For a guy who's never been comfortable in front of groups, who's liked to keep to himself, who's been painfully shy and insecure, this new job and what it entails really blows my mind. I am doing things I never thought I'd want to do or be able to do . I am up in front of various groups, in the newspaper, on the radio and now I am getting ready to go on TV to promote a local Oktoberfest that draws about 60-80,000 people any given year. I went through the Dale Carnegie Training class some years ago, went through the Covey 7 Habits classes a long time ago and all that. But, I had no idea what all I was getting into with this new job, and just how public it is. I guess the thing that surprises me most is not that I CAN do it, it's that I WANT to do it, and I ENJOY doing it.
As a former heavy pot smoker and heavy drinker, the last thing I ever wanted to do was call attention to myself or worse yet, go out and help other people and get involved. Hell, I didn't even like going out in the sun half the time lol. If I could get someone else to go out and pick up my smokes and some fast food for dinner for me, that was a major big deal lol. I could barely keep a simple job that only required me to punch a time clock and sell some sheet music to anyone who happened to find themselves at my counter in the music store. I think that the biggest single contributor to this change in me is AA. In AA I learned it was ok to be me, I'm not a bad person. I learned to share myself with others, I learned that there are lots of people who have gone through bad times. I learned to share things about myself one on one and in front of large groups. I learned some humility. I learned (am still learning) how to not take myself so damn seriously. God, thru AA has given me self respect, self confidence, self honesty and has exposed me to what true humility is, and what the truth is about me and about other people in general.
I still marvel at the changes in me over the years I've been sober. I am still shocked at the life I live today, especially compared to the life I lived while I was hitting my bottom out there. I was buying crack on street corners in Houston, riding around with a dude that has bulletholes in his car in seaerch of cocaine, spending months and years not drawing a sober breath. Now I am coaching soccer and baseball, hell I am married with a son, teaching religious ed to Catholic kids, I'm even Catholic myself (that's a HUGE shocker lol), running a Chamber of Commerce and belonging to community service groups galore lol.
There's just no telling where life's road will take you once you step onto it, and let go and Let God! It's an amazing life once you get reconnected!