Hi, my Name is Eric and I am a Happy Person! ( Hi Eric)
Now this may sound strange but this is a quite the revelation for me. I was not always a person who was happy or positive. Just the opposite. I was always a Gloomy Gus. I never saw a situation that could not be made worse waiting for the other shoe to drop.No good deed went unpunshied!Every silver cloud had a darker cloud behind it.
I have always been a classic underachiever. I was told that I was destined for big things. I was the first to go to college, a good athlete, a “good person”. However, I felt in my heart I was an imposter. I surely didn’t feel smart. I always got reports that I “could do better” “Not performing up to expectations” I was a good baseball player, but, I was overweight, did not get myself in shape and so,I was cut from the team. As a result I knew that every time I tried some new experience or challenge, failure and disappointment was just around the bend.
Life became a series of bad choices that only reinforced my self predisposed outcomes. Hate cold weather, go to school in New England. Like a big university environment, go to a school with less than 2,000 students. Want to become a teacher , get a degree in Criminal Justice. Get involved in bad relationships, and work in business for over 20 years hating every minute of it.
The one thing I always was sure of was that I wanted a family.After somehow managing to find a wonderful women to marry me,(and still I wound up on crutches the day of the wedding and almost missed it !) we settled down and started a family.Life was good. We bought a co-op and things looked bright.Then things got even better, I was offered a promotion and a chance to move to the suburbs. We bought a house ,moved , I was the boss , and we had our second child.Just when it looked like maybe the dark clouds had dissipated someone cashed my reality check! I got laid off,we had never been able to sell the co-op in New York, and now I was out of work. To save our home I had to go into bankruptcy
Needless to say I had good reasons to not be all rainbow and unicorns. Over the next dozen years I worked in various jobs in my industry but the economy was tanking and I had 6 different companies either go out of business, downsize or merge and cut down their workforces. We struggled, but through the faith and devotion of my wife we managed, certainly nothing I did ! All those hollow predictions about my “potential” and how great I was to be, rang in my mind, and manifested itself in pessimism and negativity. I was not very pleasant to live with. I complained about everything to everyone. My belive that I was a failure was coming true.
So what changed? Just before my fiftieth birthday I got laid off from my job by budget cuts . Again, confirmation of my failures! I came home with my pathetic little cardboard box.My wife and I realized there had to be a change. There was no going back to the path I had been on. After much soul-searching, I decided to do what I always wanted to do. Teach. I looked around found a Master’s Program and, bless her, my wife supported my decision.An amazing thing happned.I was becoming a good student !! I not only enjoyed the work, I was learning and getting straight A’s. Within two years I was teaching High School Special Education US History! Maybe, just maybe, the sun would shine after all! Well OK, I got RIF’ed twice before I landed my present school, but it felt different. I was slowly seeing the light. Being in a position where I felt I belonged had a profound effect on me. I saw how what I was doing with and for my students was having a positive influence on their lives. I felt that I was finally on the correct path.My eyes were opening, a cool wind was blowing the dark clouds away. This allowed me to really look at my life. How blessed was I to have a loving and supportive wife? Two fantastic children who were becoming strong adults.At the same time this allowed me to open my heart as well, as I awakened the dormant spirituality and peace within, that strengthened my faith in God.
I was enjoying life! I knew that things were going to be all right after all! To be sure, things are not always perfect, I still struggle financially, I’m still a parent !!!, and well, students are not always little angels. But, I know that I can choose to be positive, I have my family,my faith, my friends and of course a truly wonderful connected PLN that allows me to see the beauty of the world and the positive spirit in me and others. The only expectations are the ones from within me.I can accept when things go wrong,I am convinced that I can overcome.Being positive and happy only makes things better. I draw strength from that. I am not naive, but I have a choice. I choose happy !