Let's say I try and bite you. How much is it gonna hurt? I'm...

May 4, 2011

To Be Or Not To Be

There was a time in my life when I thought for sure that I could be something special. I knew that I was capable of greatness. I knew that if I had the drive and the will, I could reach my full potential. I knew that I could grow and continue to grow, and not just rise to the level of my incompetency.

During that time in my life, other people saw it in me, too. I had teachers who pushed me to succeed, and I had them acknowledging that I was special. They said they could see something different in me. They said I was bound for greatness. And it wasn't just the Sesame Street version of "everyone is special". I believe it was sincere.

One of my English teachers apologized for the level of the class and told me that I had secured a solid A and there was no reason to waste my time with subject matters that were beneath me. I still went to class after that. I'm sure he knew I would, or he wouldn't have excused me indefinitely like that.

Another English teacher scolded me for taking one of his classes. He said, "This class is not for the college-bound!" Low blow to my classmates. I'm sure that's why he said it after they had all left.

I'm sure I wasn't the talk of the teacher's lounge. I'm sure that none of these instructors knew that there were several other teachers also stroking my ego. I'm sure they had no idea that my head had gotten so big that I thought the world would wait for me. I thought that I could party and screw around all I wanted, and when I was done all of my potential would still be there waiting for me; just waiting to be unlocked.

But that isn't what happened. I dicked around. I didn't take college seriously. I only went full time to stay on my parent's insurance, and as soon as my job let me go full time I took that opportunity. I got my own benefits and I quit school. I got promoted, I switched jobs, I made good money, I blew it all on worthless crap. I got married, I had a baby, and now I am getting divorced.

I know that being a mother is the most precious thing I can be. I know that I am the architect of life. I am building a human. I am building a man. I am building a foundation of strength and determination that Caleb will build on as he builds himself. I know that I am building the greatest structure of all, even though no one can see it.

Even so, I can't stop feeling that I have a responsibility to do something with the foundation that my parents gave to me. How would I feel if all of the time that I spent building Caleb's foundation didn't result in the greatness that I know he is capable of; and how do you measure greatness?

I would measure his greatness by his honesty, his integrity, his honor, his devotion, his ability to do the right thing. I would measure his greatness by his happiness in life. His ability to be content with himself. I want Caleb to look at himself in the mirror and see himself as he wishes he were, and just as he is.

I know that in order to help Caleb achieve his highest level of greatness, I have to live as an example to him. I want to be proud of myself because he is proud of me. I can't sit around grumbling about the hand that I have been dealt. Instead, I need to lift my head and press forward. I need to see this as an opportunity to reinvent myself.

I don't think it's too late for me to unlock my potential. I think it's still in there somewhere. It may be a little rusty. It may be a little tattered. But it isn't anything that some will and determination can't spiffy right up. This is a turning point for me, mark my words. If I hold the key to unlock my potential, then I hold the key to my own success.... and I definitely do hold those things.


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