A truck stop in Hancock, Maryland just off Interstate 70. I know this is absolutely of no significance to anyone that reads this, but to me, this establishment represents life and the struggles we deal with throughout and how we eventually overcome those struggles. It was here at this truck stop that on May 23, 2002, I stopped to fuel up on my way home from Baltimore. I had just been let go, fired, laid off, or however you want to say it from a job I had been working at for just a little over two years after graduating college. I thought I would have this job until “I” decided to find something better. Little did I know; bad accounting practices and the Bernie Ebbers scandal would cause my job to be terminated of no fault of my own, but after I filled up, I just sat in the parking lot and cried. I had never felt any worse. I felt worthless, embarrassed, ashamed, scared and many other countless emotions. I had just gotten married around seven months ago, had a year and a half old son, had just purchased a home the summer before and had just purchased a new vehicle. I was terrified to say the least. At this moment, I actually contemplated running my truck off the highway and killing myself so my family could collect the life insurance and get some sort of benefit from me as I thought at this moment, I was actually worth more dead than alive. Being only twenty three years of age, I began to think more positively and realize that no matter how bad things were, I was still young and was certain I had the drive and motivation to overcome and succeed.

Today, October 25, 2011, my current job has brought me back to this area and I stopped at this truck stop today and actually cried again. Some may call me a softy, but the tears today were that of happiness and accomplishment. When I look back, what was no doubt the worst day of my life to that point turned out to actually be one of the best days of my life. If it had not been for that experience on that day over 9 years ago, where would I actually be today? Our experiences, no matter how negative or positive they may be; help shape us, build character and allow us to achieve greater things in life.

In sharing this, I hope to make folks that are currently unemployed, employed but looking for something better, or enrolled in school and getting ready to graduate, or just riding out this daily hailstorm we call life; realize it’s just an experience to share and a chapter in our story of our existence.