Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fuel for the Fire

President - 373 Words
by: Aaron Dethrage

Growing up, my father always dreamed of being the President of the United States.

He had it all mapped out. He would excel in school, rising to the top of his class. He would go to prestigious institution to obtain a law degree, exemplifying his diligence and aptitude. He would spend a decade becoming a revered and powerful attorney, building his reputation as a persuasive and intelligent speaker. Then, finally, he would begin his slow but progressive political climb–first as mayor, then governor, then congressman, then Chief.

A solid plan, noble and filled with good intentions and an idealized future for his children and theirs to flourish in.

However, this plan, like most plans–like all plans–dissolved into a distorted fairy-tale-of-a-life that could have been. An excellent scholastic record was replaced by wild friends, fast cars, and debauchery they create. His desire for a law degree was blurred by the seductions of wanderlust and the call of adventure. The decade of diligent progress towards his goal was a decade spent losing himself, finding himself, and losing himself again.

I’m not sure that even he is fully aware of why he ended up living in Anniston, working in real estate and buried in debt, but rather than a big, white house on Pennsylvania Avenue, he currently resides in a humble, beige one on Timuquana Lane.

Now, by all accounts he should be considered a failure. His political career culminated into nothing more than a single term as mayor in a city afraid of change. However, might it be possible that a man’s true accomplishments aren’t measured by how successful his plan was but rather by what he did with his failures?

Amidst the chaos that was his life–that is found in all of our lives–my father married and had three children, all smart, healthy and ambitious. To call such fortune “failure” seems ridiculous to me.

So here I sit, full of my own dreams and plans to achieve them, buried under the pressure of how I might do so. Still, I find peace in the realization that I am a child of failure and that I too will do great things, my failures fueling my success.

No Surprises (Radiohead Cover) - Marrisa Nadler (feat. Black Hole Infinity)

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