Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The position of his ears tells it all: pricked forward, he is signaling alertness, curiosity, or interest. Slightly flopped to the sides, he is relaxed, sleepy, or bored. If rotated backward, he is listening to something behind him. However, if they are rotated backward and flattened down against his neck, he is signaling fear or anger.

Remember, when you are working with him, he should always have at least one ear cocked in your direction, listening for your next cue.

This is how my first horseback riding lesson began. My mother had given me a choice, girl scouts or horseback riding lessons. I was ten years old. It was the best summer of my young life.

Ten years flew by during which I traded horseback riding skills for parenting skills. My children were now the ones listening for my next cue.

I was 20 years old when my girlfriend asked me to go riding with her at a local Long Island stable. So on a brisk fall morning, I left the pile of beautifully colored leaves for my husband to rake, and I set out on a long overdue day of horseback riding.

I did expect to be given less rein to ride, but I did not expect to be given no rein at all. A trail leader leads the horses as they walk mindlessly behind the horse in front of them. This was a big disappointment and I concluded that riding a trail horse was not riding at all and I decided I would never ride a trail horse again. I realized that short of becoming best friends with someone who owned a ranch, this meant I may never ride any horse ever again. Or so I thought until six years later -- but with dire consequences.

My family and I were now living in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. I was 23 years old and being teased with the rich smell of horses, manure, and stables in every breeze. For three years I struggled with my earlier decision never to ride again, but living in the beautiful Arizona desert, with its indigenous mountain trails, I could not resist the temptation. So on a cool winter morning with a forecast calling for daytime temperatures in the low 70’s, I decided to get back in the saddle.

I arrived at the local stable hours before my reservation and asked a stableman if it was okay to walk around. I wanted to see if the horses were alert, interested, or just sulking in the backs of their stalls. Were they relaxed, or did they act jumpy. My prior knowledge came flooding back like it was yesterday. My heart was racing in anticipation of mounting one of these beautiful creatures.

Later on in the afternoon, I walked over to the trail horses where a group of people were waiting for our trail leader. I surveyed the group. The first couple was in their twenties, the woman was dressed for anything but horseback riding, and the guy looked like he was nursing a hangover. The second couple was maybe in their 50’s. The wife looked stiff and nervous watching her husband pet the horses. Goofing around, punching one another playfully, were four rambunctious teenage boys, one of whom yelled to his Uncle Russell, “When do we leave?”

I had my eye on a beautiful stallion and was talking to him when a loud voice announced, “Howdy, y’all, my name is Russell, and y’all are gonna be followin’ me and Banter here for the next hour.” As I continued to stroke the stallion’s chestnut colored mane Russell moseyed on over to me and said, “Can you ride Big Red young lady?” I nodded and proceeded to mount the stallion, sinking comfortably into the saddle and sliding my boots into the stirrups securing a perfect fit. I asked Big Red to stand still for a minute while I adjusted my reins. Then I stroked his neck and praised him before cueing him to walk forward.

“Well hell, I got me one rider I don’t have to worry about, now don’t I miss?” Russell snorted. Big Red’s ears pricked forward as I balanced my weight in his saddle for a comfortable fit.

It was well into the afternoon when the ride began. Russell rattled off a few of his own rules as our horses obediently followed him. I decided to bring up the rear so Big Red could trot up to the group. It was my lame attempt at pretending to ride. What I had not realized at the time was that my pretending was about to turn very real.

We were on the trail for about 20 minutes when our horses abruptly stopped. Russell guided our group towards the fork on the left, pointing out how the right fork led to a steep path down the mountains to the river. My heart skipped a beat as my mind raced with deviant thoughts. I sat there for a minute contemplating this amazing opportunity. I whispered into Big Red’s left ear. Then I gently nudged him toward the right fork, knowing all too well he was programmed to go left. But he pricked his ears forward then cocked his left ear towards me and there was no turning back!
Big Red knew he was venturing on new territory as his steps were cautious, slow, and sure. It took about ten minutes before we reached the bottom of the mountain. I dismounted Big Red and let the cool, slow moving river quench his deep thirst. I paid close attention as his ears slightly flopped to the sides. He was enjoying this reprieve as much as I was, maybe more. I wanted to capture this moment and freeze it for all eternity, but I knew a posse was waiting.

