Saturday, April 10, 2010

When One Has No Life, It's Best To Invent One

Me and My Shadow

It wasn't too long ago that I was just your average go to work, come back home, watch "The Wheel" then go to bed sort of guy. I was caught in a loop, living from day to day with no apparent purpose or reason. If my life had been a story submitted for publication, there would have been no end to the rejection slips.

But then I bought a motorcycle.

Oh, baby, was the spouse upset when I tooled down the driveway on my brand spanking new Honda Shadow. The kids asked, "Is that yours?" and I replied, "Of course not! I'm just borrowing it for awhile."

Do you think anyone believed me? Absolutely not!

But I had a purpose for my bike. It wasn't going to be a toy. It wasn't going to just sit in the driveway gathering dust and bird droppings. It was going to be a part of a "new me." I was going to use it to add a bit of spice to "my story." And from that day since (coming up on six years and 60,000 miles) I've ridden my bike to work almost every day -- in cold weather, on hot days, when the rain came down so hard it stung my body through my raingear, and on a couple of icy days when I really shouldn't have been riding at all.

My bike is now a part of me, and I a part of it. And in the end, when others tell my story, they will say, "He was a biker."

Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines

I've always wanted to learn how to fly, but it seemed like I was always too busy, or more importantly, too poor, to do it. But on Nov. 7, 2007, I soloed in a Cessna 150, and in July 2008 I obtained my pilot certificate.

Flying is an expensive hobby. Planes cost too much, the price of maintenance is out of this world, and it takes a lot of flying to keep your skills at an acceptable level. I knew all that when I took my first lesson. I knew that there was no way I could ever afford my own plane. I knew that after getting my certificate I would probably never have the cash to fly very much, if at all.

But I did it anyway.

Sure, instead of learning to fly, I could have spent my money on paying down some credit card debt. Sure, I could have fixed the roof or paid off the cars. But I wanted to write a new chapter in my life, a chapter full of excitement and of being able to do what only a few have even dared.

Flying is now a part of me, and I a part of it. And in the end, when others tell my story, they will say, "He was a pilot."

The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword

I have always enjoyed writing. I won a writing trophy in 2nd grade. I wrote a science fiction story in third. I took creative writing in high school. I was an award-winning journalist in the military. But it wasn't until two years ago, when I started writing a weekly column for my local newspaper, that I found my "focus" in life. I found that writing was the one and only thing that made my life worth living.

And then three months ago I started this website with the sole purpose of making up for lost time. Write one story a day. Without fail. Rain or Shine. In Sickness or in Health. In Good times and Bad. What God has brought together, let no man pull asunder.

Writing is now a part of me, and I a part of it. And in the end, when others tell my story, they will say, "He was a writer."

I had no life, so I invented one

Before three days ago I had never heard of Donald Miller. He's an author. He wrote a book called Blue Like Jazz. More recently he wrote a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I've Learned While Editing My Life.

The book is about turning the story of your life into a better story, and I look forward to reading the book some day. But for now, I'm DOING it! Editing my life. Creating new chapters. Looking foward to the day when my own life will be a story worth reading.

Thanks to Chris Brogan for shining the light on Donald Miller. And Thanks to Donald Miller for opening our eyes to endless possibilities!


  1. I love this!!! I was happy after just the motorcycle part! and then you did more :)

  2. then get on over to austin and do some fun stuff! I'm gonna spend some time reading your other posts :)