I am blessed and fortunate for all that I have. For free lunch mocking in the school cafeteria and 19 cent pot pies with half a crust but not going to bed hungry. For middle class in high school, eating name brand mac n cheese. For moving out to prove a point and one pack of ramen per day. For going to bed hungry. For splurging on a cheese slice or can of tomato sauce and going to bed a little less hungry until I'd forgotten what point I was proving.
I am blessed and fortunate for second chances.
I am blessed and fortunate for a bit of college and ambition that revealed success' outlines. For the fall that followed when I couldn't get past the fear. For getting my electricity shut off. For sleeping in or under two pair of pants three shirts two hats four blankets. For anger caused by ice showers in darkness.
I felt neither not blessed nor fortunate while line-standing to pay reconnect fees when I could've earned $3.37.
I am blessed and fortunate for third chances.
For Henry Coffer who befriended and mentored me. Who, when my car got repo'ed sold me--for $10--his van with AAA coverage. Then, when its battery died, came to where I sat because AAA isn't a thing that conveys--when he should've been resting since his latest chemo was the day prior. I am blessed and fortunate that was the last time he, the finest man I've ever known, had to fix something I screwed up.
For Aljon Go, because it was his show on 103.3 or 102.9 that I called into, and he was amused enough to play it over the air. Days later I did it again and he did it again and I thought maybe I could do that.
For WVCP and Mr. E., who let me learn. For Lokey who showed me how fun it could be. For Eastern European tennis players who made me enunciate. For whoever posted the Help Wanted at SuperTalk 99.7 flyer, and for everyone who saw it before me and didn't see opportunity in a weekend board-op shift.
For small radio clusters with blowtorch transmitters. For Doug Kellett who gave a smart punk more than one chance and was punished with listener complaints for it. For Richard Bachschmidt who showed me excellence. For Steve Gill, who showed me how to get paid. For everyone else who made $8.75/hr so fun I earned it 60-70 times each week. For the coworker who picked me up from the roadside after my car's next thing broke.
I am blessed and fortunate for penance, as pride greed and sloth are sins with built-in retribution. For the lows since they made me sacrifice to reach the highs. For getting the damned degree.
For the terrible company that led to the crazy company that led to the inept company. For the brother I met there. For Deanna Flannick, the great manager I met at the great company--sorry our timing sucked.
For the 1991 Toyota Camry with shot clutch rusted wheelwells and steering cover that flapped each time I accelerated or broke, and did it for 7 years with few complaints.
I am blessed and fortunate for the brass ring, and less of both for grad school loan interest rates. For a corporate job that showed me what money does, and what it can't. For a coworker who passed the happiness it can buy. That the voice inside me saying "no more" found my mouth.
All are blessed and fortunate it did before the peestick changed colors. We were for mediation and being reasonable.
I am blessed and fortunate to have found my golden chains.
For a higher power should it exist.
For more chances than I can count.
For people who helped and hurt me, including me. All of us got me here, which is exactly where I should be.
And when I realized all of this to be true, all regret lost its hold and slipped away like Dawn kicking even the toughest grease's ass.
So how could I be angry at anyone? How could I stay angry at myself?
I couldn't. So in that moment I forgave everyone for everything.
And my chains are breaking.