Writing. It was the one effortless thing I always did well in my life.
I honestly should have tried to become a professional writer. Professor Henderson told me I should when he read my piece on Stevie Wonder to the class. I think he only read 2 out of 30 papers. Possibly a couple more. I just know he closed the class reading my paper. After class he stopped me and told me that I should consider a career in writing. Me being a foolish, money hungry teen said, “but do they make good money?” Professor Henderson didn’t give a definite yes, but he did say that I could be very successful at it. If I knew happiness was a bigger component to success at 19, I would have dropped out of that tech school after his class and tried to get in to Columbia, DePaul or NIU. Shoot, I might have even called Marquette University back, did that visit, signed up and been classmates with D Wade. However, I didn’t. Present day I know plenty avenues that can generate revenue with writing. Avenues that didn’t exist late 99 and early 2000. I guess I was a product of passion with no vision. However, it never truly stopped me from writing.
Professor Henderson was this little, old white man, with white hair and a sincere passion for writing and writers. I loved his class. It was one of the very few classes that I actually tried to stay awake for in college. Mind you, I never took a class before 11 am and still would go to sleep in class. Although I never really said much to him, Professor Henderson knew that I had a natural gift and passion for writing. He was trying to push me in that direction, but I didn’t go. I don’t know why I didn’t. Looking back, I could have saved myself so much time and money if I would have taken that leap, majored in English or Journalism and 10X’ed that part of my brain. Had I not been so worried about money and listening to people telling me “know computers and know business because you won’t get a job with out knowing them” things may be a lot different. Now, I do run the risk of not having some of my closest friends and even my wife and daughter, but it’s crazy to have that life altering “what if”, that you just didn’t take in real time. It’s now 2017, I’m in my mid-late 30’s and I’m back to where I connected with Professor Henderson originally. Tapping this keyboard in front of me and putting my words in a passionate way for reading purposes. Wild right?
Maybe I will go to a University and get my professional writing credentials. It won’t be before these other loans get paid, but still. Anything is possible. Professor Henderson, I hope you’re still out in this world, alive, well and inspiring young people to chase a writing dream. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, sir. You’re one of the few Professors I actually remember, respect and admire. You are always going to get praise from me and a sincere thank you for encouraging me to write. Professor Alan Henderson; Thank You.