Who Are You?

How do you connect yourself with your past?  Can you remember the stupid shit you said when you were seventeen?  Have you become the human that you thought you would?

As some of you may know, I have been Mr. hardass construction guy for well over two decades.  When the market crashed a few years ago I lost everything.  After a couple of years of that fun, I changed my method of thought.  I began to write.  As I did, I could here my English teacher (Mrs. Beem) telling me “No, no, that’s not right.  That sentence doesn’t belong in that paragraph!” and it changed everything.  The pages flowed, and the words began to make sense.

I finished that and published it in six months.  It was the best thing I ever did for me.   So for the last few days I’ve been querying publishers to see if I can give it a boost.  Late last night I was writing a letter to a publisher and I needed a snappy remark.  A voice from my past said “Don’t just sit there with your teeth in your mouth.”  I thought to myself “It’s been thirty years, I can steal that!”

Well it turns out that I recently friended a teacher from my high school years.  He taught in the junior high, but the town was so small, he was my friends dad, and everybody knew everybody.  I posted the query letter on my wall for funzies and immediately gave credit to him for the quote, more in jest than anything else.

Can you believe that he commented?!  Not only was he amazed that I had remembered it, but he threw one better back at me!  He said “Do you remember what you said (senior year) you wanted to do after school?  You said blacktop or garbage.”

Well, that’s who I am.  A hardass, hardworking dumbass.  At least that’s what I was.  Now, I’m just a man with way to many thoughts in his head.  It amazes me when I here about the things that I said when I was a kid.  The man (boy) that I was thirty years ago hasn’t changed much.  I can pave the way, and I can take out the garbage.

How ’bout you?

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2 comments

  1. I did not say stupid shit at 17 I was brilliant even then… (don’t ask my family or friends to verify this as they may disagree). Financially and career wise no I’m not where I thought I would be. But I’d like to think I’m a better person than I might have planned at 17. My goal at that age was to be a supreme court justice and to fix the problems with the country – yeah no arrogance there…

    I’m much more outgoing than I was in high school. I’m much more confident. At my 25th year reunion classmates were amazed at how much I talk and joke and laugh and wondered how early in the day I had started drinking. The teachers and my best friend were like “no she was always like that”.

    One thing that has never changed. I’ve always been someone people talk to. Whether its just to vent, figure something out, or get advice, By 5th grade I was a loser but also the person everyone talked to. Teachers I had still remember me. Classmates remember me. I feel bad as I don’t remember most of them.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  2. The person I was 30 years ago . . . I was 21 then . . . she wanted to be a professional writer, but was having to accept how difficult that would be and was just trying to find her way. It’s interesting. Your post just helped me realize something. Physically, I’m nowhere near the person I was 30 years ago. But writing wise, I’m now at and going where I wanted to be 30 years ago. But there’s been a lot of water under this bridge between then and now, and I’m a better writer for it.

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