By Richard Bleil
Today has been interesting. I had my first pedicure. In the list of things that I never thought I would experience, pedicures would be at the top of the list, and I have to admit, THAT will never happen again.
Well, maybe it wasn’t all that bad. But, my feet are ticklish (which I hate) and sensitive, and it was just too much. I have to admit, though, that I’m glad I experienced it.
People should have new experiences. I’ve known far too many people who are “meat and potatoes” and never step out of their routine. My world would be much smaller if I had never lived in Boston and New York, never went to graduate school, never tried sushi…so many marvelous, and sad, experiences that I have had makes me who I am today.
Some experiences I have had have not been so good. I’ve experienced a marriage that was torn asunder by an alcoholic and unfaithful wife. I’ve experienced an automobile accident that should have killed me, and a heart attack that probably should have. I’ve experienced extended unemployment twice, one of which I am in even as I write this.
I’ve experienced lack of faith. It’s sad to say, but throughout my life I’ve heard what I won’t be able to do. I’ve shared dreams and ideas with family and friends, only to be told why I will fail, all based on their own fears.
Math phobia is far too real. I had (and still do have) a friend in high school that basically went through the same courses as I. We were very similar in many ways, including academically, except he had a brother, and his brother kept telling him about analytical geometry, and how impossible it was. We finished the algebra sequence together, and trigonometry, and he quit. I never understood, because in my mind, we had the background we needed to be successful, and I truly enjoyed the course. Eventually he was required to take it for his major, and, yes, he succeeded.
My friend would tell you that we are what we think. In 1903, James Allen published a short but dense book called “As A Man Thinketh”, which is the first book of which I am aware that is akin to the Power of Positive Thinking. There’s some truth to this; I’ve often warned my chemistry students that the ones who fail are the ones who walk in to class expecting to fail. If they believe they can be successful, they will be.
All of those external voices impact this. I’ve been told I would never be able to finish a degree in chemistry, but I did, and worked industrially as an analytical chemist. I was told I would never be a doctor, but I completed my Ph.D. from an Ivy League school. I was told I would never succeed in academia, but two decades as an instructor and reaching the rank of tenured full professor says otherwise.
For a year and a half I’ve been looking for employment. A couple of weeks ago, I had a second interview for a dean position, and just two days ago, I was told that I did not get it. I’ll be honest with you, I’m tired of waiting for my life to restart based on a job. I’ve been waiting for too long for somebody to hire me before I…
Recently I have applied to form an LLC. The day after I was informed that I was not chosen for the job, I also received word that the LLC paperwork had been approved in Delaware. Today, I received a very large check to create a quality control lab for a dietary supplement company. And something even more amazing has been happening.
I have a partner in this endeavor. One of my former students has been incredibly emotionally supportive. In fact, she has decided that she wants to be involved. So, on Friday, she and I ran around, opened a business bank account, opened a mailbox, spoke with insurance people about liability insurance, and more. As we were running around getting these things in order, we even found a new lead.
So now, I need to heed my own advice. I need to find the courage to believe in myself, because if I think I will fail, I surely will.
As of now, I am an independent consultant.
Well, with a little help from my friends. I’m sure that this endeavor will open up a plethora of blog ideas, so…hold on to your hats!!!!