So I’ve been thinking more about how to be positive in my daily life. I’ve heard of different things but the one thing that seems to strike a cord is a gratitude journal. Simply acknowledging the good things in your life in which you’re grateful. Simple enough, right?
What am I grateful for?
- I’m grateful for my cousin Scott, a wonderful friend.
- I’m grateful for Karen, a great boss.
- I’m grateful for my workout partner Rick, without whom I wouldn’t be going to the gym.
- I’m grateful for an empty BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) car on the trip home.
- I’m grateful for my very good friend Susan who’s always there for me.
Today I ask my boss if she grew up in a home where she was encouraged as a child. I don’t really remember that about my childhood. I remember the majority of my childhood being humiliated and bullied. It was hard growing up different in a small backwater area of central Ohio. I think that was the first time that I really ever spoke about my childhood and what it was like unemotionally. Normally it’s a conversation filled with sadness or anger. It wasn’t until I went to college that I found my people you might say.
When I went to college at Otterbein University (College) it was the first time that I met other people like me. Funny thing is some of you might be thinking I’m talking about gay people. That’s not it at all. This was the first time I met other people my age who sought to further themselves with education. Men and women from small towns around Ohio who came to college to better themselves.
As a member of the marching band we arrived at Otterbein a week before school started for band camp. My first day I walked into my room and there sat my roommate, a football player. I was a little shocked but made the best of it. His name was Mike and come to find out his sister was a violinist with the Dayton Jr Philharmonic. So he was OK with the band geek thing. To this day I still have friends from Otterbein that I met in the band program 20+ years ago.
In today’s discussion I was able to say and feel that I’ve really accomplished something in my life. In terms of education I went to Otterbein University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. I went to Ohio State University for the better part of a year and did their Masters of Education program. Last but not least I went to DeVry University and received a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology. Which may I add I maintained a 4.0 GPA while working a full-time job.
That’s pretty freaking impressive for a kid who came from a family who doesn’t value education, grew up in a house where you could see the wind blow the curtains (the window was not open), where the blanket I slept with froze to the outside wall one winter, and a whole list of other stuff if I really thought about it. Yes we lived in poverty and we were poor. I never really thought about it though because my parents made the best of it.
So today I say I’m grateful that I’ve had enough ambition to move forward and do what some may call impossible in my life. I’ve received education. I’ve traveled domestically and internationally. I’ve worked for major companies. I started a company. I’ve bought a home. I’ve lived in New Orleans and San Francisco. I’ve made friends from so many countries I couldn’t even begin to count. Man, that’s something!
Today I posted on Facebook the following message. “I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.” Well my stumbling has allowed me to do far more than I’ve ever acknowledged. In my stumbling I’ve met so many WONDERFUL people. I’ve played tuba in places that are amazing and beautiful. I’ve sang songs that have made people cry (not because it was painful).
“I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.”
For a kid from Knox County Ohio I’ve done pretty darn good! That’s the truth, my truth! I’ve come a long way baby and I’ve still got further to go! So I’m grateful for somehow, someway finding my way to where I am today.