In college, my freshman year, I didn't have a phone very often. My first roommate had it in her name but she moved out on me and I didn't have the money to join the 20th century. So my neighbors would take messages for me, or the dorm desk, and I would make phone calls from payphones.
My father worked at a private psychiatric hospital at the time and there was a 1-800 number for his place. It wasn't supposed to be used for lonely freshmen to call their fathers for free during the workday, but that's what I used it for.
I was conflicted. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn't understand human relationships and I was having troubles with friends and with the boyfriend back home. And later in the spring, I was sick, probably with histoplasmosis from a caving trip, this unending cough and fever.
I was troubled and worried about many things.
None of my choices seemed clear. Nothing looked easy or even like a good challenge I was up for. I was lonely and conflicted and I would call my father at work on a Tuesday morning.
He had no answers for me.
No--he did. And they are things I still think about. Life is better through a classroom window than from behind a lathe. Pretty sure he said that to me for the first time on one of those calls. Also: life is too long to spend it doing something you hate.
"You mean life is too short," I corrected him.
"No," he was never to be corrected. "It is too long."
So here I am twenty four years ago. I'm conflicted. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I still sometimes don't understand relationships and I'm not sure where I'm headed. I am sick, this time with pertussis, this unending cough.
I am troubled and worried about many things.
None of my choices seem clear.
But I also know no one has any better answers for me than Terry did back in 1993. I need to do what I can. Do what I love. Don't waste a single moment. Hustle and try and get back up and sweat it out and do it, Bridge. Life is too long not to.
Have some faith that you can do what you need.
We all are mostly sparrows--we think of ourselves as cardinals and hawks and doves but most of us are sparrows.
God's got his eye on the sparrow.
And I know he watches me.