There is something to be said about how one is raised. A person does not have to let their past and upbringing control them, but that's not to say those things don't shape who we are.
You've heard this bit before, I know, but it remains true nonetheless. You might think it is up to one's parents to raise you right, or maybe it's up to you.
As long as you end up heading in the right direction you can decide for yourself.
Some could say I grew up in a privileged way.
I grew up in a nice house, had two parents that loved my sister and I as well as each other,
and was taught that there were things that would get you in trouble with someone other than Mom and Dad if you got caught.
I grew up in the country where my work ethic was carved into what it is today. I lived on a ranch that raised cattle and nothing more. Those cattle taught me the valuable lesson of loss.
Whenever I think about it, I have to laugh.
Cattle are not the smartest creatures on the planet by any stretch of the imagination and yet they were able to explain one of the tougher subjects without saying a word.
I was very young. It was an early winter morning when my dad came into my room and told me to put pants on and come down stairs. It was calving season on the ranch.
The bitter cold would prove too much for the newborns at times and would lead us to make sure they survived. Not knowing what was going on, I did as my dad said and followed him downstairs.
He lead me to a small bathroom by the back door of our house where there was a newborn calf lying on the floor.
Sometimes, when a calf is born, it will have deformities.
I wasn't sure if it was due to the cold or not, but the calf's hooves were all pointed backward as if it were a person's hand bent at the wrist.
Dad told me the calf was dying and that I needed to circulate its blood by rubbing it with a towel constantly. Dad wasn't done checking calves so he left me there to do as he said.
I stayed in that bathroom for what seemed like an eternity. I had managed to keep it alive for a long time until I became too tired to thoroughly do my job.
I can't remember if my dad was standing there watching me or not by that point. I just remember my arms burning with fatigue while furiously trying to keep this newborn calf alive.
In an hour's time I was exhausted. I had no more energy to give as I breathlessly stroked the calf's fur hoping anything would help.
Then, after a long while of near silence, I saw the animal's eyes go a foggy white. The life draining from its body. Soon after, it was gone.
I was upset to say the least but from then on I understood that you can only do so much to keep something, or someone, from passing on before their time comes anyway.
I learned many lessons on that farm. I grew up to be what I hope people see as a good person. My morals became strong too. I learned the difference between right and wrong in one form or another.
I went to high school in the small town I'm from. The ranch was almost twenty miles away from there but it wasn't much of an inconvenience.
I was one of the only people I knew in that school that didn't care what "clique" I belonged to. I could have been friends with anybody.
I am not saying I had a large group of friends, but I am saying I didn't have many enemies . I have never liked the idea of having one large group of friends that are always together.
I prefer having maybe one or two friends to hang out with at one time. It makes things easier and less congested. I'm not a loner by any means either. It's hard to explain.
Anyway, in all the time I spent participating in school events and athletics I came to the realization that I am not an athlete.
As I have said before, I can move when I want to but I usually choose not to.
my senior year of high school was probably the best year I can remember due to the fact that I did not compete in any athletic program the school offered.
Rather, I focused on being in the school band. My music teacher was the best on earth, in my opinion.
She would let me do whatever I wanted as long as it was musically related and it wouldn't mess things up when it all came together.
I even got to dance like an idiot on stage once during a Christmas concert. There was no real reason for it, but it was funny.
During the summer in my high school years I ran a delivery service. I made no money and any employee I had was made to understand that fact.
I would pay them what I could, of course, but it wasn't much to go by. People liked having the option of getting things delivered to them.
I made deals with the local restaurants so I could deliver for them.
I was also able to deliver medicine to the elderly people in town for the pharmacy which quickly became my most profitable market for business.
It was cheap for the pharmacy and I still made very little money in the long run. That's okay though. I liked being the delivery guy.
When my senior year ended I had to get ready to leave for college. The college was only a half hour away from my parents' house, but it was still a bit difficult to leave home.
I was going there to become a crime scene investigator and in the two short years to come I would have more fun than I could have ever hoped for at another school.
To be continued...