On My Way to Now

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!

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