" The counselors say I lack focus, dad. They say I need to settle down. That I need to set a goal and achieve it. Am I a failure, and what is focus, anyway."
The young man had just come home from High school, nearly in tears.
His session with the guidance counselor did not, apparently, go well.
John is an average student, not a 4.0, by any means...John, however, is not an average
When he was a child, his IQ was measured in the high 160 range.... exceptionally gifted.
I cried.
He was, apparently following in the old man's footsteps.
"John, sit down. If you were 5 years older, I'd offer you a beer. Have a Coke and listen to what I have to say, evaluate it, internalize it, and move on from here , armed with some new knowledge ."
Dad drew a long breath, collected his thoughts, and began the soliloquy that may be the singular most important thing John had ever heard in his life:
When I was in high school, we didn't have guidance counselors, not in the vein you do now. Ours counseled the ones who had specific goals in mind.
Those with focus.
John, You and, yes, I , have a gregarious take on life.
I think it is a curse.
How can one focus on a singular purpose in life when there are so many opportunities to learn and do new and interesting things out there?
I. personally am glad that there are people out there who can be focused enough to become brain surgeons, nuclear scientists , and all those other people who have made our life better.
you and I have what I would like to define as " focused perifreal vision"
We see the big picture.
We want everything
Sorry, John
Ain't gonna happen
You can't be a brain surgeon, rocket scientist, skydiver, rock-n-roll musician, race car driver.
Not in only one lifetime.
Believe me, I have tried.
Time runs out.
You know what is the
worst part?
Later, when you can be retrospective, you realize what you should have done,
what avenue you should follow.
Maybe who It is you should have allowed in to your world.
Then it becomes too late.
John, I really don't know what to tell you.
I am not a failure.
Neither, by most people's measure, am I a success.
I know many, many things.
I have been many, many places,
I have talent immeasurable,
but I,too lack any focus
perfirial vision
too acute
I didn't tell her I loved her when I had the chance.
If nothing else
at least do that.
brokerichard brokerichard
56-60, M
3 Responses Jan 19, 2012

dad sounds like a good man. nice story.

That's me in a nutshell too. I wish I had heard this advice earlier, but I'll certainly use it in the future.

Great story, and good advice.

Thanks, If the dad I never knew could have given me that talk many moons ago, I might have been a different person today, and,yes, I didn't tell that special "her" that I loved her when I had the chance, and am afraid that now the chance is gone forever

That is too bad. I'm sorry to hear it. I'll tell you though, when I was in my late 40s, I called a man whom I had crushed on for several years. (not love, but a really powerful attraction.) I hadn't seen him in over 20 years, but I thought I would just look him up and see if he was still around. He was and I called him. He remembered me. We spoke for a few minutes, and I asked him if he knew why I was calling after all that time. He said he had been wondering but figured I would get to it in my own time. I told him about the huge crush I had on him when I was in my 20s. He laughed and said that was the best thing he'd heard in ages. He was married, and quite happy in his marriage, and he called his wife to the room and told her who was on the phone. He told her what I'd said, and she laughed and said so do you want to invite her for dinner? He asked me if I'd like to go. I said no. I just felt like telling him. His wife got on the phone and told me who she was. We had been in a couple of high school classes together. She assured me that I'd be welcome, but I didn't bother going. I made the man smile, and made his wife laugh. That was good enough for me.