What can I say or give to you on your birthday?
Would the typical platitudes of shouting Happy Birthday in concert with a balloon drop suffice?
I’m inclined to think that it will not.
I wanted to give you something of substance, provided that you are open to accept it.
I want to speak truth to you, as it is often a topic that I often opt to move to the back burner.
In lieu of the many layers of complexities that accompany what I want to say, I have to admit that I’ve bit my tongue on more occasions than I care to admit, but the time for that has passed.
Shun P. you have endured.
Throughout the years you have met, accepted and disbursed of a host of challenges, while at other times I have seen you grow weary of the burdens that have been cast upon you.
You’ve persisted against the tides of can’t, won’t and will not.
Yet you are still standing, fulfilling the mandate of your Momma “to make people eat their words”. However, is not my intent to be congratulatory of you merely notching another mark on the belt of life.
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I must…
You have endured, but is it enough?
I think you know that this can’t be the end game, the goal, the trophy at the end of the finish line.
Ensconced in corporate America with a benefit package, vacation time, a pension and a 401k, but is it really good?
Are you happy?
Is this what fulfillment is for you?
You are supposed to loyal to your craft… You are supposed to write, but I suppose you have something better to do?
I listen intently as you wake in the morning and recite with conviction:
“What I do for living is not what I’m supposed to do with my life.”
You are on the cusp of doing something of consequence, possibly significant and dare I say impactful?
I have to admit Shun P. you scare me, because throughout your time traversing the Earth, I have born witness to your proclivity to becoming drunk from complacency and frankly, I’ve had enough of it.
I’m waiting for you to get out of your way.
It is your serial acts of complacency that could serve as your own undoing and if left unchecked, I fear you will languish in a prison of your own making. I feel compelled to remind you that being content is a prison of its own.
I implore you to set aside the expectations and goodwill of those who know you and…
Dig… Dig deep and access that fuel, that motivation that you’ve sparingly tapped into over the years, when your back was against the wall and use it to push the envelope and to inspect your expectations.
You are only scratching the surface Shun P.
Often, I wonder if you’ve forgotten the words of wisdom that your Daddy would impart to you when comparing life’s challenges to bowling.
He would glare at you with his eyes flashing behind his tinted glasses saying:
“Boy, its mind over matter, I’m going to will me a strike right now, watch!”
He’d saunter over to the rack, turn back to ensure you were watching before grabbing his ball.
Then he would stand there, stoically surveying the lane for a few seconds, before starting his follow through.
And with a crisp flick of his left hand, he would send that ball rotating down the lane and after the pin action subsided, nothing remained but a pulsating “X” on the display, “See boy, mind over matter!”
From that you learned that by wielding the tools that you are supplied with, you only need to find the pocket to secure the strike.
Like your Daddy did back in the day, you need to survey the lane before your follow through.
I see him in you, especially during your excursions in the forests that you frequent, maybe you don’t realize it, but you are standing on another lane of sorts.
I know that you haven’t forgotten, but I must confess that you give me pause at times.
I implore you to be indefatigable, to fight, and to push back against that poisonous urge to be comfortable and to strive to be, uncomfortable.
Because it is in that perpetual state of discomfort where innovation takes residence and that is where I believe your destiny is lying in wait.
I am hopeful that you won’t interpret this as critical or browbeating, because I’m certain that you know it is coming from a place of love.
Your destiny is waiting Shun P., but her patience is waning I fear.
If you question this if this is true, you should also question your walking relatively unscathed from an accident that logic would seem to dictate that you should have perished in, right?
Time is a finite, borrowed resource and you need to treat it as such.
I need you to write… So that you can start living, finally.
Because what you’ve been doing up to now, has just been a dress rehearsal.
I love you Shun P.