Friday, October 7, 2011

Unwrapping: Life's Good Fortunes and Regrets

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

     With the passing of Steve Jobs, I considered his life and all that he had achieved. He was a brilliant man whose life work is definitely his legacy to the world. He left a great imprint on our lives and the lives of everyone yet to come. After hearing of his passing, I told my husband that Steve Jobs will go into history as our equivalent to our parents' Albert Einstein in terms of him being the genius of our time. "In fact," I remarked, "if Albert Einstein were alive today, he would probably be working for Steve Jobs. "

     Steve Jobs dropped out of college because the courses didn't hold enough interest for him. This is typical of a genius mind - Albert Einstein was the same way about school - but I wonder if Steve ever held any regrets about his decision to leave school.  His life, albeit too short, was fast-paced, filled with great opportunities, high speed success, good fortune and glory but even with all that, had he any regrets?

     I love to write. I've always loved to write and have dreamed of being a published author since I was fourteen. When I decided to major in English in college it was because I loved literature. I loved the history of literature, the lives of the authors and the mysteries surrounding their intriguing lives as well as their words. Learning more about the people writing the books I love to read made me want to be a part of that world all the more. So you're probably wondering why I'm telling you this ... well, it's simple - not following my dream right from the start is my greatest regret.

     Unlike Steve Jobs, who obviously knew what he wanted to do and did it without hestitation, I knew what I wanted to do but hesitated big time. Why did I hesitate? I didn't think I was good enough. I love to write, I know I can write but I didn't think others would think I could write. It took many years of writing outlines, jotting down notes for story ideas, running plots through my head while doing chores, developing characters that only lived in my imagination before I actually started writing. I had many excuses - I didn't like writing using just pen and paper, not enough time (still don't really have enough time), it's too hard to get published (still working on that), and no one would like it anyway.

     Well, my father gave me an old computer that I got up and running again after replacing the cd-rom drive, re-formatting and downgrading from XP to 98 - didn't know I could do all these things but being the consummate researcher that I am, I did my homework and learned how. Now with a separate computer to use just for writing in hand, I had eliminated one excuse but still had to get past the others. I'm still working on making enough time which is one for me to resolve completely on my own. Getting published, well, that's going to take persistence and a whole lot of luck but I'm determined and am crossing my fingers that it will happen one of these days. As for thinking no one would like it - well, maybe I was wrong.

     I discovered blogs and websites that encourage writers to write. I love it. My favorite site is - you write, review and get reviewed all in one place. I was surprised when I first started venturing on to the site and wrote a few things to find that many of my articles and novel excerpts were getting rated in the top five - a few are even #1 and have stayed there including an article about what romance novels have to offer. My first posting on this blog was a slightly edited version of that same article. It's kind of like Sally Field shouting out 'you like me, right now, you like me!' at the 1984 Academy Awards ceremony for winning her second oscar. Sometimes we don't believe it until enough people say it's true.

     My greatest regret is not following my dream right from the start. Instead of allowing over twenty years to pass before I actually started forming sentences for others to read, I wish I had started when I was young, inexperienced and had a whole lot more energy. I am glad to say that it's never too late and I've got a whole lot of imagination just waiting to be penned on paper.

     I don't believe that Steve Jobs ever doubted his talent, his ideas and his drive to succeed but I still wonder. Does everyone have a regret over something they never did or something they waited longer than they should have to do, or are some people truly fortunate enough to have done exactly what they have always wanted to do? 

     Do you have a regret that you wish you could still make happen or are you one of those fortunate ones?

     Steve Jobs, thank you for asking us to think differently and for changing the way we think, interact, and produce our dreams. You will be missed and never forgotten. God Bless you and your family - may you rest in peace.    


Anonymous said...

Nice piece, Amy! Don't forget, though, that 20 yrs ago when you might have been writing, you were making beautiful dolls instead! Not a bad legacy! Be proud! I particularly liked one specific "Katherine" doll! :). -fran

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Fran, thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed the posting. I haven't forgotten my dolls and I'm pleased to know the "Katherine" doll was so appreciated. I hope she still has it, perhaps she'll have a daughter someday to whom she can pass it along. Thanks for visiting and I hope you, Katherine and/or Espy will visit often. Best to everyone. : )