Driving along, windows down and hound dog regally perched in the back seat; I decided to turn on the radio. Much to my delight, this particular station was playing a block of Elvis songs. Having just sung along to “Jailhouse Rock” at the top of my lungs, I eagerly awaited the next number. For a moment I mused at the thought that my singing was indeed worthy of a jail sentence. Let’s put it this way; a bullfrog has a better chance of a record deal than I do!
The first few notes that came through the speakers placed a smile upon my face. This was early Elvis at its best! It did not take long for me to begin verbally slaying the lyrics of “Return to Sender.” The year was 1962 and love unfulfilled was a popular theme. The effects of the Fifties were still felt across the country and a sense of prosperity and well-being permeated society. The innocence of young love was being broadcast from AM stations coast-to-coast!
As I listened to the plight of the poor postman, having to bring all of those letters back to “The King,” my thoughts turned to writing. I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to ignore my passion for the written word and my insatiable drive to tell a tale. I began my first science fiction epic at the age of twelve. It was James Bond and Flash Gordon rolled into one spacesuit. Of course, there was the alien femme fatale and the usual assortment of evil intergalactic villains. It never made it to the New York Times Bestseller List. In fact, it never made it past five pages of adolescent scribbling in a tattered spiral notebook!
College came and went entirely too fast; and I was soon on the corporate career track. Three daughters blessed me with the joys of fatherhood, jobs came and went, and I traveled the globe as a senior executive. From time to time I would find myself longing to write, but there was always a handy excuse not to. I was the upwardly mobile business professional just embarking on a lucrative career. Thirty years flew past, and I suddenly found myself unemployed. Trying to maintain some semblance of sanity while conducting a C-level job search in a rotten global economy; I needed an outlet for all of my pent-up energy and frustration.
Fate stepped in gently one morning as I read a post in one of my “socio-professional-networking-sell you something you do not need” website communities. It was a blog post from one of the members. The words I read were not going to win a Pulitzer Prize any time soon; but they were sincere and heartfelt. Perhaps what I admired the most was that this individual had found the courage to share her thoughts with the entire world!
Within days I had signed up on a free blog posting site. I was not looking for a global audience or the fast track to the Newbery Medal’ I simply needed an outlet for my creative ambitions. Now, several months later, I find myself with a daily readership in the thousands and fans from some three dozen countries. Along the way I managed to publish two books, sharing my humorous insights into frequent flying and my inspiration found in everyday situations and events. In short, I realized my dream.
Do not think for a moment that I will be taking an early retirement in the Caribbean; the result of massive royalties flowing into my bank account. It is a rare few who are able to make a living as a professional bard! Instead, I am enjoying the overwhelming fulfillment that comes from the art of creation through words. I am relishing the fact that my outlook is touching the lives of others in such a positive way. I am finally living my fantasy!
All of us are given gifts that were meant to be shared with the world. We spend a tremendous amount of time and energy denying them. There are a plethora of reasons why we choose not to embrace those blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Each of us is too busy tying to make a living, there are household chores that must be finished, the kids need to be driven to soccer practice, our favorite reality show is coming on next; and the list goes on endlessly! In the process, we cheat ourselves out of the joy of sharing who we are with others.
So when the postman rings your doorbell, will you ignore your gifts and simply mark them “Return to Sender?”