”



  1. What do you hope your business accomplishes?

“My true hope for my business is to be successful in getting my clients the answers they need so they can move on with their lives. So often we are stuck for years or longer with no answers to the riddles and mysteries of our lives. It is rehabilitating, to many people to finally get the answers they were looking for and being able to see these people being able to move on with their lives is a huge victory for me.”

  1. Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?

“While I’m a very goal oriented person, I’m also a master of change. Most good investigators become masters of change because it’s the arena we operate. While I have areas I would like to be in five years, I also know that in my field chance is the only constant so I’m prepared to always keep moving forward. Life is an adventure for sure so you just have to be prepared for the ride!”


  1. As a busy working dad, how do you find the time to balance it all?

“This is the biggest question that I get asked for sure. Balancing being a parent and in an intensive job occupation like this is a real challenge. The biggest key I’d have to say is making sure in the hours you do have with your children that you are emotionally available. I know my mother use to like using the term of “Quality Time” and I think it was spot on. Making those minutes count with your children is so important.”

8. If you can give five unique parenting tips, what would it be?

“While I don’t consider myself as an expert parent or guide to parenting but I think the top five things I’d say as parenting tips are:

1)      LOVE, love your child. This seems silly and obvious but you know how many parents I see that don’t show their child love!

2)      Remember that your child isn’t you. It is very hard, I think especially as a dad, to not hold your child to the standard of “you.” They are different than you. Sure they have your traits and such but they are also unique.

3)      Make memories. Let’s be honest, take a look back at your own childhood and I’m sure you will have major points of memories. The mundane ins and outs of daily life aren’t really what we remember. Its dad taking the time to build a model airplane, going on a rafting trip, camping, looking at classic cars….whatever it is that may interest your child.

4)      Listen. This is not an easy one for most people although they will probably tell you that they do listen. Try harder. LISTEN. Your child has so much to say and that is so much great stuff to learn in those words you might tune out.

5)      Remember that your child is not your friend. It is fine to be “friendly” with your child but remember in these important years that your discipline and teaching is what will affect your child most when they are adults. There will be plenty of time for friendship as they age but it is most important to set our children on a great path to success.”

  1. Lastly, is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?

“I have one last thing that I would like to say in relation to my last trip. In this scary day in age we live in, not only should you be a disciplinarian first before being a friend to your child but you MUST be an investigator. Get into what your child is doing and know what they are doing. I know so many in our society are hell bent on saying that the child has privacy rights. I disagree thoroughly. You are their parent and you are to protect them from things they may not even know. They are not mature enough to handle the way of the world. If they were, you wouldn’t have children committing suicide over bullying, meeting up with sexual predators, or getting into things completely against your values. I think growing up my mom just had worries that I’d drink or use drugs but now as parents we have so many things to worry about. So what if they find out you were watching their text messages. You are the parent, please don’t be afraid to tell them so. It truly is a life and death matter. I personally would rather have my child mad at me then having to bury them.”


Momma Braga is extremely proud to feature Jax Menez Atwell of Atwell Investigations as this month’s “Dad of the Month” as he is humble, real and is helping many people find answers that they have been longing for. Jax has also leant his knowledge and expertise to The Baby Spot by answering questions to their worldwide audience on private investigating. These articles are a must read, check them out; Using A Private Investigator In Your Divorce, and How A Private Investigator Can Help Your Family.

Even though he has a hard and demanding job, he always ensures that his three sons have his time. That makes you awesome in our books Jax!

To follow Jax to see what adventure he is on, follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I have a feeling there is more to come from him!

Thank you Jax for your time and wishing you many more years of success!

Until next time……Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga