A colleague of mine posted the following on Facebook:
I have screwed up as a Man, as a partner, as a parent, as a Son, and as a friend simply because… I don’t always do or say the “right things”.
I have a smart mouth, I have secrets, I have scars because I have a history.
Some people love me, some people like me, and some people might hate me.
I have done good in my life. I have done bad in my life.
I go without shaving sometimes and I don’t get dressed up half the time.
I may even be crazy, random and silly. I will not pretend to be someone I am not. I am who I am. You can love me or not.
But if I love you, I will do it with my whole heart, and I will make no apologies for the way I am and if I do not like you I promise you that you will know that too.
I AM ME….And I would not change it for the world.
GENTLEMEN, I dare you to put this on your status, with a picture of yourself, if you are proud to be who you are.— William Jackson on Facebook
Thanks Mr. Jackson for the writing prompt. But, but, but! There are some changes I might make. I am older and like many older adults wonder, what if? I have no regrets about the path I chose through life. Looking back, some small things I might have done differently. There are, however, one or two big what ifs.
At the end of my first college career in 1972 the country was in the midst of the Vietnam War and coming out of a mild recession. We were married. Our first child was on the way. My greatest focus was on finding an income to support my wife, who had supported me through my last two years of university life, and our family. I needed a paying job.
Networking works! I found two positions within forty-eight hours of each other. Looking back from fifty years, I embellished it a bit in my mind. I had interviewed at a company with the engineering manager through a contact of my father on a Monday. On the Friday of that same week the company offered me a job. On Monday of the following week the head of the department of Engineering Technology asked me to visit with him in his office. The ET department offered me a position of teaching assistant. The position had a stipend and the benefit of paid tuition as I was expected to work on my Master Degree with doing my TA job.
I accepted the engineering position and never looked back except occasionally when I read things like Mr. Jackson’s post on Facebook. What if I had accepted instead the TA job at Miami. Who knows?
I never lost the mindset of learning. Eventually much later in life, Cheryl encouraged me to focus my efforts and I achieved a M. Ed. from Xavier. But who knows? Who knows what academic heights I could have achieved? Who knows? Impossible to know! Time travel is unavailable. Face forward and go where life takes you. Carpe diem (from Horace)
As we, Cheryl and I, live with Parkinson’s disease, I am more cognizant than ever that we cannot go back. There is no benefit to looking over one’s shoulder and wondering what if. There are so many things in life that unfortunately cannot be changed without prescience. The idea of unintended consequences must be considered.
A Chrystal Ball is a wonderful thing. But I do not own one.
… the Adjunct Wizard