Everything I needed to know I learned in my formative years

When I was in high school, I had a tough time. I fit in nowhere NOWHERE…I was smart (National Honor Society, top 10% of my graduating class, honor roll) but I didn’t fit in with the super smart kids. I wasn’t athletic. I wasn’t a cheerleader…I was, well, uniquely me. And, I had a tough time, all through high school.

In my junior year a teacher, a psychology/history teacher, introduced me to Leo Buscaglia and I was enamored (how fun to be enamored of a man who spoke of love, of being human). Reading Buscaglia’s works got me through one of the hardest things I’d deal with: The death of my father just a few short months after he was diagnosed with cancer. You see, up until his diagnosis, my dad wasn’t speaking to me. Funny thing the silent treatment…it may be designed to punish, but what it really does is choke the life out of you (the punishment rarely fits the crime).

Buscaglia, a Ph.D., taught a class at the University of Southern California called “Love 1A.” He was a listener, a lover of life, a motivational speaker. And, he spoke to me. So much of what he said made so much sense to me.

Based on my “dreams to nightmares” post, I’m sure my loyal couple readers know I’ve been having a tough time. Well, I can’t say my “happy place” is on a quick mend, but the things that led me to that post caused me to look up my old friend Dr. Buscaglia, led me to rebuy the two books that saw me through one of the most hideous experiences in my life.

About eight years after my dad’s death, my mom succumbed to cancer. That was THE hardest thing I’ve ever been through EVER. Nothing I’ve been through since, NOTHING, was as bad as losing my mom (and there have been plenty of pretty awful things). I survived it though. And, maybe I would’ve had I not been introduced to Leo Buscaglia but I don’t know. And now, at 40, probably sappier than I was 10-15 years ago, I find myself in need of the comfort of what he has to offer. So, I found a couple used copies of “Love” and “Living, Loving & Learning” and I plan to re-read them (high praise from someone who can’t stand repeats), and I know, I just KNOW, that he’ll get me through this.

In fact, he already is. See, between reading his work and living the life I have I know this: We have only right now, this moment, nothing else is a guarantee. So, we need to live in this moment and live it to the fullest. Buscaglia was a highly quotable speaker, it’s tough to pick just one to end this post but I’m gonna try.

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.” — Leo Buscaglia

Here’s hoping you live that moment. (Oh, and, if you’re interested, look for his books on eBay or his website. Hell, if you want, I have a copy of the two mentioned above I’d gladly loan.)


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