Down to the Last Bite: A Short One

In a short entry, I want to express something special to me. First, I want to be clear that I do not blame anyone for my past or my decisions. However, I do say that had I met with people who care for me (like the way they do now) then perhaps I might have been encouraged to keep going or try a little harder and never give up on myself.

I love this. . .

I love this time of year. I love the colors of the leaves. I love the subtle hints of the holidays which are up and coming. I love the wholesomeness of the moments like families who gather together in their humble lives and share a meal.
I love the idea of kids being home from school during the holidays. And I love the idea of proud parents who sit at the dinner table, eager to listen and eager to learn about what’s going on with their kids at college.

In all fairness, I never had a college experience. Perhaps this is why this subject is so meaningful to me but, again, I never had the typical college experience. At least, not really. I can say that I visited a few dorm rooms. But other than that, I never studied for finals or explored the teachings of professors who were brave enough to be inspirational.  
I never did much with going to class. Not unless you count the one (and a half) semesters at a community college. In which case, I didn’t get thrown out. Well, not exactly. It was more of a case that I wasn’t invited back. Besides, who needed them anyway, right? I wanted to make money so let me go out and earn, right? Who needs a diploma for that?

Well, we all need an education of some kind. And me, well, my education is not typical by any means nor was this an easy way to be educated. However, and through all of the blood and sweat, I learned enough to be able to “earn” a living.
Or whatever that means.

I never had the experience of a union hall where the students went to eat at the food court. I never had the experience of eating the foods or enjoying some time with other friends who were eating fast and then off to class. 

I never had this. . .

But, before I go forward, I have to tell you this.
Yesterday was a good day.

I will have to preface this with the fact that I am fighting through a case of really bad laryngitis. My voice is cracked down to the sound of Clint Eastwood in the movie, Heartbreak Ridge.
Either way, my day was busy and voice or no voice, I had work to do. I had presentations to pull off and without the support that I have in my life (in which case, I will never be alone) I might not have been able to pull through. Whether my body was with me and feeling good or otherwise, I had work to do.

By noon, I knew that my voice was not going to hold up. I had to figure a way through this, which I did.
See, my voice is most of my presentation. I am a mental health, wellness and wellbeing content creator and presenter which means I need my voice to present my materials.
So, I had to get through it.
I let my voice come from deep within my belly. I moved through the subject material and made my way through the slides. We made sure to cover all of the topics during our weekly show in a corporate environment. I received some very nice and sincere feedback from this which was perfect. But ah, it was time to go.
I had to be at my next scheduled commitment and be ready for my lecture. My voice had steadily declined and my throat was sore. But still, and no matter what “The Show Must Go On!”

And it did.
I filled three hours of speaking time – without notes, off the cuff, and in a free form to adhere to the students in the classroom, I worked with the crowd to make my presentation both meaningful and impactful.

I had the chance to see beautiful people. I had the chance to look into the eyes of my future. I had the chance to visit the college union and see what the students ate for lunch, which if I’m being honest – I will give the campus an “A” for effort but in order to receive a passing grade on their lunches, someone might need to stay after class and learn to cook a little better. 

(Note: Funniest comment of the day about this was “How do you fuck up broth? It’s just soup!)

If you would have told me that I would be giving college lectures, and I mean me, a high school dropout with a G.E.D diploma and with all the educational insecurity and shame that exists; if you would have told me that someday, I would be giving lectures to students, I would have never believed you.
Not to mention, if you would tell me that I would be part of the final in an advanced psych class and that the students would have to report on my lecture, then I would say this about that –

Dear Pop,

I know you never had the chance to see the person who I grew into. I know that when you were around, there were challenges between us.
I know about the shame from my past (but my past is gone) and I know about the hardships from my youth. Yes, I remember the pain. I remember the sounds of jailhouse doors closing behind me. I remember the helicopters chasing me through town and, of course, I remember the article in the paper and how this marked our family’s name. But . . .

I wish you were here to see what happened last night. I wish you could have seen how the students listened to me, Or, I wish you were there to see how they took notes when I went up to the blackboard. 

I know we never had much time to figure things out. And I know that school was always important to you because you didn’t want me to grow up and be uneducated. But I have to tell you –
They listened to me, Pop.
They really did.

I never had the chance to experience college life. Well, it looks like maybe now is the time for me to do it. It seems like they want me to do “more” or whatever that means.
Either way, I guess what I’m trying to say here is I wish you were here, Pop.
I wish you could have seen your baby boy in action. 

I think you might have been proud – at least I hope you’d have been proud.

Sleep well, Pop.

I love you.
Your Son,

B –

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