Part of my healing process to become a better man, father, and partner has been to re-evaluate my life and look at all the twists and turns and missteps I’ve traveled. I’ve worked in pizza on virtually every level, including mostly delivery; sweated and shivered in warehouses; drove a short-haul truck route; built a greenhouse; ran the front desk of hotels; cleaned tables as a bus boy; fallen on my face in retail; sold advertising, cars, and timeshare; tutored kids; lectured on composition, business communications, and speech; written books, short stories, articles, and Ramblings; and toiled at a variety of menial labor positions. From each of these experiences, I’ve learned something about myself and others and life in general.
While not every choice I’ve made has been right, I wouldn’t trade one moment of my past for anything better. Each step, each failure, each new attempt has brought me to today, to the man I’ve grown into. I happen to like this man. Sure, I’m stubborn and proud, battered and bruised, but I’m also more steadfast and dedicated to accomplishing my goals. I’ve learned our greatest strengths as a species are our capacity for compassion and ability to forgive. I’ve learned that through giving of ourselves without expectation of return we find peace and contentment. Even the smallest act of simple kindness can impact a person’s life profoundly.
I’m still a work and progress and have much patience and maturity to learn. I’m trying hard to let go of the anger and pain I feel towards those who have wronged me, and I’m hoping for forgiveness from those I’ve wronged. I’m grateful for each and every person who takes the time to read one of my books or silly Ramblings, and I’m humbled whenever someone finds entertainment or inspiration from what I’ve written. I’m blessed to have my health on the mend and grateful for each new day, each new opportunity to do something positive with my life. I’m grateful for all the friends and loved ones in my life; you are the greatest blessing a person could ask for.
I’ve learned to define success on my terms, without the encumbrance of preconceived expectations, and while I’m not financially where I want to be, in many ways, I’m more successful than I ever imagined possible. I’ve learned who I am and what I’m worth as a man, a father, a friend, and a lover, and that knowledge alone is worth all of the hardships. I’ve learned that nothing worth having comes easy, and while that may seem trite and mundane and cliche, it’s one of the truest truths in this world. All I can do, as a work in progress, is keep working hard, keep learning, keep growing, keep maturing, and keep striving. That is my path to my definition of success, and I will walk that path with my eyes open, my shoulders held high, and my head slightly bowed. In that manner, I will traverse my road, and in that manner, I will enjoy the journey.