George Bailey and I have a lot in common. We’re extremely loyal to our families and friends, always offer to help others in their endeavours and projects, and the both of us are driven to do right by everyone.
George and I also struggle when we start to think that no one’s around when we fall and there’s no net at the bottom. With the help of Clarence, his assigned Guardian Angel, George realizes that despite never having the chance to see the world and living out his dreams, he has a wonderful life.
No one goes through life error-free, chaste, or perfect. Those who have or are living a perfect life haven’t experienced life.
As 2011 draws to a close tonight, I learned something special.
I am George Bailey. There are a lot of George Baileys in this world, who are on the ropes and losing faith in themselves as the view their world crumbling from every corner.
I’ve been through a tough stretch, 2 years to be exact, of finding my way back into the working world. There were moments where I wanted to give up emotionally and mentally. The other part of me questioned, with a hinge of anger, why was I struggling to find work, whereas my friends and acquaintances were landing better gigs and making career moves.
It was never in my family’s DNA to take risks, opting for the safer conservative path of finding steady work and being complacent.
As I dealt with that, I increased my volunteerism around town. At one point this summer, I turned down a temp job, so that I could do a short internship with the American Diabetes Association of Iowa. It was the best decision I ever made.
But, this isn’t about the awards I received: Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award or the YPC Community Service Award and being recognized for community service and being charitable.
This is about the people who help us get through the good and the bad, the people who encourages you during the sad/difficult/rough moments, and celebrate with you when good things happen.
I’m talking about our virtual “Guardian Angels”.
They are also called “Saving Graces” or “Guiding Lights” (apologies to the late popular soap opera). George Bailey had one in Clarence. Most of you have had one at a difficult point in your life.
I’ve had so many Saving Graces over this past year, including 2010, sending a “thank you” card, sending an email, or telling them in person “thank you” doesn’t do it justice.
Not by a mile.
I am pretty damn blessed to be surrounded by amazing individuals, genuine people, and folks who have perspective in their lives.
That’s my family, the infinite number of friends, former classmates, co-workers, acquaintances, and people I have met so far. Without them, I would have…well…let’s not ruminate on that.
No one should walk alone as we travel the long winding road known as life.
I may not have a fancy car, the “right” career, or the things that everyone else has, but I have a wonderful life, just like George. It took all of you to show me that.
This was a wonderful year for me.