On my birthday, while waiting for my cousins to show up, my BFF was browsing through my bookshelf which I had recently re-organized and logged into an app to make sure I didn't have any duplicates (and I did have quite a few! *sigh*). Then she reached for a couple of things I had carefully placed away from my clumsy self to avoid breaking them. She excitedly asked why I hadn't told her about them; it's something to be proud of, she said.
She was referring to the glass awards given to me - one by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands for winning 'Big of the Year 2020', and the other from Mentor Nebraska for 'Excellence in Mentoring 2021'. It's not that I'm not proud of it, I told her, I just didn't do it for the recognition. I did it because I wanted to pay it forward.
In Present Time, my brothers joke as to why I didn't do the things I'm doing with my mentee, and they have a point. The only answer I have is the fact that there was (technically there still is) a ten-year age gap between us making it hard to connect with one another. Also, I was a sixteen-year-old boy trying to find my place in a foreign country, trying to assimilate and adapt. I joke back that they can buy the book I am writing about (for legal reasons I should say, loosely based on) our life as immigrants; then they will have more insight into other factors that led me to where I am today. Now, as grown men leading different paths, I can't help feeling guilty when (hopefully joking) they call me out for not doing things with them when we were younger.
Of course, as we grew older, we found things in common and our unique upbringing brought us closer together. There is this post from a Blog I wrote years ago that tells you about the moment when the bond between us three brothers was born. I guess trauma is a way to bond, we laugh it off.
So yeah, there are other things that I am proud of, to circle back to the beginning.
-I graduated from High School, and I made a couple good friends that still linger in my life and I appreciate them.
-I had the chance to participate in different activities close to my heart while in High School thanks to some faculty members that saw something in me and took me under their wing.
-I got a full ride scholarship to college (you can read about it in my book pretty soon!).
-I worked my way up to management in a restaurant.
-I qualified to become part of the staff at this Leadership camp that shaped me, and introduced me to many people I look up to. Those were two years of my life that I hold dear to my heart.
-I was lucky to have a partner who supported me while I searched for the type of job I wanted and I got it. Almost a decade later, I'm still at that job, but moved up positions.
-Volunteering for BBBS has gotten me interviews for news channels (KETV) (KMTV), and radio stations; I have been on their information pamphlets; I spoke at a dinner for potential donors.
-I want to believe my Little and his mom like me as time goes by.
-I have what I have because of my hard work.
-I have friends and family that support me. What else could I ask for? (I mean, the lottery would be nice).
Anyway, let's send this post and get this blogging business a reboot.
And don't forget to check out the podcast that (going forward) will go along with every blog post.
This comeback I am talking about accomplishments and one of the things that sometimes have held me back from doing things, or discourages me, my accent. More of that, in this week's "All Over The Place".
In the meantime,
[ ...Relax. Take it Easy... ]