When I started this blog, I had a lot more to say than I do now. The premise was to write about the good things that shaped my opinion of Birmingham, Alabama. I also saw it as an easy way to show my friends just what there is around here. The message was one where it was focused on engaging people in the future of the city they’d chosen to live in and love and to let others see what it had to offer.
It has since become a common place for people to read about some of the things going on in the community and a place to learn of ways to become more active in the community. I find myself not taking too many chances, though I know that what I write are my thoughts and not things that would affect my jobs and my civic roles. Somehow I’ve tried to play it too safe recently and I haven’t necessarily done what I set out to do.
A lecture this evening seemed to jog that purpose back into focus. This weekend the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation is holding its annual conference in the Magic City. In the process, I was able to see a familiar friend as she visited town for the first time. I also got to hear Richard Moe, the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Congressman Artur Davis. Whether you agree with their politics or not, both men are passionate orators whom convey their messages as succinctly as possible. Listening to both men today I was reminded why I decided to pursue history as my degree; the ability to tell a story that will one day have the chance to inspire. This can be accomplished by fictional accounts, however there is something to be said for the opportunity to tell the story of an event or person of history and it become the source of inspiration and hope for someone’s future.
As people continue to search for a meaning, I wonder if what I consider a purpose is attainable. Recent weeks have been filled with wrestling with the notion of whether or not I do all that I can. Two comments echo in my mind throughout this entire period, both made by Alan Hunter. He said that I was ubiquitous and always on a mission. Yeah, I’d forgotten what the word meant too, so I had to look it up.
I wasn’t sure how I should take either of those comments. I figured out that it goes back to a notion of wanting to be all things to all people and not letting anyone down. This town has allowed me to become a big fish in a small pond rather quickly, much faster than I would have thought; only I did not come here intending to focus on achieving that. I only did what I always do according to my former employer and I decided to focus on it after I realized that it is what I do best. I like to meet people and figure out ways to help them achieve what they want. If they do not want something, then there is no passion to play off of, no reason to stay driven. I guess I ended up taking them as working compliments.
I found it disturbing when I was told recently that I did not enjoy my job. I found it hard for someone to tell me that if they are not in my shoes. I wear all of my emotions on my face and show them in my body language; it can have someone think I’m lost and upset about one thing, when it’s something completely different, especially when I have much more on my proverbial plate than they are aware (mainly because I put it there). The next step I guess is to determine what best allows me to wear those emotions while showing the joy and pleasure that I receive every day. It may be an impossible task as people want me to fit into a mold that is not possible. I’ll do what you want me to do, I just hope that you don’t ask me to become something that I’m not (a robot) in order to do it.
Writing and posting this probably means that the search is on for the next challenge. The challenge is as simple as stating something must be accomplished. The goal is to figure out the best road to get there. Stay tuned if you want to know more, as the gloves may come off for a while as this part of the journey begins. Check out the earlier posts if you want to. I’m not straying from most of the things that I do now, at least not that much. I write what I do about Birmingham because I love it, maybe the best way to show some love is to not only talk about the good things, but maybe talk some more about possible solutions to the not so good things.
Remember as we move forward, history is written from someone’s perspective; it just may not be the one you like. Offer comments when you feel like and we’ll get some real conversations started. And we’ll see what happens.
Enjoy the day.