The Road Not Taken

Right now and, indeed, for the past few months, I’ve been in a reflective frame of mind. Now this may be partly down to age, however, it’s also down to what’s been happening in my life. Now, one of the determining factors about this state of affairs is that I can do nothing about the first of these although I have had quite a hand in the latter and will, I hope, continue to do so. And you may have noticed my usual caution in that sentence. You see, even though my life is going well, I still never count my chickens. So, how is this good fortune manifesting itself? Well, for a start, it’s hardly down to fortune but more to what my wife refers to as my “amazing perseverance”; something I call “just getting on with life”. It seems to me that that’s the only option that we have.

As a result of this, as regular readers will know, my fourth book is ready to be published and I am, at long last, getting regular speaking gigs. So that’s good, right? Well, yes it is, obviously. However, this feeling that I can make it doing what I long dreamt of is actually unsettling. Firstly in its own right but also because it makes me realise that I can do more and, just maybe, make it even further, if I want to. Who’d have thought that that single parent on benefits all those years ago would be where he is now?

So that unsettling feeling is because I’m in unknown territory and that can be uncomfortable. Still, it’s a feeling that I’ll have to get used to or to learn to overcome; preferably the latter. However, I’m already putting my experiences to good effect in my work with young people in schools helping them to realise their talents. So far, they’ve delivered in abundance and that makes me feel that all those years of struggle may actually have put me in a position to help the next generation. You see, contrary to what some people believe, they aren’t the cause of society’s ills, rather they are the recipients. Moreover, we owe it to them to be able to make it in a much more difficult world than my generation experienced.

So, I reflect on a life that might have been as well as one that now is, albeit with some, cautious, contentment. That road not taken has been a more interesting and useful one after all. Long may it continue.

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