Here I Am . . . But How'd I Get Here


Funny, as kids, we want to be older. When we get older, we want to move out. When we get out, we’re okay until we realize we had it made where we came from. Life’s hard ain’t it? Gotta have things to survive. Gotta have money to have things. Gotta have a good job to have money. How’d I get where I am? Let me tell you what I tell everybody. I did what I had to do. Did I have to do everything I did? Well, that’s a different story. Don’t get me wrong. I know my God and I believe that he’s got his hand in everything I do. Sometimes He’s holding me, sometime’s He’s got them off to each side of me trying to keep me between the lines, and sometimes He’s outright smacking me about the head and shoulders for the stupid that has poured out of me, but He’s always with me. I’m a college graduate. In fact, I did it a few times. My first degree was in English and enabled me to be hired as a manager trainee in a cotton mill. Yes sir. While I am thankful for the job, I wish I had been better led and educated by my guidance counselors growing up. Seriously, after ten years of textiles, the business started leaving the country so I have sold cars, installed fences and electronic gates, delivered pizza, worked concrete, and worked in healthcare. I worked as a basic EMT for several years and then transitioned to certified nursing assistant while I was going to nursing school. If you want a gratifying job, pull some time as a CNA and get to know the folks you’re caring for. It will be some of the hardest work, physically, and mentally, you have ever done. I’m not taking away from anyone’s career and machoism. I’m simply stating facts. Sick people, regardless of age, need assistance. It is an underpaid, overworked position that only provides satisfaction if you go at it for the right reasons. I had a CNA ask me one night as we were finishing up second shift what all I had done in my working career.  I explained the things noted above to her and she sat there, with each work title mentioned, with her jaw dropping a little more and her eyes growing in size. “Wow,” she exclaimed, “why did you do all that?” I simply said, “I did what I had to do”. 


It might not be the straightest path and it sure wasn’t the most glorious. One thing I have always said, that regardless of what you have been through, it has contributed to who you are today. I can’t say I wish I hadn’t done anything in my life because the person that you see, right now, as been molded and formed from the love, drama, trauma, and all the choices, good or bad, that came before the present. God knew everything about you before you took your first breath. He knew you weren’t perfect. He also gave you free will. While you are treating people as he would have you treat them, he’s standing right there with you. As you mistreat people and poke fun at their issues, he’s standing right there with you. As you carelessly make choices that could place you in peril he is there with you. Remember when I said God was probably holding up a hand on each side to keep you between the lines? He probably had a look of despair in his eyes because he knew . . . he knew he wasn’t going to interfere but he wanted to so so bad. He loves you. He loves you so much that he allows you to make your own decisions. He allows you to not believe in him. He allows you to live for him for against him. He loves you through it all. That’s what we are to do. We are simply supposed to love one another regardless of our beliefs. Regardless of our politics. Regardless of our upbringing. I have grown. I’m so much smarter now than I was 40 years ago. I still make stupid decisions and say inappropriate things, but I do it less and think about it a lot more than I used to. When I was growing up, I knew about God. Now I know him. 

That’s how I got here.