My Story

As I lay there thinking about my day, I could not get one thing out of my mind. I could not forget watching, for hours on end, the Wimbledon match between Rafa Nadal and Gilles Muller. Mostly, I could not stop thinking about Rafa, about his intensity and tenacity, I have been sitting in my mom’s house for the last two months, unemployed and worried about my future. I realized a few things: roughly 25% of the people I know have extraordinary faith in my abilities as a human who can help other humans. Mostly I have done this as a teacher, formally and informally. These folks know I can inspire and lead. Another 25% of the people I know have absolutely no idea what I am capable of. Many of these people happen to be members of my family of origin. To them I am an over-educated and underemployed. They see this as the result of my failure to engage with the realities of the world. In other words, they see me as a hopeless idealist. Another 25% of the people I know underestimate me. They have a vague understanding of what I have accomplished in my life, but very little knowledge of the perseverance that it has taken for me achieve some of my most important achievements. Another 25% think I am a little crazy, a little too much, a little too intense, and way too stubborn for my own good. So this is me: an idealist and a highly educated underachiever. I am resilient (or stubborn, depending on who you talk to), intense, and complex. I am a pretty natural teacher and learner. I know a lot about a lot of things because I am insatiably curious. I am a misfit and a rebel. And I have worked for almost all of my adult life on trying to understand how I might be able to fit in, how I might be able to help people. So as I lay in bed on this night, I kept thinking about Rafa. He was so inspiring on the court, passionate and, with a whole lot of talent and hard work and heart, he hung in there, over and over again. It feels a bit strange to be thinking that I might have something in common with a thirty-something world famous athlete. Because I more than admired him. I related to him. I saw that fighting spirit, the sheer willpower in refusing to lose, point after point, game after game. He did lose, but I am pretty sure he left everything on center court. That is what I am hoping to do. To be tenacious, to inspire, and maybe impart a pearl of wisdom here and there.

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