I gazed along the river and to the right I could see a picturesque field the size of two football fields. I asked Big Red if he was up for it. I stroked his mane and once again he pricked his ears forward. I mounted him and we walked towards the field. I held the reins tightly as he cocked his left ear towards me and waited for my cue. I kicked signaling a full gallop. Big Red pushed so hard off the ground when he galloped that we covered the field in breakneck speed. I yelled at the top of my lungs, enjoying selfish gratification, disregarding any later consequences.

We returned back to the stables in a cool - down walk. We were met with the expected posse, an indignant group of three men. I was escorted into the office and Big Red was led to the stables. I was scolded and told I put myself and Big Red in danger. One of the men asked me if I even considered for a moment the fact that trail horses were only meant for walking. I was informed that charges may be filed, and I could be arrested. I was told to sit down and wait while the stallion was being examined by the stable’s vet.

While we waited, I had to speak up; I told the men I would not have considered taking such a ride if I thought Big Red was incapable. I told them I was trained to observe signs of stress. I firmly believed Big Red was in no danger. I remarked how we rested and how much Big Red enjoyed the river and the gallop. My convictions fell on deaf ears, so I paced the room hoping to wear down the anxiety that plagued me.
The office door opened too fast and slammed against the wall. I was startled and dropped my riding gloves on the sawdust floor. I reached down to pick them up and prepared myself for the verdict. The vet glanced my way, and then asked to speak to the men alone. They all retreated to the back room.

Ten minutes had passed when the door finally opened. All three men took a confrontational stance as one of them took control of the situation. He advised me that due to the astonishing fact that Big Red was not harmed I would not face criminal charges. However, he continued, there would be dire consequences for my actions. I was banned from all operating stables in Lake Havasu City. I was blacklisted.

Years later, when I was 44 years old, my son Bobby and I moved to Las Vegas. I took Bobby horseback riding at a local stable. As my horse was mindlessly following Bobby’s horse, I started daydreaming about my memorable ride in Lake Havasu City. I was reminiscing that captured moment I had kept frozen in my mind; Big Red drinking from the cool river at the bottom of the mountain, then galloping through the field in breakneck speed. I started thinking of the horse I was riding now as it dragged behind Bobby’s horse, and I wondered if he would listen for my cues like Big Red had done years ago.

With a sudden jolt I was brought back to reality with Bobby turned around on his horse yelling, “Ma, the guy said there’s a fork in the trail. My horse won’t move! What does it mean when his left ear is bent and he keeps looking at me? What’s he waiting for? What should I do?”

Do I dare?


An Opportunity to Prove Yourself...

An opportunity to prove yourself, it is what we all strive for in life.

Reading that statement is one thing, but hearing it from the person who signs your paycheck is another. Ms. Palmer related this very statement to Kathy and Wyn, after a meeting with the CEO of Boyle Technology.

Ms. Palmer was being held accountable for Kathy and Wyn’s intense technology training of Boyle Tech’s new products. The CEO requested a presentation to showcase these products utilizing their technology equipment. This was perfect timing for Kathy and Wyn, as they were experiencing student burnout.

After a year and a half of sitting through painstaking technology courses, Kathy and Wyn were finally given the opportunity to showcase their new skills in what they both deemed a proper setting. During the past year and a half at Boyle Technology, they were asked to present the occasional workshop using PowerPoint and cartoon graphics, which always produced the usual chuckles, but now they were more than willing and eager to prove themselves worthy of a full blown technology presentation. The only guidelines given by the CEO were for Kathy and Wyn to have mastered the knowledge and application of Boyle Tech’s new products before introducing them to 200 prospective buyers. Ms. Palmer reminded Kathy and Wyn of her previous statement regarding their opportunity to prove themselves as her job was also on the line.

The presentation was scheduled on a Saturday morning. Kathy and Wyn had two weeks to prepare. The venue was an unfamiliar room inside a local hotel casino. Ms. Palmer gave Kathy and Wyn contact information for Robert, the meeting room coordinator for the hotel casino, and Wyn set up a meeting for early Monday morning. Upon arrival, the first thing the ladies did was to scope out the size of the room. It was a 300 person capacity room. This was going to be a challenge as presentations they had previously given were in a 75 person capacity room. When Robert arrived, they went over the specifics for their presentation. The accommodations were confirmed; the number of tables and chairs, appropriate lighting, the oversized projector screen, and complimentary beverages. Robert would even have signs posted with arrows leading the way to the room one hour prior to the presentation. With just a rehearsal date and time to schedule, they were done for the day. Robert checked his calendar and all three agreed on the Thursday before the presentation as acceptable.

