Years ago, Iron Maiden recorded a song called ‘Wasted Years’; the original title was Golden Years, but David Bowie had just released a song by the same name, so there goes the title change.
Sometimes I wonder about my life in similar terms. It feels like there have been a lot of wasted years. I guess when you get to middle-age (whatever that means, for some people it was 12 others 50) you have that moment when you look back over your life and you can say; look at everything I have achieved, accumulated, controlled, conquered, whatever, and then you go: was that it?
Or you look back and wonder how you could have done it all.
I’m in the first group; where did all the time go?
Plus I’m sitting on the line with this new venture of trying to be a writer and thinking wow finally getting there this late in life? Kind of stupid, I know.
But then I look back and think of just three major accomplishments in my life;
- I became a Christian.
- I graduated from College. (This has some questions attached all their own)
- I married my wife.
Becoming a Christian kind of explains itself. Well at least to some people in this day and age. Some people have such a stereotype of anyone Christian they can’t get past the title. But then again they would be the ones telling me I’m the one stereotyping.
Graduating from college; as great as the people I met there (including my wife) I had a situation at home where I probably could have gone to work in a factory making good money and had a solid steady future. Just show up each day, do your job, stay out of trouble, and retire in 30 years with a smile on my face. But what did I do? I listened to another person and spent four and a half years in college getting a degree I’ve hardly used. (Also graduating at the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency didn’t help matters.) Now was it all bad? Hardly. I met some of the best friends I could ever know, had some of the best times in my life, and actually learned some things (no matter what my mother might think), but the years after that are what sucks. I went nowhere and did nothing. My fault, completely! Who am I mad at the most? Myself. What am I going to do about it: write?
Getting married! Sometimes I really feel sorry for my wife. She’s put up with me a lot longer than she should have. But thank goodness she has; where would I be without her? But where is she with me? Supporting me; has for a long time. But she’s happy to do it, she says. But she shouldn’t. But that’s a long story as well.
So what does all of this have to do with a writer and me wanting you to read my stories and buy my books? Probably nothing, or everything, it depends on how you look at it and how deep into a book you get. If you just read it at face value; this means nothing. If you get into why the writer said something one way or the other or put a character in a situation or had something happen to him or her one way or the other, it means a great deal. So my advice is to take this and anything else you read in this blog or my books and remember both. It might be a small window into my mind, and if you find it, please send it home.