There is a connection that happens, which I cannot describe in any other way or with any other word. It’s a connection.
Like the kids from the neighborhood. You never forget the kids from the neighborhood. They know you in a different way and from a different time.
There is a connection that comes when people go through a process together. I have completed several programs and classes throughout my life. I have gone through different phases and changes. Throughout each, I have made life changing connections.
Last year, I was sent to a training course for my day job. I walked into the room, early as ever. I was tired and not looking forward to the long, dragged out class which seemed unnecessary, but still, I was there because my employer told me I had to be. I did not expect anyone to call my name and I certainly did not expect to enjoy the experience.
But I did.
There was a friend of mine I used to see in class when I was working towards my certifications to become an engineer. I liked him. We had a few laughs together. Tyrone was a good man. We had long talks and good times while undergoing a process that neither he nor I were comfortable with. We were working towards our ticket. They call it a ticket because this is a ticket to earn a better living. We both came into the union at the same time.
Other engineer’s would ask, “Did you get your ticket yet?”
As in a ticket to see the show; as in a ticket to reach the next level, as in, to earn status in the industry; as in you’re no longer an assistant or an apprentice or a helper, which is like peasantry. At last, you’re an engineer and at the top tier of the pay grade. “You got your ticket.” This means you can earn now.
Tyrone and I had helper’s gigs at the time we met. We had to study. We had to learn about heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. We had to endure the hazing from engineers that were less than kind and endure the abuse of chief engineers or assistant chief engineers that handed down crappy jobs with a smile and said things like, “Someone’s gotta do it!”
That was nearly two decades ago. I remember the struggles Tyrone went through with his jobsite. I remember what we used to talk about. I remember who I was then and I know who I am now.
It was good to see Tyrone. It was nice to see how he was and how far he has come. Neither he nor I were helpers anymore. We both grew some. We gained some experience. We have more certificates aside from just our ticket to be an operating engineer.
More accurately, we went through a process together that no one else would ever know about. We shared something together. We shared time, blood and sweat. We shared laughs that no one else would find humorous or understand. Safe to say, no one else will ever have this connection because our connection comes from a very special place.
I am home today. Back from San Diego. I was away for eight days on a coaching gig. There is no one else that can or will share this bond with me.
The only people that would know are the people I spent my time with.
I am tired now. My body is unsure of the time zone. I suppose it will take me a few days to get my bearings. I suppose the emotion I feel will settle in as well.
But for now, I feel an emotional high. I was able to establish a connection. This is meaningful to me. I can say I am the first to have coached a model of this kind. All parts fell into place perfectly. And me, well, today I have to be back in the swing of things so I will keep this quick and leave it here.
The connections we make are important. They mark the times in our life and define a process we went through.
With regard to treatment and wellness, there is no other connection like this. We lived together. We wept together. We felt and we changed. We realized our areas of improvement and where we need to improve more. There is intimacy here. There is depth.
I hold this very dearly and personally because just like that time I walked into a class and saw my friend Tyrone, it is nice to be out in the real world and see someone I went through a process with and feel like, “Hey, we made it!’
By the way, you would like my friend Tyrone. He was always a good kid. Always quick to make you laugh.
You would like my new friend from my time in the wellness model too. One of the smartest I have ever met. I look forward to seeing him grow.