Kathy and Wyn could now devote their time to mastering the CEO’s new products and applying their knowledge and skills. More than just keeping their jobs; they wanted to be appreciated for their expertise. Ms. Palmer often reminded both ladies of her own career expectations resulting from a successful presentation. Kathy and Wyn were not overly concerned because; after all, they have been working for Ms. Palmer and Boyle Tech for six years and were very well trained, feeling confident they could do a great job.
They were, however, feeling anxious. They wanted to be offered a better position at Boyle Tech after this presentation. This had been their strategy behind the decision to accept Ms. Palmer’s offer to pay them to attend all the extra technology training courses. They loved working with technology and considered being privy to new products a privilege. Kathy and Wyn had assumed they would be asked to be accountable for the money invested in them by Boyle Tech., and anticipated being asked to do some kind of a presentation. If successful, the result would be money in the bank and a name plaque on their door, as they secretly chatted about over many lunches. So this was the opportunity that would indeed prove themselves to both Ms. Palmer and Boyle Technology. It was what they both were striving for in life!

So, for two weeks, Kathy and Wyn tested the products and created their presentation. They were very impressed with the new products and were excited to present them to prospective buyers. They practiced daily after work until the rehearsal date on the Thursday preceding the presentation.

The rehearsal went well; Kathy and Wyn were 100% prepared, feeling almost cocky. Kathy made sure they had backup paper copies of the presentation, just in case an unexpected technology problem occurred. They checked and re-checked the products and equipment, leaving no room for error. They packed up and left, thanking Robert for his efforts and agreeing on a 7:30 arrival time on Saturday morning.

Kathy and Wyn were at the meeting room early on Saturday and were setting up as Robert checked in for any last minute concerns. This was much appreciated and at the moment nothing more was needed of Robert. Buyers started entering the meeting room between 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., by way of Robert’s much appreciated arrows. At exactly 9:10 a.m. Wyn went to the podium to introduce herself and to announce the standard housekeeping rules required at all meetings. She then gave the podium over to Kathy who introduced herself. After taking much anticipated questions from their audience, Kathy walked over to the equipment table and stood composed waiting for Wyn’s signal to begin. Wyn began the oral part of the presentation and then signaled to Kathy to start the visuals. When Kathy flipped the switch, nothing happened.


The oversized projector screen had been blank of any and all text and graphics that Kathy and Wyn had prepared. They had silently chuckled, exchanging looks which they both immediately understood, and proceeded with the presentation. With so much on the line, Kathy and Wyn had brought their own backup equipment, which was concealed under the table, and Kathy just reached for them nonchalantly as previously rehearsed.

The CEO of Boyle Technology had an unexpected emergency and never made it to the presentation. However, he did send his assistant, Rich, who was more than willing to report the outcome of the presentation back to the CEO.

Rich’s table had been close enough to Kathy’s whereby he was instantly made alarmingly aware that a product of Boyle Technology had just failed. He was in awe of the backup plan Kathy and Wyn had ready to handle this potential disaster. They had masked the failure of the equipment and completed the presentation without the buyers being aware of any technological problems. These employees were exemplary, is how Rich relayed his thoughts to the CEO. He added that not only did the presentation continue smoothly, but the evaluations proved the presentation to be more of a success than anticipated.

Rich showed the CEO the evaluations from the buyers that were handed in immediately following the presentation. Every single one praised Kathy and Wyn on all levels. All but 22 left their names and contact information to set up a future meeting to purchase one or more of the products. There were many that requested Kathy and Wyn to be present at these meetings; there was even one asking for Kathy and Wyn’s personal cell phone number!

Ms. Palmer was given a bonus for the presentation’s successful outcome. Kathy and Wyn were both promoted, which came with a raise and a name plaque on their door. The first assignment given to both star employees was to determine the reason for the product’s failure at the presentation.

No buyers were being scheduled for meetings to purchase any new products until they were able to complete this task, and with this Kathy and Wyn were immediately earning their ‘money in the bank’! Repeated once again, they heard………..
An opportunity to prove yourself, it is what we all strive for in life.


