The Current city is Chicago, which is great and different. You can bring your own beer to restaurants and your own food to bars. It’s bizarre and wonderful. Again, the notion of progress is at the front of my mind. Everyone has a different definition of that word and up until recently mine was a decision followed by immediate action. A complete lack of planning with everything depending on the process and the outcome was often not what I had hoped for.
Setbacks are surprisingly common with a lack of planning. For some reason I’ve been watching travel and adventure documentaries non-stop over the last two days (fine, I realize that link is pretty transparent and obvious,) and the lesson, the point, the rule that I keep coming to is that nothing of value comes to you easily or quickly. The culture I grew up in was one of trying to get as much as fast and as easily as possible. Work smart not hard.
It’s almost anti-human in a way. You spend your entire day sitting, often doing intangible work for pay that you never actually see. Everything is done via wire. Don’t get me wrong; I love technology, LOVE IT. I foam at the mouth every time Apple makes something new that promises to make me a better person. But I think I’ve lost the plot.
I’ve been missing out on a lot of learning because of a serious lack of exertion. Meghan completely understood the meaning of hard work. She understood what one gains from the amount of effort put in to something you don’t necessarily care about. The process is completely important. The struggle is where you find meaning and truth. Not the finish. Meghan never had a problem throwing herself into something that was difficult. She wouldn’t bat an eyelash at work. Real work. Real effort. Her mother told me about the time when she decided to go to University. She would come home from High School and spend the rest of the day at the dining room table pouring over textbooks to ensure her entry to the school of her choice. I spent high school taking naps and barbequing. Meghan graduated in four years from a difficult program at a great school. It took me six years, two schools and three different majors. I didn’t know what I wanted to do because I didn’t do any groundwork. And I get that now.
I’m becoming more comfortable making plans that are three months, six months and even a year out that I’m going to stick to and not waiver. I understand there is progress in a simple conversation with the founder and director of the Merasi School in India. I’m not leaving tomorrow or next week but I know that just talking to her and having a connection means something. Making a budget is progress. Running three times a week is progress. Talking to people about Meghan is progress. Knowing that Meghan would be happy with my progress is progress. Continually learning from Meghan is progress. Thank you, Meghan, for being the biggest and best part of my life. I will be eternally grateful for all of the lessons and the life to come.
Further proof that Meghan was dedicated to her work; this past saturday, June 12, 2010, Meghan was awarded the Personal Support Worker Certificate posthumously for the program she was enrolled in last winter. There was never a question she would have finished at the top of her class. As her father walked across the stage to accept her certificate, Mr. Baker and Meghan were met with thunderous applause from the thousands in the arena.