Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sailing on the Sea of Love...

I the ancient mariner. Dis-masted, knocked down, off course and drifting on the currents of the storm.

I'm going to make it through the gale. I know I will. I'm tough, resourceful and determined. I also know that I will be that much the better sailor for it.

All because I am loved.

Because I am loved I know what my true course is, how to keep track of where I am and the corrections I must make to get back on the line.

I've been scouting out the next steps. Looking to San Antonio College for an associates degree for starters. Plan to go on from there but as I was reminded yesterday, "It's going to be a long road." So 63 hours for an associates is a smaller bite to focus on.

The Company actually has a pretty generous allowance available for school. The tricks will be convincing them that an English or Journalism degree benefits them and not selling my soul to them in the process.

Small bites and chew them well.

Yesterday I spent the day with "Mother" and "Poppy". Standing at the kitchen table. (Ooops, I think I left my hat on too... at least I wasn't sitting down to dinner. Although she did force food into me after I stood there for ten hours babbling.) I lined out the new course I am taking. I stated my objectives and goals.

I demonstrated my new enlightenment, "I can't make anyone else happy or proud until I am happy and proud."
"Duh.", they said. Along with the usual 'we tried to tell you that thirty years ago but you wouldn't listen'.

I am a slow learner. Sometimes a little too slow. Sometimes I am the one that laughs last!
I ain't no Genus but I ain't no Dummy neither.

For a while I worked for a man named JK. A loud obnoxious old Navy Chief. One of those guys that ya either love or hate. I miss that guy. When I'd screw something up and the home office got wind of it they'd report my transgression to JK. He'd call me up and in his best Crusty Old Navy Chief Bellow he'd start out, "Goddamn it David!!!" He'd take me to the mast and give the lashes he felt were appropriate. Explain the heinousness of my crime and how I had jeopardized the entire boat with my neglect. He'd demand and explanation AND to know what steps I was going to take to correct my course. Then, in his best paternal voice he'd end with, "David, this is not going to happen again is it?" "Sir, No Sir!", was my reply. And I NEVER made the same mistake twice while under JK's command. I guess that's what makes a Crusty Old Navy Chief a Chief!!!

It doesn't take yelling and cursing either.

Remember when Teacher would put you in the corner to think about what you had done? You Weren't Thinking About What You Did! You were thinking about how much longer you were going to have to stare at the wall or how many furtive glances over your shoulder you could sneak or about how many spit balls were going to be stuck to your back. Back then, you didn't really know HOW to think. You do now though.

So do I.

The entire year it seems has been spent thinking. Actually re-thinking my way of looking at things. Examining what I thought were my dreams and what I thought would ultimately make me happy. I discovered that I was very wrong. I found that what I had was a useless collection of fantasies and daydreams. I now understand that they were only there to distract me from things that are much more important.

I've exercised the gray stuff 'til it's mushy and pliable. Now I'm reshaping it with the 'Knowing now what I wish I knew then'. Analyzing decisions from as far back as the 10th grade. Decisions as recent as yesterday. Weighing the folly and merit of each. I have not been shocked to see the folly out-weigh the merit.

I revert back to the Crusty Old Navy Chief. I will not make the same mistakes again.

I've been sitting here with the windows open. Listening to the sounds of traffic on 181, the hum of the refrigerator and the drone of the computer. Just loaded the CD player and set it to "Stun". First up Tom Petty "Love is a Long Road".

So, that's another loada nada for now. It is still early though!

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