The Classified

The Ad read: Help Wanted. Individual needed to deliver telegrams. Must have own vehicle and insurance, must know Las Vegas area. Call 555-1212 for interview. Equal Opportunity Employer.

Matt carefully read the ad and called to schedule an appointment for an interview. He was instructed to come in next Monday at 10 a.m. Jobs were scarce, so he knew he had to make a good impression. This interview was different from all the previous ones because it involved his vehicle, so he immediately set out to clean his van inside and out. He knew the city like the back of his hand, so that part of the interview would be a piece of cake.

Monday finally arrived and Matt drove to the address given to him on the phone. It was packed with people like him, full of hope for employment. The receptionist told Matt to sign in and wait for his name to be called. He spotted a space near the corner of the room and made his way over and waited with everyone else.

It was a small building and inside the room was only one door with a name plaque that read, Ms. Reynolds, Assistant Manager. After a short time, the door opened abruptly and a tall, thin, red headed woman dressed in a tight navy blue skirt and matching sweater, was thanking an older gentleman dressed in shorts for coming in. Then she called Matt’s name and he made his way through the crowd into her office.

Matt answered the standard interview questions, he knew them by heart. He verified his license and proof of insurance and answered all of Ms. Reynolds questions regarding his knowledge of the Las Vegas area. She asked Matt if he would consider taking part in mock telegram deliveries on Thursday. She said it was the best way to screen applicants after the paperwork and interviews were completed. Matt said he would gladly participate. He was instructed to arrive at 10 a.m.

On Thursday morning, Matt was joined by four other hopeful applicants who made the cut. There were three men and one woman, all were older than Matt. As he sat comfortably waiting, the others nervously paced back and forth. Killing time, they all engaged in polite small talk.

Promptly at 10:00, Ms. Reynolds opened her office door and welcomed the group of five asking if anyone wanted coffee. She explained she would be hiring only two from the final five applicants after today’s mock deliveries. She advised the group what the necessary criteria would be to secure a position with her company; a timely arrival at five different destinations and the professional manner and presentation of the telegrams. She handed them all a piece of paper with a specific greeting on it. She said it recognized the company and must be read when the recipient accepts their telegram.

Matt glanced at the paper and was surprised when it stated nothing more than what he would have said on his own; a simple greeting of the day, mentioning his name while handing the person the telegram, and ending with a polite farewell. By specific greeting, Ms. Reynolds only wanted to add the company’s name, Foyle’s Telegram Service. She sent them on their way with a last minute reminder that there would be a representative waiting at each destination and would report back to her with their comments and recommendations.

Ms. Reynolds answered questions while handing each of them a mock telegram to deliver. Matt read the address and felt confident he could arrive at the first destination without any problems. Ms. Reynolds wished them all good luck as they departed for the first destination.

Matt arrived at the first address only 23 minutes later. He knocked at the door and was greeted by a gentleman who immediately started writing in his clipboard. Matt introduced himself and delivered the specific greeting respectfully while handing the man the mock telegram. In turn, he was handed a second mock telegram to be delivered.

This simple task was repeated four more times in spread out destinations across the Las Vegas area. Matt encountered no problems during all five deliveries, even the traffic cooperated. Matt’s deliveries took exactly two hours and twenty - five minutes.

All five of the hopeful applicants arrived back at the office at about the same time. The receptionist clocked them to assure an accurate time. Matt wondered whether any of the others secretly timed themselves as he did. Since they did all arrive back at about the same time, this could be the deciding factor in the hiring decision. The receptionist advised them all that Ms. Reynolds would call each of them on Wednesday to inform them of their status.

Matt received an early call from Ms. Reynolds on Wednesday morning. She said she wanted to read to Matt the consensus of what each representative had written in their notes, she read; the young man delivered the telegram as a competent, courteous, individual. She stated that they all believed Matt would be an asset to Foyle’s Telegram Service.

Matt was hesitant to speak before hearing that he was actually offered the job. Ms. Reynolds, feeling the awkward pause, continued the conversation by saying the job was Matt’s if he wanted it. Matt accepted her offer and he thanked her for reading the comments to him.

Finally an ad that was true to its words: Equal Opportunity Employer. Matt spun around in his wheel chair confident he got the job on his own merit.


