After my morning presentation yesterday I had an afternoon presentation in Monroe City. On my way up I decided to stop at Lion's Choice in Chesterfield. I ordered and then turned around to see where to sit, and oddly enough there were two people that I recognized.
What I noticed first was their outfits. You see, Chesterfield is home of Spirit of Saint Louis airport and there, at this table, was the two pilots I flew with last December in the police helicopter. There was a total of five Metro Air Support officers there and I sat down beside them.
The following sequence is one of the classic examples of the challenges I face. While sitting I was hoping that one of the two of them would recognize me. I did have my sunglasses on so that didn't help matters, and anyway, why would they recognize me? They only say me at the academy last year for my police presentation and then 11 months later on that flight. However, I simply wanted to say hello, or something to that nature.
Try as I did I sat there debating whether or not it would be right for me to simply say hello. Would it be wrong? I couldn't come to a solid answer and then I decided that wrong or right didn't matter and I decided I would, but my body failed me. I simply sat there and neither spoke or turned towards them. Truly, they were within an extended arm's length to my left, and I sat there like they weren't even there.
Time went on and my emotions started running wild. However, externally, there was no gauge, or no indication of the storm that was raging on the inside. After a few minutes they stood up and left and I remained there, behind the sunglasses, visibly unfazed, but saddened on the inside.
In my presentations I sometimes state that just because I am talking with ease in that environment doesn't mean I am like that all the time. Something as simple as saying hello proved to be a feat that proved to be to difficult.
After I left Lion's Choice I got back on I-64 and made my way towards Monroe City. Quickly though I noticed something on the road near Lake Saint Louis. To most people this would be an insignificant thing, but to me, this fading yellow line saddened me.
From 2007-2008 I worked at a race shop in Wentzville. The drive was long, but on one of my first days a MODOT paint truck had malfunctioned and left a thin, solid yellow line down the middle of the road. Further up one could see where the pain truck stopped on the shoulder thanks to the almost mound of yellow paint. That was then, but yesterday time has taken its toll on this yellow line and it was broken and fading and this deeply saddened me.
I thought back to the days of when this line was strong, bold, and probably distracting. Maybe this goes back to my associative memory system but I honestly had a tear seeing the line almost all the way gone.
As faded as this line was I fear that next time I go that way it will be gone. Seeing it allowed me to remember all the days of seeing it years ago. I know I am much happier now than I used to be yet there still seemed to be a hole within me having this line fading.
Several miles later I regained my composure and I thought that this line can be made into a great example. Times change, and things move on. Four years ago I wondered what the future held. I had some fun times in Wentzville, but I wasn't doing what I am doing now. Without change I'd still be where I was, and while the line of yellow paint is almost gone, so too is who I used to be. Today I still have challenges, as the example at Lions' Choice, but I am more confident in these challenges and I accept them. Yes, change happens and what is today will be a fading memory tomorrow. Sometimes through various aids, say, a yellow line of paint, it allows for a fading memory to stay fresh, but change happens, paint fades, and the only thing left is who we are today.