“I have thought about you every single day of my life.” Um…, what!? I was completely dumbfounded. If there was a scale of perplexedness, I was at about 256%. Even beating out my time in the middle of Mexico trying to learn Spanish. After two months in the country I still only understood three words: taco, tortilla, and baño. I guess that covers some important bases right? Once I finally learned a few new words, I‘m fairly sure I told a number of strangers that I was a prostitute and wanted to help them eat their computers. Still, only knowing three words of communication in a foreign country did not create a soul penetrating feeling of confusion and even fear that this “thinking about me” statement caused. True story.
This one sentence, this tiny moment was even more confusing than all the math I’ve had to endure my entire life. The counseling field requires its seedling future counselors to take numerous statistic classes. This did not bode well for me as the only kind of math I enjoy is calculating out how many slices of pizza I can eat before needing to ralph. 12 slices. The roughly 400 of hours of pure statistical confusion laced lameness was indeed easier to stomach than the one statement – “I have thought about you every single day of my life.”
I was standing in a long line at a community college waiting to ask some annoying question about my enrollment on the first day of classes. After 47 years of waiting, I spotted an old friend/acquaintance I had not seen since elementary school. Michael… Something. I shook his hand, said hi, which was immediately followed by a normal sequence of words that you spit out when you haven’t seen someone in 14 years. I said something like – “Man, it’s been a long time.” He just stood there with a small smile on his face until he said, “you know Wes, I have thought about you every single day of my life.” Um… what!? Seriously? I was really proud of myself for remembering his first name was Michael.
I had more thoughts flow through my mind in the next 5 seconds of silence before he spoke again than I can normally process in an hour. Did he have the hots for me all these years? Doubt it, he’s pretty fit. Has he wanted to kill me his whole life, and he was finally going to finish the job right now? I really don’t want to die right here in this awful line. That would be the worst action movie ever made. Guy dies waiting to talk to an admissions counselor? I bet they’ll make it. I claim the story rights. Did I steal some of his tater tots in the cafeteria and he could never forgive me? Why on earth has he been thinking about me everyday for the past 14 years? Creepy. Weird. Creepy. Weird.
He then revealed the cause of my presence in his life. Michael recounted a story, a very detailed story of a football game we had been playing together during a recess in 4th or 5th grade. He had caught the ball at some point during a play, and no one could catch him. He was a fast mother, I did have some memories return to me of him hauling down those fields as he spoke. The dude made a touchdown, and I apparently proceeded to say: “It’s too bad someone who is such a jerk can run so fast.”
Bollocks. I don’t remember saying that. Guaranteed I didn’t realize he heard me when I said it. There were several guys in our class that frequently picked on some of the smaller and less coordinated kids. I was picked on a bit, but nowhere near as much as some of the other kids. Everyone knew that these guys were jerks. They knew it too. They were rich, well connected, very coordinated, and the little dumb elementary girl hearts were already palpitating for these guys. I guess I had for whatever reason grouped Michael right along with these fine examples of entitled youth. According to him, my comment initially made him extremely mad, and he almost came over to rip me a new one.
But, then he thought about it and realized maybe there were some things in his life he needed to change. He must have been a much more emotionally mature kid than I was. What elementary student spends serious thought reflecting on their personal character? Surely after I made the comment on the field that day I almost immediately began to think about Ninja Turtles again. Michael did not want to be like the jerks in our class. He would not allow himself to become like those snobby entitled kids. He at once realized he had been rude to some of the kids in our class. So he made a personal power pact (P.P.P.) on that day: to always remember my comment in order to remind him not to be a jerk for the rest of his life.
I threw out a Keanu Reeves type “whoa” when he finished his story. What do I say to that? “Hey, well you are welcome. Glad… I could help you not become a jerk in a really awkward way, thanks for the story and for stopping by.” I think I apologized for saying what I said – still somewhat speechless. I can’t even remember what happened after that, but eventually he left and I’ve never seen him again. Why start off with this story? Well, as far as I know this is the most positive effect I have ever had on another human being in my life so far. I can’t get over how ironic it is that the most positive thing I ever did to help someone in their life was say something fairly negative about them. FAIL-tastic.
Alliterations and The Tubber In Tulsa Challenge
Apparently I like three letter alliterations. In the last episode I mentioned how my new M.M.M. – Maxim, Motto, and Mantra is I Will Thrive. Today, it’s P.P.P. – Personal Power Pact. What’s your M.M.M. and your P.P.P.? Great, now all I can think about is eating M&M’s and going to the bathroom. I’ve probably done both of those simultaneously, getting fat is hard work. You’d lose a lot of eating time if you stopped while bathing and bathrooming.
That reminds me of a Instant Message my buddy Clark sent me one day:
I know he could have easily rolled with the order listed. He has a custom built tub desk that he works and eats from whilst tubbing. Sicko.
Ok! Captain Tangent has just left the building. Maybe he’s heading out for a bite and using the bathroom.
A few of my friends know how deeply conflicted I’ve been between what I feel my soul is calling me to do versus the need to make money. Clark, the Tubber in Tulsa, is one of my biggest cheerleaders. He shares many of the same sentiments, and we’re both passionate about writing, story telling and filmmaking.
Focus It The Heck In
So, let’s see – it’s been about three months since I lost my day job. Just a few days ago Clark gave me a little wake up call. He asked me “So what have you done to actually start making money?”
I’m no moper. After losing my job, I shook it off and I kept working. My issue is most of what I work on is not a quick path to making money. I’m a musician, and I have patrons. Thank you my patrons! I can and will keep making music no matter what, but the likelihood of bringing in $5k a month from my music with just a couple months of work is not… likely. I have books, movies, and comedy sketches to be made. Also, a bunch of different Youtube projects to keep cultivating. But, again – none of these have a fast path to making money – unless I get lucky, or have a crap ton of money to invest in marketing.
He challenged me to work exclusively on 1 business idea for 30 days straight and see what I come up with. He’s a good friend, and he reminded me that last year I wrote a full length screenplay in 30 days, while having a full time job and a bunch of other obligations. So, I accepted the challenge. I can’t not thank Clark and all of my other wonderful friends and family for the kicks to the crotch, and the kindness and the support. Thank you all.
I’m in knee deep with creating businesses that can provide value and that line up with my values, passions, and skills. I have cute little entrepreneur tingles all over. More stories and more on my path to financial independence next time! I Will Thrive!
VIDEO version of this episode HERE
PODCAST version of this episode HERE