I was talking with someone the other day and I was telling him about my journey. During our conversation, I had to go back to the very beginning. I hadn’t really thought about that day in a long while. The day of sitting out by the water, the day of scarfing down a huge hamburger and fries and a beer or two. That day was sunny— September in Florida, you can’t beat it— and I think the pelicans and seagulls were craving the fries as much as I was. I still remember how the mood instantly changed. We had all been joking and kidding, probably about the fry eating birds, and then in the blink of an eye, the conversation turned serious.
As I said in “Starting the Journey”, my family was concerned for my health and my well being. In fact, they were so concerned that they were willing to pay the extortion fees that are required if one chooses to have gastric by-pass surgery. That they were making me this offer was both shocking and eye-opening. But the thought that permeated my brain was this: I’m not worth it. I’m not worth the one zillion dollars (ok, it’s not that much, but it might as well have been) they were willing to sacrifice for me. Now, I’m sure in their eyes, I would have been worth one zillion and one dollars, but I didn’t feel I was worthy or deserving of their offer. So, I turned them down. I told them that if change was going to happen, I wasn’t going to take the surgery route, I had to do the hard work on my own.
So now, if you fast forward the journey just a bit, two years to be exact, I’ve learned a lot. A lot about what I can do, a lot about who I am and a lot about who I used to be. But, by far, the most important thing I’ve learned is that on that beautiful September day, at the restaurant on the water, I was wrong. I am worth it. I’m not saying that I’m worth a zillion dollars (I mean, really, c’mon...I’m worth at least twice that!) No, what I’m saying is that I am worth the love, the concern, the care and the fear that my family went through in order to have the heart to heart conversation that they had with me that day. It changed my life. Hell, it saved my life!
So, I guess you are asking yourself how this fits into my “Road Trip”. Well, actually this reminds me of a little pull-off on along 515 between Jasper and Ellijay in North Georgia...it’s just a little ramp along the side of the road for people to stop and get out of their cars in order to really appreciate the beautiful mountain scenery that surrounds them. For me, this scenic view pull-off is to allow me the opportunity to thank those who have encouraged and inspired me along the way. I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for those who surround me. I may not have taken the offer, but I still can never repay them for what they've given to me.