In Which the Future is Not Written

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot


This has to be my favorite quote. It speaks to me, and I hope speaks to your life as well.

A couple of years ago, I decided to make a career change. Life being what it is, the change didn’t work out. While I enjoy teaching, I realized I don’t like teaching kids. And so, I opted to return to my previous career, albeit with a a different company. After a journey through the pandemic, I am one of the lucky few who managed to improve my lot – not only have I received the vaccine, I find myself in on the precipice of a more secure financial future. But the fact is, I never really worried about  the future. You see, once upon a time I lost my father and so I know what real pain and fear look like.

There are so many people out there, however, who haven’t been as fortunate. Now, I realize that those old tired clichés are not what gets us through the night. My saying, “get back up on that horse, pard”, isn’t going to cut it. In fact, there is little I could say that would encourage you regarding the future. What I’m trying to say is that life is hard.

After my father passed away, I was inconsolable. In fact, I was down right impossible to talk to. I didn’t tell anyone around me what happened (other than a very select few). People I worked with thought I had taken a vacation, and when I refused to talk about it they would push on and think I was being an asshole. Well, I was being one, they were right about that.

I was in emotional agony. When people did learn the truth, I pushed them away. Ashamedly, I remember yelling at someone just trying to get me to talk about what happened.  I felt off track; I wasn’t myself anymore and didn’t know where I was going to go or who I was going to be. I was 21 years old, and my life was over as I knew it.

Eventually it got better. I started making choices to honor my father and have become the man I am because of both my friendship with him and because of the suffering resulting from his loss.

This last year has been hard on you, I get it. And you don’t need me saying you’ve got it in you to get through this horrible time. I do hope that anyone who doesn’t know it does realize it. You’re all strong people, stronger than you know. And we are all here for you, even if you only feel like yelling at us. So yell at me, I can take it, especially if it helps.


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