Sometimes you have people come into your life and your destiny is altered forever, or perhaps I should say that they come to you as guides to get you on your way to help fulfill your personal legend. You may join one person in their fight, and provide them assistance, and yet another seemingly from clear 'outta nowhere', will provide you with the manual that you could swear you have lived, experienced, and quoted from but had never yet actually read or even knew existed until one day it was just handed to you, (with dog-eared pages and all, to let you know which of them applied to you most).
Many years ago a young woman, by simply sharing a few words, spending a little bit of her time and sharing her vibrant energy with me, altered my course forever. Neither of us knew at the time that the precious few moments we shared were going to be some of her last on this planet. When God took her from us, it forever changed for me what it meant to wait until tomorrow to speak your mind, or tell someone how you feel or wait to do or say something "someday." Since then, my view on the -- here and now -- and the fact that 'tomorrow never comes' -- has been very clear. I learned all too painfully that all we have is the moment were are in, and that regret is not something you want to carry around, for that burden may kill you faster than getting your feelings hurt, or wondering what coulda/woulda/shoulda been, had you wore your heart on your sleeve, or taken that leap of faith.
A while ago, while watching a movie, I had some emotions stirred up that had been dormant for far too long. I realized while in the movie theater, how much more I was enjoying it because someone years ago had taken the time to explain all of the ins and outs of horse racing to me with great detail and care. Sitting there, all of the finite details of running a horse racing stable, the little things it takes to breed a winner, and how many things have to go "right" for a horse to win a big race, all came back to my mind. The movie served as a timely metaphor for sticking to your personal legend, and standing by what you believe in. You take your shots, and if you win the crowd will cheer with you, and if you lose you will have to embrace, and accept the failure, in the end it will all help you to rise to your destiny.
Someone once told me that the stories I have to tell of my time on the planet thus far, and in particular of where I've been for the past decade, were far too long, and verbose, and that I needed to summarize them in order to deliver them to the 'audience at large' even though while going through the experiences they were never really meant for mass consumption. They also stated that the passion with which I had told them ranked in the top 5 interviews they had ever done. I vehemently disagreed about the summarizing part at the time, but now understand that people only have so much time, and a summarized version of a longer story is better than not sharing it at all. I myself prefer longer more detailed accounts of things, and the little nuances, and turning points are of great interest, but summaries certainly do have their place as well, as I am learning.
I think LL Cool J summed it up well in a documentary I watched about his life. He said words to the effect that he wasn't mad at all of those that hurt him, and he was grateful to everyone that helped him, and that in the end, friend and foe alike were all teachers.
To all of those that supported me, I sincerely appreciate your help along the way. And to all of those that have been obstructive, and have thrown road blocks and obstacles in my way I also thank you too. Without those obstacles there may be nothing to write about, and my personal legend may have gone unfulfilled. Doubt and fear are natural human traits, naysayers are abound, and in life they also serve their purpose, and perhaps that is their personal legend! I think that is the journey of life summed up, we are all being taught what we need to learn, and I believe the journey continues much after this life here on earth ends.
When going through hard times I pray to God that I hope I am learning the lesson that is intended, and when things are going well, I thank God for the break and rest and sense of accomplishment before the next chapter begins.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place