An Age of Re-Invention (pt 2)

So, why are we here?

Yeah, that’s one of the fundamental questions we all struggle with throughout our lives.  Some find purpose in faith, or family or work.  We’re all put here for a reason.  Maybe more than one.  We all have talents and aptitudes that we were born with in order accomplish that purpose (those purposes).  It’s up to each of us to discover what those talents may be and then develop the skills and abilities to… but, I get ahead of myself.

Why are we here at St Thomas Place?

Well for some of you maybe a keyword popped in a Internet search engine, or one of my friends asked you to check me out. Or you clicked on the link by mistake…  Thank you.  Why am I here?  It comes back to building tomorrow.  

Remember that slow-motion train wreck of a midlife crisis I mentioned, the one without the sports car or the trophy-wife?  Maybe that wasn’t so much of a joke after all.  As I think back to the dreams of my youth and recall the hopes and aspirations of a younger and more starry-eyed St Thomas in college and high school, back when forty-something seemed like ages away… back when my college buddies and I thought that writing a Star Trek / Star Wars crossover was the coolest idea in the universe… [There are still printed manuscripts of this document in existence somewhere. A friend of mine from those by-gone days reminds me of that from time to time on Facebook.  I don’t know whether he’s taunting  me or wants to reminisce about those good times. And…. of course there are 643 other versions, by other writers, on fan sites all over the web.]  But, I digress…

Back then, I thought I’d be retiring from the Army now.  I thought I’d have a book deal.  I thought at least that some of my short fiction would have been published in an anthology.  I thought I’d have a position as a columnist or commentator or essayist with a respected periodical or news organization.  I thought I’d have a wife and children, that we’d be proud of each other. I guess I can always hold out hope for a guest shot ‘Real News.’  No seriously, my son, the aspiring filmmaker, plays bass in the top orchestra at his junior high school.  My stepson has a job and recently married his sweetheart.

Now of those goals mentioned above, the ones accomplished, or in the latter stages of accomplishment, actually…[as my dad, St Thomas, Sr, says, “fatherhood is forever.”], those had energy and planning and effort poured into them.  I took steps to make them happen.  I courted and married my children’s mother.  I invested countless hours of my life building relationships with my boys.  They’re still part of my life, and their mother …. She’s remarried now, and for the boys’ benefit we’re cordial to each other.  But there, too, I put deliberate energy, thought and effort into bending the curve of my life away from the hurt and bitterness that can follow divorce.

Of those goals not fully realized…the writing parts had less planning.  In my twenties, I wrote for fun.  I never tried to find an editor or publisher.  There would be plenty of time for that…Or I’d be… discovered.  But in my thirties, I pulled out the lap top and started polishing up some of the ideas that had been rattling around inside my brain housing group for years, and I put them up on Fanfiction.net.  I’m Chris St Thomas over there, as well [you know, the whole pen name thing I mentioned on the about page…].  When I got those ideas out there, I found that new ones flowed forth.  I started to plan and apply some of same creative effort to the writing, I had applied to other parts of  my life.  

So, what am I saying?

Look inside your heart, inside your mind to find your purpose, to find your talent, to find  that thing that makes your soul sing.  Your talent, your purpose, will lead you to the no-bulls#1t version of yourself.  Srinivas Rao wrote about this in his recent Kendle book, ‘The Art of Being Unmistakeable.’ Rao wrote of finding the no-bulls#1t version of yourself, and nurturing him or her. Nurture that talent or purpose the same way you’ve nurtured your accomplishments.  Nurture it with time and energy and effort.  Nurture it with planning, preparation and follow through.

Two of the elements of my stories from the middle of the last decade showed up in the Smallville TV show years after I hung them on the Fanfiction boards.  Another element is all over the fanfilm community on YouTube.  Can I prove that any of the writers or producers read my stuff and incorporated it deliberately?  No; it’s not like there was an acknowledgement in the credits.  I’m certainly not getting a royalty check.  Maybe great minds just think alike.  But I put it out there.  I took a risk.

And now I’m taking another risk here.  A small one.  Much like the one on Fanfiction.  I’m putting my ideas out there. I’m casting my bread upon the waters.  I’m sending my words out with purpose and intent. But how else will I get that news analyst job I want?  Plan, prepare, carry-out and be prepared to seize opportunities and overcome obstacles.  

This is how the future gets built. One person at a time.  One dream at a time.  Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison didn’t just stumble upon the telephone and the light bulb.  Each worked and researched and tried different ideas for a long time, until one that worked.  And then it took more years to spread their ideas to every household and business in the country.  It wasn’t easy.  It took determination and patience.  But they did it.

I love my faith.  I love my country and I love my family.  [Event if I don’t talk to them as often as others talk to theirs…]  Should I attempt to promote these ideals by tearing down all alternatives?  What a path of destruction that would cut….  That’s not the legacy I want to leave my children.  But maybe, if I find the no-bulls#1t version of myself, and nurture him and pursue the talents the universe and G-d gave me when I was formed in my mother’s womb, maybe I can inspire others to do the same.  And then I’ll get 20,000 followers like the guy with the ‘101 Books’ blog; and that will lead to the corner office with windows.  Or at least a guest appearance on the ‘Wilkow Majority’…but, I get ahead of myself.

It isn’t about fame. It’s about truth.  Nothing worth doing is easy.

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The opinions expressed in my writings are my own, unless otherwise cited or attributed, and not necessarily those of my employers.

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