Error in Judgment

‘My name is David, not Dave.’ That’s how my first conversation with Mr. Perfect ended. My attempt to end our phone call in a relaxed and informal way with ‘see you on Friday night, Dave’ ruffled the feathers of this all too methodical and all too precise David.

I dated David for a few months. I had mixed feelings about him. On the one hand, his perfection drove me crazy; but on the other hand, I enjoyed his reliability. Or I did until one night in San Francisco when my own feathers ruffled –not with too much informality – but with fear.

David’s job involved traveling most of the time. He created computer manuals and formally presented them to businesses. He had asked me to join him on many of his trips, but I was not as carefree as David. He had no children. I had a nine year old son and a teaching job.

As luck would have it, during my spring break, David’s trip was to San Francisco. I was able to make arrangements to join him for two days. The plan was to meet him in San Francisco, at the Clarion Hotel. He would have a key for me at the front desk. When his work day was over, he would meet me at the room and off we would go to see the sites. I was excited to see The Golden Gate City!

I didn’t wait long before David arrived. He had our itinerary all set and as we left the room I listened to his encyclopedic knowledge of San Francisco and what he had planned for the night: first a ride on the cable cars, next we’d see the Golden Gate Bridge all lit up, and we’d end the night with a walk to the Buena Vista Restaurant for dinner. The next day, we would go to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.

The cable car ride was fun! The sight of the Bridge was breathtaking! I couldn’t believe the late April sky colors of blazing oranges and reds, combined with soft blues and purples.

The temperature fell. I could feel it on my face. It seemed a perfect night for walking -- and I looked forward to the brisk walk and to eating a sumptuous dinner.

We enjoyed a delicious meal at Buena Vista and decided to continue walking for a while before going back to the hotel. As we walked we heard live music in the distance. Around the corner there was a saxophone player belting out his tunes for a few patrons sitting outside a café. There were two empty tables, so we sat down to enjoy the music. The waitress came over and David ordered two glasses of wine. We enjoyed the entertainment until the sax player ended thanking his audience for listening. He wished us well and a safe night home. It felt good knowing David had planned another perfect date.
We started our leisurely walk back to the hotel. We were reminiscing about the day’s events and talking about Fisherman’s Wharf. After about ten minutes, David got unusually quiet. It was then that I noticed the night creeping in with its stealthy cloak of darkness. I glanced at my watch and was shocked to see it was 1:30 in the morning! I regretted letting time slip by earlier at the café. My mind was now racing with disturbing thoughts.

Suddenly I knew we were lost. David did too. We heard shouting – jolting and loud --. Our eyes found each other’s and absolute terror found my stomach. I grabbed David’s arm so tightly that my nails dug into his skin. “Mary, let’s cross the street, NOW,” David said. Too scared to utter a single word –and still clinging to David’s arm – I followed his lead as we dashed across the street.

Before we said another word to each other, two policemen were standing right in front of us. One of them very slowly enunciated the words; “w-h-a-t t-h-e h-e-l-l a-r-e y-o-u t-w-o d- o- i- n- g?” his voice escalating with every syllable. I said as calmly as I could, “We were walking back to our hotel.” The other cop started ranting, “Don’t you know you are walking in the worst part of the city? You can’t just walk anywhere you want. You should know better. For your own safety, we will call you a cab to take you to your hotel. Let’s go.”

David was speechless until we reached our hotel. Then he said, “I can’t believe I put us in danger like that. I thought the hotel was only two blocks west from the café. How could I have made such an error in judgment?” He was sitting in a stupor, feeling less than perfect, mulling over his mistake.

As David sat brooding, I thought to myself, go ahead and brood Mr. Perfect, but there would be no more getting lost for me -- no more scares -- no more stealth darkness creeping up on me again. I said I would be right back that I was going to the corner store to get a candy bar. He didn't even acknowledge my words, preoccupied with his own perfect thoughts.

My real mission had a different purpose. I figured who better than the clerk at the corner store to know what areas of the city light up at night! The clerk supplied me with exactly what I needed to know to survive my last date with David. I picked up a map for backup. The sun would shine all day tomorrow, and into the night, I felt confident of that.


The New Guy


“That will be $12.13 please”, I asked. “One moment young man,” replied the elderly woman. I waited way too long for an eighty – seven cent tip.

I threw the change in the pizza bag and wondered how I will pay my new car payments let alone an apartment, at this rate. I was thinking how proud my parents are with my newly established credit.

