I could feel the sheer panic wash over me as it traveled to every extremity of my body. It was fourth grade and I’d forgotten to do my homework. There was no worse feeling than receiving a “0” on an assignment, not to mention the report card implications.
Instead of a masterfully written book report, I stared down at the blank piece of notebook paper on my desk. I scrambled and did what any resourceful, terror stricken, 10 year old “A” student would do: faked it.
Fortunately for me, these book reports were never turned in to our teacher. Unfortunately for me, however, was that we were required to read them aloud in front of the class. And, I was one of the first asked to share. So, as I took center stage, I held up that blank piece of paper, swallowed hard, dug deep and read those invisible words like they’d actually been written.
Every word, every sentence and every paragraph flowed from my lips like I’d memorized them. A quick glance up from those empty ruled lines revealed an approving smile from my teacher. I was convinced it’d been a flawless performance of epic proportions. Basking in the glow of my perceived improvisational excellence, I victoriously returned to my desk.
Through the eyes of a 10 year old in 1989, it was a brilliant save and my captivated audience was none the wiser. But through the eyes of a 40 year old in 2019, I can only wonder if that smile on Ms. Sullins’ face was actually from the amusement of watching me read a blank piece of paper.
Despite accumulating 30 years of life’s wisdom since, it’s wonderfully poetic that I’m still wingin’ it every day. As a husband. As a dad. As a business owner. As a human. Some days feel like a home run. Other days, not so much. The bottom line is this: All of our pages are blank, but it’s up to you to choose the Words you’re going to read.