Champion of My Success


The streets were teaming with people; traffic was heavy, and the smoke stacks had began to spew their thick clouds of chemicals into the atmosphere. The ‘Big City’ was awakening from its midnight slumber. This would be the beginning of my days for the next fifteen (15) years.

I worked for a small auto supplier as a screw machine operator. It was a demanding job, but it kept food on the table, paid the bills and, support my wife and three (3) kids.

At this time in America, post 9/11, with the war going on in Iraq, hurricane Katrina and Rita, the sub prime mortgage debacle and, the coal mine disasters, I figure we are blessed.

Things could be worse, like the Andersons down the street, their house is in foreclosure; or the Bowens over on Prairie Ave., they lost their car, and their utilities are shut-off. There is pain and suffering all around us. That’s why I decided to go back to school. My job might not have the best benefit package, like the ‘Big Three’, but it will pay for me to get a four year degree from the college of my choice.

I haven’t been in a school for twenty five years; I’m computer illiterate; I just got a cell phone two years ago. Who am I fooling? It’s too late for me. The young kids today are leaps and bounds, technologically, ahead of me. But our society is changing so much; I really don’t have much of a choice. I can either stay where I am, and that’s not a good choice because of how rapidly the auto industry is changing, or I can invest in myself and become more competitive in the marketplace. I chose the latter.

The first day of school went ok, I got a few looks, but that’s alright I expected as much. After all, a man my age can’t expect to just blend in.

I decided to take up computer programming, Industrial and commercial, just in case I decided to leave the auto industry for what may prove to be a more promising future. My wife was initially reluctant to support the idea of me working ten (10) and twelve (12) hour days, 6 days a week, and cramming school in 3 mornings a week for the next 24 weeks. I must admit, the wisdom of her reluctance began to sink in after the third week.

I was exhausted. Too much work, not enough sleep; my eating habits took a big hit, I was losing weight rapidly. There is no way I can keep this pace for too much longer, something has to change, and soon.

I began taking drugs to stay awake, drugs to go to sleep, drugs to have sex and, of course I thought I could hide all of this from everybody.

As life would have it, unforeseen circumstances would come to bear on my young, simple life. The only thing that dropped lower than my weight was my spirit, my self worth and, my expectations. The drugs and pleasure seeking rendezvous was beginning to take a heavy toll on my life.

School was beginning to look less and less attractive as my drug addiction grew more expensive. Something had to go!

-To Be Continued-

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