Happy Father's Day to the man who taught me how to compete.
He'd say, you never end on a missed shot. And I'd stand at the free throw line - a coincidental crack in our driveway - willing a bucket to go in, so we could call it a night.
He'd bring a pen to the dinner table, folding his paper napkin into a makeshift grease board, sketching out the Xs and Os of my game. See how you can improve on this? I'd roll my eyes.
He'd embarrass me by wearing white athletic socks, pulled way up to his knees. But we'd get to the gym... and I'd watch him play pickup games, schooling these guys, decades younger than he... and I'd always leave in awe - thinking man, he can play.
And will you look at that form? Yep, still got it.
It's taken a few years to sink in. That he was teaching me, whether I knew it or not, how to succeed. On the court, yes. But more importantly, off of it.
While I think pimping my furniture out via the Internet is all sorts of awesome, my mom was a little more wary of my first-ever Craigslist exchange today...
Felt confident assuring her I could handle this one...
But this one?
Not so much.
(You're going to pay me twenty-five bucks to "kindly end the ad" so that you can "rest assured" you're the "prospective buyer"? Dude. It's a used mattress. I'll pay you twenty-five bucks to never email me again. Ever).
A cram-everything-you-own-into-one-tiny-U-Haul-trailer-and-drive-23-hours-east move.
It'll continue with a move.
A cram-everything-you-own-back-into-one-tiny-U-Haul-trailer-and-drive-23-hours-west move.
One made possible by a series of unexpected and genuinely serendipitous moves.
What I'm trying to say is, I've got a little bit of news...
I'm moving back.
Back to Texas. Back to Austin. And back to damn near the most ideal job a Longhorn alum could imagine.
(A mile-wide smile is sneaking across my face as I type the actual words).
If the notion that "our experiences shape who we are" holds any weight - and my gut tells me it does - the nine months I've spent in Charlotte have been the most vital of my life.
Laying in bed, too wired to sleep, I had a miniature epiphany of sorts.
Not dissimilar to the game of chess, we make little moves along the way. We look ahead and react accordingly, in hopes of achieving the thing we've set out to accomplish from the beginning. The success we seek at the end hinges upon every move made up to that point. Sometimes we rely on skill. Sometimes strategy. Other times, pure luck. Or divine intervention. And when a culmination of all those things hatch into the most sublime opportunity we could hope to receive... leaving the path in front of us wide open... we have to pounce.
(Humor me as I'm drawing on profoundly limited real life chess-playing experience here).
Am I tickled pink to be coming home? Having unfettered access to Trudy's Mexican martinis?Living a short jaunt up I-35 from my family? Playing a part, albeit very humble, in launching a network?