I had just turned 23 when I stepped into the classroom and began my first (and only) teaching position. I started mid-year and I was afraid it was going to be rough when I entered my classroom and the seasoned teacher I was replacing said something to the effect of, “Good luck! I’ve been teaching for [a gazillion] years and I’m done. Make sure you know the coaches down the hall in case the rival gang members get into a fight during class.” Now this was 1994 .… several years before we all had cell phones. So, it’s not like I could just call for help. But, being young and enthusiastic, I was sure I could handle teaching Biology and Physical Science to my high school students.
The first week, someone stole my wallet out of my desk and left me with no credit cards, no cash, and no identification. It’s a hassle replacing all that; but, For the most part I just had to make a bunch of phone calls. However, replacing my driver’s license proved to be a bit more challenging. I left work a tad bit early and in a hurry to get to the driver’s license office before they closed. After cranking my car I realized… I’m about out of gas. (I know that doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me well.) So, I pull in to a gas station to quickly fuel up. I pump my gas. I exit the station and my car dies right in the middle of the busy intersection. Did I mention.. I’m in a busy suburb of Dallas, I’m in a hurry to get where I’m going, I don’t have a cell phone, I just moved here, and I don’t know anyone? I walk back into the gas station and speak with the attendant who looks at me and says, “Does your car run on diesel? …. Because that’s what you put in it.” And, just to be clear, NO, my car does NOT run on diesel. Fuel matters. ( Did I mention I’m in a busy suburb of Dallas, I’m in a hurry to get where I’m going, I don’t have a cell phone, I just moved here, and I don’t know anyone?.. and my car does NOT run on diesel. )
While in tears (and while my car is still sitting in the middle of the intersection backing up traffic in every direction), I called a friend in another city who gave me the number of their friends in the city I was in. I was so thankful when they not only answered their phone, but said they’d come get me and tow my car. Needless to say, the awesome people who saved my day became some of my very best friends. Over the years, we had a lot of good laughs over this and many other crazy things that life threw our way.
There’s more than one lesson from this most embarrassing and crazy event. But, here are a couple:
#1 – Adversity brings people together. You will make some of your best friends during hard times. It’s hard to accept help from others; but, letting others help you during a hard time will form a special bond that you will cherish forever. Ask for help when you need it. And, never miss an opportunity to reach out and help someone in need.
#2 – Fuel Matters. Obviously, a vehicle that is meant to run on regular gas will not run on diesel. Pay attention to what you fuel up with and make sure you’re fueling up on the right thing. I use this same analogy for nutrition. You can’t fuel your body with donuts and soft drinks and expect it to perform well. Your body may very well quit and shut down if you only feed it junk. Fuel Matters! Your body needs good nutrition to perform at its maximum potential and to fight off diseases. When you give your body what it needs, you will feel well, have energy, sleep well, be in a better mood, etc. Your physical and emotional health depend on the fuel you put in. I urge you to start every day by giving your body premium nutrition! You can click here to learn more about what I use. But, the main thing is, find what works for your body and be consistent with it. Because your Fuel Matters!
I only lasted a year and a half teaching. But, during that time I learned many things and I made some great friends who are still my friends today. I’m a mess. I’m a work in progress. I do crazy stuff sometimes and wonder what in the world I was thinking…. Or not thinking. I try to relate my crazy stories to some life lesson. Although, I’ve yet to find a lesson in the time I drove out of the gas station with the fuel pump nozzle still in my car. Well… maybe that was just meant to teach me to pay attention and slow down! Or maybe everyone around just needed a good laugh. I don’t know… but, I do know.. there is rarely a dull moment.
Rise & Shine,