An E-mail to Frankie
I am not sure how I can properly answer your question about how I feel about having taken the off beaten path in life since it’s a double edged sword. On the one side I hate and regret the bad decisions I made during those times wandering aimlessly from job to job wondering what I was going to do with my life. I reacted more out of fear and trying to keep from rocking the boat in certain respects when it came to my work, but I also pursued my faith (at times foolishly following any charismatic leader who came my way) and studying the craft of poetry. On the other a lot of positive things occurred which prepared me for my future vocation in the pastorate. I met a lot of great people, have some great stories to tell, and have a pretty positive out look on the future. St. Paul often used the metaphor of running a race which means looking forward towards the finish line and not back. As Jesus put it we are to focus more on eternal things. Try as I may I do so every often catch myself looking back to see how the other runners are fairing. Comparing myself to others. Am I where I should be? Why am I not married or in a career like most people my own age? Trying to see the other runners I instead focus on the road behind me seeing the turns I probably should have taken and wind up tripping on the stone I do not see. So in answer to your question my dear Frankie I am not entirely sure how I feel about it. Having taken the off beaten path is neither better or worse, but it did work for me. I can only imagine how I’d feel if I had gone to a four year school, gotten a career, etc. because I was studying something I hated and probably would have been excessively miserable. It has definitely given me a different story to tell which can both draw people to you and alienate you because you don’t have a lot of the shared experiences others have. There are times I wish I had done things differently, been more brave, not retreated into myself, gone another direction, taken the short cut. If I had, would I have met the people I met or had the opportunities I had taken? No. I’m not sorry. To a certain extent I am glad. For as I continue forward on the race I’ll keep striving for the prize and focusing my attention on the finish line.
posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:31 AM