The Long and Winding Road....
It's a crazy thing to step out into the unknown. We spend so much of our adult lives looking for that stability and security; this is infinitely more true for a guy who came from some damn tough times and who married a woman whose upbringing was equally chaotic and rough. Being broke as a joke growing up and homeless as a teen only amplifies the psychological need for that mythical unicorn.
It still trips me out to say that I am voluntarily walking away from a career that has consumed nearly 13 years of my life. It feels like walking off of a cliff, but it's far more exhilarating than that. I guess you could say it's "the call of the abyss" on steroids. This must be how it feels when you're plummeting to the earth.
You know what, though? I couldn't be happier. As my writing picks up steam daily (like an old diesel Mercedes, ponderously slow but powerful) it feels like doors are opening everywhere. I have a family that stands behind me 1000%. I have a business partner that will ride or die with me in Sir Canon of Buckingham. I can literally feel the earth thrumming beneath my feet. All of the stress of the last few months (years?) has kept me from hearing that siren call.
No more, I say.
There have been some amazing times. I'm not a man who's inclined to be overly social. I've always been a bit antisocial, and moving out here to Texas in 2005 made me more so. However, when I walked into DC #6068 in Sanger I felt like I'd found a family. The vibe may have changed to some degree over the years there, but the place never stopped providing some damn good times that I'll never forget (as well as some epic moments of fuckery that you just have to laugh at).
I fell asleep in the bathroom during a damn fire drill and somehow managed to not get written up. I was caught and nailed for jumping over the conveyor line more times than I could count. I broke a lot of rules, but I kicked a cubic fuckton of ass (especially in those Caselot modules). I trained dozens of newbies and learned new shit every day. I made it a point to make it as fun as possible and never take the shit too seriously.
I was almost fired on numerous occasions for a host of things, yet somehow I still managed to not only become a manager but (in my never humble opinion) a DAMN GOOD ONE. Maybe I should correct that to say I wasn't a great "by the book manager", but I was a damn good boss and leader. You don't have to play by the rules to have a positive impact on the lives of others. In fact, I would argue that the opposite is often true.
If you don't believe me then ask my peeps.
There are a lot of y'all that kept me coming back for more and mean a shitload to me, but I have to call out a few:
- Wayne Bender- You're my hetero lifemate, Weezy. Never a dull moment. I'm glad you didn't stroke out after the Metallica show. I'm so fucking happy for you and the fam.
- Brian Sheridan- You're the best fucking boss I ever worked for, sir. I mean that. We logged the hours on C.O.D to prove it. TOTE AND GO, FUCKERS!! WE'VE GOT C.O.D. TO PLAY!! Scotch night is still on the table at The Sheridan Pub in remembrance of the baddest Caselot crew in the history of that place.
- Syble Bankston- Thank you for getting me in and being a true family friend all these years. You started this journey for me. Besides, we still have to keep an eye on Rachelle!!
- Brendon Hudgins- Too many good times and feelings for words. Mother Theresa. You'll never get that image out of your head. That NC crew was absolutely the shit!!
- B2 Staple Stock- I've never had a better family. I love y'all so fucking much. You crazy bastards never let me down when it counted. John "The Mouth" Allen, Papa Lou Maberry, Kevin "The Silent Assassin" Lamberth, Michael "Bad Motherfucker" Almon, Konnor "Super Millenial" Parks, Lawrence "Freakshow" Saccomanno, Dustin "I'm at production!" Lovett, & Steven "Big Sexy Shit Machine" Banda- you freaks have been a bigger part of my life than you will ever know. I mean that.
- Jeff Swink- I'm pretty sure that we're related.
- Brandy Foster- You'll always be my work wife. I love you and miss you greatly. Like Swink, I'm pretty sure that we are related.
- Vicki Holt- I've always felt that God put me on the path that He did to meet you. I'm not kidding. Thank you, Mama, for always believing in me. It's going to hurt leaving you. Not ready for that yet.
- Michael Thacker, Danny Magallanes, & Damarco Walker- Y'all made the trenches more than bearable. I couldn't have asked for finer comrades and co-managers. Fuck, I'm gonna miss you assholes.
I leave you with this: "Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." (Albert Einstein)
If someone that smart said it then I'd say it's not bad advice. I feel that I've done that. Mission accomplished. Now, what am I going to conquer next?