This Writer’s Journey
I Don’t Know Where I’m Going From Here, but I Promise It Won’t Be Boring. ~David Bowie
I Have Always Believed Someone Did Not Plan Out My Life for Me in Advance Since My Earliest Memories. I Believe I Am in Control of My Destiny.
I have always believed someone did not plan out my life for me in advance since my earliest memories. I believe I am in control of my destiny.
I must make choices, mistakes, and course correction to reap the benefits of the time I have on this planet.
Earlier in life at a younger age.
I believed that reaching eighty-five years of age was a wonderful goal. As I aged and I saw family members reach nearly one hundred years, I then moved the goal line. Today, healthy people are reaching years greater than one hundred. I am ready for the long haul, but I want to be healthy and mobile. Today at age sixty-nine, I am both healthy and mobile, and have re-entered the working class.
Three stages in my journey before writing.
There are three stages in my life I think about, childhood years, adult years, and senior years. Nothing horrible happened during my childhood years. I was one of seven children, with both parents living in the same household. What I would have called normal siblings’ interactions, nothing unusual. I and all my brothers and sister graduated from high school. I remember all the jobs I had before graduation other than the chores we all did to keep our home of nine functioning as a well-oiled machine.
I consider my childhood years from zero to eighteen. Upon reaching eighteen, like Alice Cooper said, “I am eighteen and I don’t know what I want.” But I figured it out.
I held many jobs before I reached my eighteenth birthday that taught me both responsibilities and the reward of money. My first job was delivering newspapers, which started at 4am in the morning, every day. My brother, sixteen months younger than I, also had a paper route. We did the routes together as a team. On Sundays, our dad would drive his pickup and we would deliver from the back of the truck on each side of the street. I have fond recollection of teamwork with my brother and that of my dad helping his two sons.
At one point, I worked at a pancake house as a busboy after school part time. Besides minimum wage, there were tips from the server for great service.
I would sometimes go to the donut shop after the paper route and talked to the baker from time to time. One day, I learned he needed help for several hours in the morning. I decided I could complete my paper route and then after my paper route, I would work several hours before school. I did this for many months. I would serve coffee and donuts to a few customers who occasionally came in before normal hours. One of the early morning customers I met was the owner of a local gas station, who I learned was looking for part-time help after school. As I was reaching sixteen in several months, I worked at the gas station and stop the paper route and donut shop work.
Working at the gas station seemed to be the job with the most responsibilities. I worked there after school pumping gas, checking oil, other car fluids, washing windows and taking payments, cash and credit cards. Taking credit cards differed from today. We placed the credit cards in a flatbed credit card imprinter, placing paper over the top of the card, and arm ran over the card and imprinted the card number on the paper. I wrote in the dollar amount, amount of gas and the price, the customer signed the transaction, and received a copy. I learned how the change oil and lube cars. The most important lesson learned was the money received for working. During the time I worked there, the owner purchased a new car and offered to let me purchase his fourteen-year-old car for $500. It honored me to have this opportunity, as I was already saving my money for a car purchase.
By the time I was eighteen, that was in 1970, I had purchased another car to learn how to rebuild the engine, having two cars at one point. When I reached eighteen, I sold the two cars and purchased a 1968 Nova for $1,500. I recently discover that a car of that vintage is worth between $15,000 to $35,000. Maybe I should have held on to that car longer?
I was never shy about asking if companies need help. During high school, I worked on my car for both servicing and repairs. Some work required tools I did not have or only needed for a onetime use. I would rent tools from the local tool rental company in town. After graduating, I asked the owner if he needed help; he did and hired me that day. I worked there for about a year. I learned how to repair tools and small engines, regular welding, and arc welding, also running the front counter interacting with customers, checking out and in equipment rentals, and taking payments. Working at the Tool Rental, I considered the job a starter job, while looking for a long-term career position.
I soon learned that Pacific Telegraph and Telephone were looking for linemen. I applied, within a one week I had the job. I would work there for almost twenty-seven years, retiring with a nice retirement package at age forty-seven.
During the time spent there, the name of the company changed several times and today the company is ATT, the parent company that was broken up and reassembled over the years.
I learned many trades during my employment. The list of occupations includes lineman, splicer, work in accounting, the business office, Telephone Installer, and Telephone Repair person, and spending the last almost seventeen years in Information Technology.
From the age of forty-seven to fifty-seven, I would work at four technology companies, two positions as consultants for a year, then Microsoft and Adobe in the Information Technology Departments. I would retire again at age 57. We moved from the Bay Area to the Seattle area in 1997 for the Microsoft and Adobe jobs.
Personal Life History
When I was nineteen and one-half my then girlfriend and I had a child together. Within three years, we went our separate ways, and I had custody of our daughter. I married six months later and raised the daughter with her stepmother. When she was seventeen, her stepmother and I divorced. The daughter stayed with me until she reached eighteen. Eighteen months later, I married again and will celebrate thirty-one years in August 2021.
The Senior Years
We moved from the Seattle area to Northern Nevada in 2010. Being retired, I primarily volunteered at non-profits serving children, seniors, and pets. Helping them with desktop computers and associated devices, creating websites and supporting their email services. I worked part time at a local computer business fixing computers, building websites, and supporting email services.
In 2020, we moved from Northern Nevada to Northern California for the better weather. We moved into a rental, then purchased a home, remodeled it, then moved in, all during the pandemic.
I returned, in 2021, to part-time work. I am in my third job and have several stories to tell. The first one is here.
Thoughts regarding my writing journey.
I consider writing the fourth stage of my life. I never in my wildest dreams thought that writing would be something which would fascinate me and wanted to do. In 2009, the spark for writing started for me, at age 57.
The spark flickered slowly until 2018, when I first started publishing stories. Long before that time, I started many story ideas and to this day have a ton of unfinished stories on hand to finish. I am sorting through them listing the ones that I want to work on in the coming months in my spreadsheet.
The story of falling in love and living happily ever after was not the one I got.
I wanted the story for my life to be the one where I fall in love and would live happily ever after. But when the other person had a different perspective about living life. I had to adjust and move on.
I have had to make changes or adjustments in my life because it was necessary and not always easy. When the one you think you are in love with changes in a way that is not in alignment with your thinking, and you must move on is one of the most difficult decisions in life.
I am happy where I am today with the one; I am with today. We are both on the same page of life and it is wonderful. August 2021, we will celebrate thirty-one years together.
I recently met a couple who were high school sweethearts, married and celebrated their fifty-second anniversary this year. So, it is possible.
Thank you for reading.
What is your story? Please share it in the comments.