The last time I got stuck, though, was the first time I assumed I was finished, as a creative sort and as a human being who could semi-cope. So, I am convinced Seton Hill University buddy (Class of 1967) Lee Harrison had cast spells on me.
Long story short, that white magic got me back ghostwriting books and articles published in brandname media such as The Washington Post and Motley Fool, having heavy traffic on my three blogs, adopting a dog and relocating out of the too-brittle-for-me Northeast.
I know I am not the first professional saved by an old college friendship. What are the dynamics which create such a transformational force field?
Well, in college we were unformed, euphemism for pre-masked. We allowed others in. They got to know our wiring, especially the frayed parts. In addition, without envy (that eventually comes from being passed over in professional life), they observe our unique talents. There's one more thing. They understand how to get through to us, in ways our mothers, professors and employers doing performance reviews couldn't.
So, when they pop back into our lives almost half a century later they have near supernatural powers to lift us out of whatever darkness. Harrison, whose photo is on the left, penetrated the closed system I was with a mashup of concern and comedy. I am a sucker for both.
The transformation hasn't included my becoming less of a flake. I assumed that I would get from New Haven, Connecticut to Tucson, Arizona with a print-out of Google directions. Harrison took about 90 minutes explaining to me the wisdom of investing in Garmin Nuvi 40 LM.
For the 50th anniversary of our SHU graduation I am beginning a campaign that the university create a new category of alumni award. That is for the graduate who touched the most lives. The first to receive it, if my strategy is effective, will be Lee Harrison, Class of '67.