“Hey Lee, there was a phone call for you”, chuckled the cook, “and she sounded serious, did you forget you had a date?” He handed me a ripped paper with the phone number. “Cool, it’s the Account Temp Service!” Off the clock, I left to return the call.

“There is a job for you, take down this number and be at the Golden Slipper, Suite 219 at 8 am tomorrow”, said the receptionist. “Thank you,” I said.
Gravitating towards my closet I dialed mom and dad. “Oh Lee, that sounds so hopeful, a casino” said mom. “Is your shirt ironed, your pants, you have nice shoes right?” cried mom. “Yeah, I haven’t had the chance to wear them yet!” I laughed. I heard mom let out a nervous giggle while she said, “get a good night sleep and call us tomorrow.” “OK, love you mom.”

I arrived fifteen minutes early to navigate the casino. I took the escalator to the second floor to locate Suite 219. Resume in hand.

I was immediately welcomed then rushed to a cubicle with a pile of folders and asked to audit the numbers. That was it! I was on my own. At 5:00 I was asked to come back tomorrow. This continued for two weeks.

On the second Friday, I was asked if I wanted a permanent position with the casino! I accepted and was told to report to Human Resources on Monday. Car payment and rent paid.

There was a change in the office atmosphere three weeks later. Being the new guy, I didn’t ask. I was enlightened soon enough. On the following Friday I felt a weight on my shoulder. I turned to see whose heavy hand it was. One of the four men from the Executive Offices introduced himself and proceeded to compliment me on the great job I was doing. I was asked questions about my auditing skills. He seemed pleased. I felt proud.

A fellow worker in the cubicle next to me said, “It always gets uptight in here when an executive graces us with his presence.” He continued, “I heard you were his main interest, even digging into your background.” In the months that followed, I was given more numbers to audit followed by a visit from the same executive.

With all going so well, why am I sitting in front of my parent’s house, in a taxi, trying to find the strength to tell them that, according to the law, I had just committed my first crime, that I was innocent; I had posted bail, and might be going away for a long time for an embezzling scam at the Golden Slipper?

No car, no apartment, and good credit are the least of my problems. Dad hugged me longer than expected. I heard mom on the phone; “Russell, thank god you are not in court, your nephew needs you.”

“That will be $15.15 please,” I asked. “One moment Sir,” replied the elderly woman. I waited way too long for an eighty – five cent tip.



An Essay: To Befriend or not to Befriend

December 2008

I believe when a person becomes ill that it is ok not to have friends. Do not misunderstand, this is not a woe is me story. Let me explain. Within seven years I went from being a healthy, vibrant, employed teacher to an unhealthy, idle, unemployed person. The latter is what formed my belief.
In August 2001 I lost my oldest son. It is this overwhelming sadness I deal with daily that was the start of my newly acquired philosophy. This loss was followed by a diagnosis of leukemia in November 2003. Being fully aware of how friends and family are most important at such trying times, the friends component was quickly diminishing.
Between my sadness and treating a chronic illness with daily chemo, the failure of friends to empathize provided more destructive attitude than positive for me. I do not want pity friends.
I will expound my belief that it is ok not to have friends when a person becomes ill. My body is deteriorating due to osteoarthritis. In July 2007 I had an unsuccessful total knee replacement. I cannot sit, stand or walk for an extended period of time. I have tried going places and doing things, but I suffer beyond explanation afterwards and it is that very explanation that is impossible to express accurately to others. When I did have a life after the hours of teaching, I loved walking the Las Vegas Strip, walking the city parks, dating, going to concerts, and basically having a fun and active life. Currently all has changed due to my poor health, hence my choice not to have friends.
I continued to work until October 2008, during which my ailments progressed causing me to take medical leave. This has lead to my early total and permanent disability retirement at age fifty-four which has affected every aspect of my life.
Today my life is much different. I do not have to say no and make excuses to others. No one calls. No one knocks at the door. I have modified my home and life to accommodate my disabilities. I realize my belief goes against my family’s concerns and every self help guru and book currently written about the importance of friends.
I am content and happy with my choice. I will devote my time to writing a book. I have no idea regarding its content, but it will be fiction and it will be fun. My inspiration to write came after hearing Dan Gediman on Book TV talking about the writers in the This I Believe books. This essay will be the springboard for my own writing venture and I will be successful at it, This I Believe.