|Michael T. Collins Sr. - "Dad"|
My dad used to tell me, "Son, it doesn't matter to me what you do. Just be good at it, and be happy. If you want to be a ditch digger, then be a happy ditch digger and be the best damn one in the world." I would think about those words every time I woke up feeling dread about going to work, or trying to think of an excuse not to go in.
In 2010, a series of events - some brought on by my own stupidity - completely altered the course of my life. A fairly comfortable job that I had held for nearly ten years was gone, and I found myself in uncharted territory. Without work, and without a plan. It's at that point when most of us, myself included, adopt the "any job will do" mentality. Hence, I found myself working in a car wash.
As fate would have it, another job - which allowed me to have a very flexible schedule and the ability to work from home - presented itself. As I worked in this job, and still do, I knew it was not something that was going to be a "career move" for me. But I did believe that the job had been placed in my path for a reason.
While contemplating what I might want to do next, I used the formula that my father had passed on to me those many years ago. What was something I really loved? Something I had a passion for. There were two obvious answers. Music, and sports. Since the door had basically been closed on a career in music, I began to think about what I might do in the world of sports to make a living.
Right away, I conceded that the Falcons, Braves and Hawks were not going to come calling. So the idea of making millions as an athlete was quickly dismissed. I lacked the formal eduction, training, and degrees for a number of jobs in the sports industry. I thought, and I thought. I went through all the permutations in my mind of what could and couldn't be done. Then, it hit me. For months I had friends and family praising ability to write. Writing. Sports. Hmmmmm.....
That was six months ago. I opened a Twitter account, I started a blog, and (as I do with most things) I jumped in with both feet. I contacted people I had admired, like Bob Rathbun and Kristi Dosh, and asked for advice and guidance. I listened to talk radio incessantly, and read as much as I possibly could. The more I wrote, the more I felt I was doing something I should have been doing for a long time.
|My dad and I - just a few days before he passed|
How right he was. Today, April 13, 2012 - on what would have been my father's 72nd birthday - I was offered a position to write...and be paid. No, it's not the job that's going to pay all my bills and allow me to quit the proverbial "day job", but just the same, it's the next step in a series of many for me.
I have lots of people to thank for getting me this far, this quickly. My friends, my family, my fans (geez that sounds weird to say), and my haters (you folks in Winnipeg know who you are). But most of all, I have to thank my late father. He was not only my dad, and the guy who left me with words and advice that will never be shaken from my memory...he was my best friend. I only wish he were here to share this with me today.
Dedicated to the memory of Michael T. Collins Sr. : April 13, 1940 - June 3, 1985