On my way to now, I filled the gaps with some good life experiences. I felt and evaluated the fears, I showed up and experienced each moment I encountered. After the scary dog event I talked about in the Examining Fear post, I accumulated a number of memories. Here, I provide an incomplete list of life events that hits the highlights of living before, during, and after fear. All of this happened to me. I think these events helped me grow:
Picked tomatoes with bare hands.
Piled them high into round bins;
Sent them straight to the storefront.
Just like they did in the old days.
Farmer counted cash into my hands,
And I used it all on selfish junk.
Ran the woods like a wild boy.
Fought the bullies off my friends.
Worked hard on a survey crew,
Pulled a long chain through the woods,
And ran away from snakes.
Drew some blood with needles.
I saw a man die in the ER.
Worked the till at a pharmacy.
Along the way, I was a football star,
For fifteen minutes at least.
With electric guitar in my hands,
Walked on stage with a makeshift band,
Played “Hold on Loosely” by 38 Special, and I
Fell in love along the way.
Finished college, and
Worked in the water quality industry,
Spent a week in a trailer,
At a waste treatment facility.
Went to seminary with church friends.
It was not my calling to preach at all.
I stocked shelves at a grocery.
Worked in the Methodist ministry.
Sold stuffed bears from the back of a Chevy, in Birmingham, Alabama.
I officiated some volleyball, and
Dropped out of seminary.
Sequenced strands of DNA,
Waited tables at Cracker Barrel,
Where I met George Jones and Alan Jackson.
Finished a Master’s degree.
Raised two kids on prayer and some wisdom.
Lost an older brother (the one that survived the dogs),
To a heart attack.
Directed an office of research,
And made a name for myself,
But making a name was not for me,
So I finished a doctorate in higher ed,
And became a President!
Helped some startup companies succeed.
Worked a bit for some governors.
Survived a divorce.
Edited journals with some friends.
Gave a keynote speech to educators,
And wrote 20 papers or so,
Published them after a while.
Fell in love again!
Lost my father; my dad.
And I was myself.
Running, striving, and planning.
I hope I helped others succeed,
Which was overall better for me.
And I would not trade these moments,
For anyone else’s.
Even the dogs and snakes,
And the love I have!