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Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Celebration Of Those Whose Give a Damn's Aren't Busted

Well...this has been quite an eventful week.  In more ways than one.

I'll admit that I'm in a good place right now with everything.  When I sat down at my computer on Monday morning and typed out what I needed to say - stuff that I had been sitting on for so long - I was in a particular mood that could not be classified as either contentment or zen.  It had taken up a long time for me to say the things I needed to say to get some sort of closure over what had happened.  I can sort of see where some parts of that message seemed as though it was coming from a place of bitterness.  At the time I wrote it, I'll admit that I was surprised at how it came out.  But I hold no regrets and make no apologies for it.  I said what I had to say, and no matter what, it made me feel better about myself for saying it.  It was very cleansing for the soul and now I can go back to being in my zen state once more.

And, let me tell you.  It's such a great feeling to let go of the negativity that I carried with me for so long.  And I feel so great about it that I think I want to do a follow-up to Monday's entry...only through the eyes of someone with a lot more perspective towards life and who has a happier outlook.

It's just going to seem kind of strange for me to reference the song "My Give a Damn's Busted" at the beginning of this entry - mainly because it seems to contradict everything that I just said.  Well, to be honest, with the case of some people I've crossed paths with, my Give a Damn is legitimately busted with no sign of repair whatsoever.  But I've given them enough attention and choose not to go any further with it.

But the song itself - well, can you think of a catchier title for a song?  I think it's quite clever, to be perfectly honest with you!  The song has been recorded several times, but I believe the 2005 version, as sung by country music artist Jo Dee Messina is most well known.  The song itself is about escaping a toxic relationship and how the person who is leaving the other person is trying to find something to keep them involved in the relationship, but can't come up with a reason because...well...their Give a Damn is busted! 

Well, in this blog entry, I want to talk about the flipside of that.

I've decided to make this piece a full-fledged celebration of the people in my life whose Give a Damn is NOT busted.

Hence the title of this blog - "A Celebration Of Those Whose Give A Damn's Aren't Busted"!

Again, I will be making this a public piece - and this time, I'll probably be doing a lot more name dropping in this space because I do believe in giving a lot of praise and kudos to those who truly deserve it.

Obviously, I have to start with the family portion of the blog.  Although there have been times in which I have wanted to pull my hair out because of them and although there have been times in which I have sworn that I was adopted as I am so very much unlike any of them - I honestly do hold my family (at least the immediate family) on a very high pedestal.  At 35, I consider myself extremely lucky that my family is mostly still here with me because I know that as the years go by, they won't always be there.  The truth is that they helped make me the person I am - for better or worse - and for that I think I will always be grateful to them.  Whenever I needed them, their Give a Damn's were never busted, and I will owe them a lot for that.

I also want to single out some of the kids I went to elementary school with over the years.  It wasn't a perfect time in life, but I chalk it up to the fact that we were all little and stupid back then.  Trust me, I had my moments back then, as I'm sure all of us who were ever children did.  The point is that most of the kids who I went to school with in elementary school turned out to become fairly decent adults and members of society.  And while I definitely will not remember everybody's name in this piece, I'll single out Orijit, Eileen, Sarah, Jason, Jennifer, Bailey, Erin, Nicole, and Erica in particular for standing by me - even if there were times in which we didn't speak for quite some time.  The point is that you never gave up on me.  Your Give a Damn's were never busted in regards to how you perceived me, and I never did forget that.  So, thank you!  And, I also feel the need to give a special shout out to Jessyka as well for supporting me in what I do in this space as well as in real life.

Next come the teachers who proved to me that their Give a Damn's were never busted when it came to handling me.  Admittedly, I was a complete enigma of a student.  Some days were most definitely better than others, but despite that, you never once doubted that I would be all right, and you never once gave up on trying to make me a better person.  In some ways, I believe that your influence on me helped shape the way I treat other people.  Again, I'm trying to go by memory here, but just to name a few, I will honour Miss Johnson, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Woodfine, Mr. Haskin, Mr. Tripp,  Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, Mr. Cristello, Ms. Renusz, Mr. Lacerte, Mrs. Quick, Mr. Wright, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Weese, Mr. Corney, and Mr. Brady for showing us all how to teach people the right way - and to teach like your Give a Damn isn't busted.  And although some of these names are no longer with us, I will never forget any of them.

I'm also going to shout out a bunch of names of the various people I've met on online forums over the last few years - people who have sent birthday and Christmas cards, people who have been around to listen whenever I needed advice, people who have comforted me when I needed someone to talk to, and people who although I've never met them have been some of the best friends that I have ever had in my life.  Again, I'm just going to list off a whole bunch of names that I can think of, and if I do forget to list a few - well, I don't have a magic mirror and I never was on "Romper Room".  That is my excuse.  But sincerely, I am singling out Kat, Brian, Cathy, Mandie, Celeste, Helen, Sharyn, Cullen, Joe (JP), Matt, Nicole, Eric, Hector, Viki, Jill, Jeri-Ann, Kathy, Tammy, Dawn, Hilary, Tracy, Mark, Chris, Riann, Sandy, Julie, Railyn, Allison, Laura, and anybody else who has touched my life in this way.  I'll also add in Teresa and Rosemary - two friends who have sadly passed away.  You'll never be forgotten.

Finally - and this time around I won't be naming names because if I did, this post would be as big as the phone book - I am so eternally grateful to the majority of the people that I like to call my Walmart Canada family.  Honestly, if you had asked me 20 years ago if I ever saw myself being where I am right now, I probably would not have wanted it.  Sometimes I still question whether what I am doing is really what I want to do.  But it is a full time job and those are not very easy to come by, so I'm doing the best I can.

But in all seriousness, having a group of people who have really genuinely supported me is nothing more than phenomenal.  Let me tell you exactly what these people have done for me.  They helped me come out of my shell more than anybody else has.  Lord knows they had a struggle.  I refused to talk to anybody for two whole years when I first started there!  Now I won't shut up for anybody!

But let me tell you what they have done for me.  They were there for me when I lost two of my best friends within a year of each other, making sure that I was okay.  They cheered me on as I participated in the Relay for Life, making sure that I kept going even when my body was telling me to stop.  They visited me in the hospital and kept tabs on me when my gall bladder tried to kill me five years ago.  They have invited me to birthday parties, weddings, and never once made me feel like I was not a burden.  If anything, they went out of their way to make me feel welcome there.  And even though our workplace can get a bit stressful, and we sometimes get into some depressing moods, we always find a way to make each other smile at least once.  When I call my workplace a family, I truly do mean it. 

And you know, it really dawned on me over the course of the past week or so that...I have got people who are cheering me on and whose Give a Damn was never busted in regards to me.  No matter how hard I resisted, they refused to give up on me.  And I know it sounds silly to admit that I resisted their kindness and patience at first - because I didn't think that people like me deserved it, and that it was for other people. 

Now I know differently.  And I'm eternally grateful.

But I do want to single out Lenettia, Jennifer, and Amanda - three co-workers who have truly become three of my best friends ever - for giving me this wonderful gift as a reminder that I do have people in this world that I can count on.  People whose Give a Damn's weren't busted.

And in essence, I supposed they repaired my Give a Damn.  Funny how life works out, isn't it?  Is this the life I dreamed of?  No.  But is it a life that I am proud of?  Yes.

Finally, I want to say a few words about another man whose Give a Damn never had the chance to get busted.  Throughout his career as a world famous fighter, Muhammad Ali showed strength, perseverance, and dedication in his sport, his family, and his life - even when a debilitating disease ravaged his body.  He was a source of inspiration for so many, and he will truly be missed.

Rest in peace.

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