Today, as I’m cleaning the house and washing dishes I heard the name Carson. I also heard the words cash register, which I’ll get to in a moment. First, the name Carson reminds me of two people. The first is an old friend that I grew up with in school. The second is the name of someone’s child. My first thought was about my friend from school. It reminded me of something that he told me in middle school.
When I was in the 5th grade I remember the moment that we became friends. The teacher told us that we needed to pair up with someone for our next activity. I remember very distinctly that Carson asked the teacher if he could pair up with me. We ended up becoming pretty good friends. I would go over to his house and we would play video games. We would talk about James Bond while riding the bus. Then I remember the day he told me the truth.
We were sitting in band class and I remember him being irritated at me, but I don’t recall exactly why. He started to tell me how the only reason we were even friends is because my mother had called the school and told the teacher that I needed a friend or something to that effect. It all made sense to me. My mind went back to the day we were paired up together. Carson had never really talked to me before that or showed much interest in wanting to get to know me. I asked my mother and she denied ever doing such a thing.
That’s a pretty nifty story for a sixth grader to come up with if he was telling a lie. I’ve never really had a great relationship with my mother, so I tend not to believe most of what she tells me. Hearing cash register reminds me of the time I was put on a cash register. I was so nervous that I couldn’t get the security tags off the clothes and I nearly handed back the wrong amount of change several times. I was only on the register for maybe ten minutes, but it felt like I had been standing there for an hour. One customer even said “good luck buddy” as he was leaving. I felt so embarrassed and dejected. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t stupid. Why did my common sense go straight out the window?
Since then I’ve realized that I let that moment get the best of me. I’ve allowed that scene to play out in my mind so many times that I’ve probably made it a lot worse than it actually was. Well no, it was pretty bad. The point is that I allowed it to define a part of me. All my life I’ve struggled with certain tasks. Usually they are very simple tasks. I remember that I had a hard time learning to tie my shoes and developed a method of pulling the laces underneath a certain way whenever I couldn’t do it.
While I’m sharing a lot of personal information, let me go ahead and also say that I was quite embarrassed growing up because I was a bed wetter. I remember being in kindergarten and wetting my sleeping mat when it was nap time. I seem to have problems with what you might call fine motor skills. Certain tasks that I very simple do not come easily to me. I should say that many of these things I could probably get better at with time and practice, but many of them still can be quite difficult. In college, I’m a member of a couple of honor societies and for a while had a 4.0 GPA. My GPA is still fairly high, but no longer a 4.0. I know that I’m not stupid because I’ve seen what I can do academically.
However, academics don’t mean squat when you are in real world situations. It doesn’t matter that I can make an A on a test when I have trouble with seemingly everyday tasks. I say that it’s fine motor skills, but it can show itself in various ways. I’ve also struggled with being embarrassed about my handwriting. I know that other people have bad hand writing too, but many times it doesn’t change how I feel about mine.
One time, a mentor of mine and I were talking. I shared with him about the trouble I had tying my shoes when I was younger. He said, “Are you sure that it was that you didn’t know how, or that maybe you never properly learned how?” Of course, I don’t remember the specifics of shoe tying, but I can’t imagine that my mom or dad wouldn’t teach me how to do it properly. I believe that one of the main reasons that I did so poorly in both middle school and high school was due to my anxiety. When I started back to college, my mission was simple. I wanted to see what I could achieve if I applied myself.
I remember talking to my aunt one day about my father. She said she always thought he was very smart and had things he could do really well, but that he never thought that those things were really significant. My mother has told me that if it weren’t for her, they would have never purchased a house because he was content to live where they were living. She said that he was afraid of stepping out and taking risks. I don’t want to have that said about me.
Time management was also something that was a mystery to me growing up. It was only when I had a girlfriend who was able to point things out, that I actually realized both my parents and I didn’t know how to properly manage time. If my parents had an appointment at 1 in the afternoon, the whole day would revolve around that appointment. Even to this day, I hear my mother make statements like “I won’t have time for that”, or “I’ve got so much to do and can’t get that done today.” Usually, that is in no way, shape, or form the case. So I’m having to teach myself to manage time better.
I do not and cannot put all the blame on my parents. They certainly didn’t mean to do or not do certain things. I have to own my choices and decisions that I make. It does no good to just observe that perhaps my parents had certain traits that I learned that are not really good. That’s why I am trying to change my life one choice and decision at a time. I’m not the same person that I was five or six years ago, and I’ll more than likely continue to change throughout my life. I’ll have certain aspects of course that will remain, but I’m hoping to become a much improved person overall.
Sometimes in life you need a wake up call. I had two of them within a short time frame from each other. My dad passed away several years ago, and then my friendship with my best friend deteriorated. I ended up losing the two people who were closest to me. They were the two people that I most wanted to make proud. I sometimes wonder if my dad can see certain things in Heaven. I hope that I’m making him proud. Well, I think that’ll be enough for now. Till next time.