I bought a wallet yesterday on the way home from work. It’s not something I do very often, not that I don’t enjoy the act of going through my old wallet and finding all those things I’ve stuck in there since the last time.
But this changing of the wallet was kind of different, I hadn’t bought a new one for almost nine years. The old one was still quite sturdy, still held all of the things I need with me. All the different forms of identification I’ve acquired over the years, credit cards and library cards. All the business cards people have given me, half of which I have no idea why I have them. All the things that I will continue to carry, probably for the rest of my life.
There are also a couple things that won’t be going in the new wallet. A couple of things I worked hard to get but don’t really need anymore. I guess you could say they’ve outlived their original usefulness to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very proud of the accomplishment of acquiring them, they are still priceless to me, but they don’t belong in my wallet anymore and they don’t mean the same thing to me as they once did. They used to prove who I was, or at least a part of who I was but now they are a tribute to tenacity I didn’t know I possessed. Now they remind me of something I should have never even dreamed but in the end, something that I accomplished, none the less.
I know it probably sounds a little like I’m bragging and I guess in a way, I am. I am proud.
The reason I’m changing wallets is because of a letter that came in the mail the day before yesterday. It was one I knew was on its way. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it until it was in my hand. I didn’t really need to open it, I knew what it said, it was my doing that sent it on its way. It said that a part of my life was over, a part I worked hard for, a part I can be proud of. I never really took full advantage of what I had accomplished and there were lots of complicated reasons for that, not the least of which was a back injury that happened very early on. I used to be angry about that and a few other things that all but kept me from what I had been trained to do, but I was blessed, and that anger passed.
The whole experience has taught me an unfathomable amount of wisdom. It has helped me see what’s important in life, or in my life anyways. It taught me that nobody can tell you what you can’t do, they don’t know. It taught me why I was put on this Earth, that there are those of us that can’t stay away when something is happening, that can’t walk away from something that needs doing. Those that don’t care whether they look stupid or weak, as long as nobody gets hurt and it all turns out all right in the end.
Man, this makes me sound like quite a guy. The truth is that I am quite a blessed guy. I’ve had the chance to accomplish things I may never have accomplished if there hadn’t been roadblocks put in my way because it was those roadblocks that gave me that tenacity that I needed to overcome.
The great part about all this is the fact that it may have been a badge that helped show me all the things that need doing in this world but none of us really need a badge to accomplish most of it. We just need to stand up and be counted, we need to remember that it’s always the right time to do the right thing. We need to put ourselves in someone else’s place and realize how we would feel if we needed help and people just walked away because it wasn’t their problem because they just didn’t want to get involved.