Make no mistake, life can change in the blink of an eye and just like that, everything is different. As a young man, I swore The Old Man would always be around. I never expected him to pass or my family’s business to go under.
I never saw my Father’s death coming. I never saw the bankruptcy of his business coming or the theft of all my family’s worth coming.
If you had asked me, I would have sworn this would have been my future. Only, my future was changed two weeks before Christmas in 1989 when The Old Man had his first heart attack.
For two weeks, I can recall the question, “What will happen to us now?” What will happen to my family? What will happen to the business? And where will we go from here?
The Old Man passed on December 29, 1989 and just like that, all my expectations were changed.
If you had asked me then, I probably swore my childhood home would always be my home. If need be, I could always go back to visit and stay for night and wake up to Mom’s coffee and cinnamon toast. But life had other plans.
I lived in different places and spent time in different crowds. I had good times and bad times and time I swore would never end. I had kid jobs and manhood jobs but I had no idea where I waned to be.
My first real job was in the garment district. I worried if this would be my life because I struggled in this business.
I struggled to maintain the discipline it took to be the salesman I needed to be. Of course, I was much younger at the time. I was a kid in a suit and tie with a briefcase and knocking on doors. The rejection factor was incredible. I didn’t enjoy my atmosphere at the time, but this is where I was.
My first job led to my second job and my second led to my third, which led to my fourth, which created an introduction that caused a switch.
From the white collar into the blue, I went from the suit and tie life to a union position as a stationary building engineer in Local 94.
I apprenticed in one building but then I moved to another. I suppose I thought I would be an assistant chief soon or maybe a chief engineer at some point but I was careless at the time.
I found myself behaving in a way that sabotaged my standing. Either way, my heart wasn’t into it.
Nevertheless, I moved from one spot to another spot. I landed another jobsite. I was there for five years and assumed I would always be here but another opportunity came along. So I took it.
I took a new shift but the new site was not the right fit. I went from there to another place, which I have remained here until present day. Still an engineer and still swinging wrenches.
If asked, I suppose I thought this is me and this is who I’ll always be. Of course, I would think this way. Who else could I be if not myself?
Three years back, I was given a chance to be involved with a new movement. Previously, I was trying to help out with fundraising. I was tired of watching kids face cancer. I raised money and shaved my head and found myself feeling a sense of purpose.
I enjoyed helping. I enjoyed interacting but there was no control over the money that was raised. The group I raised money with went their own separate ways to do their own separate great things.
And me, I moved away from the neighborhood I knew. I moved upstate to a new town and new county with people whose accents are certainly different from mine.
If you asked me before I made this move if this would be me, I would have probably said you’re crazy. If you asked when I moved up here about my diet and would I change my eating habits, I would have laughed and asked you why?
If you would have told me that I would be where I am now, on the verge of creating a new future, I would have never believed any of this.
I never thought I would see myself on television or on the news or on the front page of the newspaper. I never thought I would be talked about or regarded this way.
I certainly never expected to create a life change or become a coach and enter into the therapeutic world.
In the aftermath of life on life’s terms, most times, no one believes they will ever recover. When divorce happened, I thought I would never live the life I wanted to have.
When my child decided to go a different way because divorce breeds confusion; therefore my child decided to nurture a different side, I swore, this would always be my circumstance and I would never heal. However, life has proven time and time again that circumstances do and will change. Therefore I can and will change.
Not everything is a life sentence. Not all plans will turn out the way we planned them to be.
I can’t even begin to count the relationships I had, which I thought I would always have, but yet, those relationships were only temporary.
There are friends I thought I would be friendly with forever, but yet now, we hardly even remember each other.
I swore I thought I would always be a certain way. I swore things would always be a certain way but life changes in the blink of an eye and just like that, everything is different.
I thought I lost my shot to change my life a long time ago. I swore I would never find another opportunity to grow in the life I had more passion for.
I learned that when my passion is questioned, a reaction is formed and I am not me at my best.
I learned that when I fear my performance and question my abilities, I react in a way that can be self-destructive. the crazy thing is in my best efforts to defend myself, I can also destroy myself, which is a contradiction I get it. But this is the way self-harm works, which is why I have to pay attention.
When I am afraid of being hurt or used or openly and publicly humiliated, I become irrational. I look to defend myself from an enemy that doesn’t really exist.
Only, the enemy does exist because my enemy is me.
Everything else is a figment of my imagination. You, other people, other circumstances, failures and so on are all concerns that come from the vapor in my mind. None of this is real unless I make it out to be.
I can say there are people I lost in my life. I can say there are people that moved away whom I never thought I would see again, —and then one day, out of nowhere, there they were, back in my life.
Nothing is guaranteed and fate is not the cement we think it is. Fate changes the same as life changes. But then again, if fate is truly fate, life hasn’t changed at all. No, life has only evolved to the next chapter. I need to remember this when times are grim.
I have no idea what will happen on this new road. I only know it pays to enjoy the good times and the good things because life can change in the blink of an eye. I know that I need to follow my desire and my passion and focus on this and this alone.
I have to keep going even when I can’t because life changes.
This is undeniable.
Just keep going.
If I were finished each time I thought I was truly finished then I would not be where I am now.
And where I am now is still only temporary because I know there are changes underway.
I don’t know where I’ll be. I just know that if I follow my passion and hold onto my desire; if I keep going no matter what life throws at me, —I’ll get to where I want to be.
And if it doesn’t work out then it didn’t work out but at least I tried and moreover, at least I worked hard to enjoy the ride until death do us part.
This I know….
Keep going, no matter what.
Life will place me where I’m supposed to be