My Lessons From Life
To age and the discovery or error
Let me begin by welcoming everyone and by saying that my purpose here is not to preach. It is merely to inform; to share my experiences in the hopes that someone will benefit or at the very least be entertained. As all of us do, I have a life story. Mine is a little different, however, in that whenever I share it, I am always told that I should write a book. For some reason, a book has never appealed to me. Maybe that is because I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer.
I said at the beginning that life is a journey. Mine, interestingly enough, really began with two prophecies. They were opposites. They were both by teachers. One was by my first grade teacher, and the other by my second grade teacher. You see, I was always a bit precocious. On second thought, I guess it was more than that. I always had a knack for finding trouble, finding fun, finding excitement. Some would say that I was just downright mean. But I wasn't a bully. Definitely not that. My dad taught me from a very young age to stand up for those that were being picked on; being made fun of. There is no honor, he would say, in picking on those who can not or will not defend themselves.
I went to elementary school when the paddle was still in vogue. And I became very familiar with the board. In first grade, I never got to go to recess nor did I eat lunch with the others. I would be sitting in the front row doing extra work. But I loved that teacher. You see, her prophecy of myself, her prediction, was that I would make something of myself, that I would make a positive contribution to the world. Even though I did not deserve it, she would walk by me every day while I was in the room with her alone and pat me on the head. She would say that I had value. She would say that I had worth. She would say that she believed in me. So my first grade year was bearable, if for no other reason, because someone believed in the unbelievable, someone believed in me.
My second grade year was different. No, my behavior hadn't changed. I was still bad. But we had moved. I was in a different town and in a different school. And whereas my first grade teacher believed in me, well let's just say that my second grade teacher had her doubts. Looking back on it, I really don't blame her. I was not a likable kid. But I was still a kid. And because of my story, I am a firm believer that a seven or eight year old is not set on their path; that their path cannot be changed. Sounds logical right. Sounds like common sense. Well, you would be surprised by the people who would disagree with me. And my teacher would have been one of those. I will never forget the day that she prophesied about me. It has forever been seared into my consciousness. We were doing busy work. We were doing an assignment from the textbook. It was silent. The desks were in rows. I was in about the middle row sitting about in the middle of that row. A boy with whom I did not get along with got up from my row somewhere behind me and began walking up to the teacher's desk. My left foot just "accidentally" flicked itself out as he was walking by and he tripped. He fell face first onto the ground, and the teacher jumped up from her desk and ran over to me. She grabbed me by my ear (I don't know if you have ever been grabbed by your ear, but believe me, it will get your attention.). She then pulled me out into the hall. And there up against the lockers was where she stuck her finger in my face and told me that I would never amount to anything. She said that I would wind up either in prison one day or dead at a very young age because I was nobody. I had no value; no worth.
And there you have it. Two predictions, two teachers, two years in my life. And there would come in my life a fork in the road after many ups and downs, after many trips into the abyss, after at least two times in my life that would defy reality. Times when that second prediction should have come true, but for whatever reason did not and left me on this earth to search. To search for my purpose.