I grew up in a little town in southeast Texas called Bridge City. My parents moved to Bridge City sometime around 1976. After I graduated high school I got married and bought a home.
Fast forward 14 years, my wife and I divorced and I moved to the Conroe / Montgomery area for a few years.
In 2003 my new wife and I moved back the Bridge City area.
After I finished high school I went to work for a welding shop. Between 1986 – 1999 and 2003 – 2004 I collected around 15 years experience in the fabrication of ASME certified pressure vessels and heat exchangers.
During that 15 years I learned a lot (not all) of the welding shops in southeast Texas take joy in paying low wages and exploiting workers. The low pay was one reason why I had to leave the Bridge City area. To those fab shop owners that get some kind of sick kick out of exploiting their employees, screw you. There is a special place in hell for greedy bastards like you.
Even with 15 years experience working in various welding shops, the wage I was earning did not allow my wife and I to buy a home. The home prices were so inflated that the average middle income wage earner could not afford to buy. In the end, the lack of decent wages, and bloated housing market drove my wife and I out of the Bridge City area.
Even though the job market was ok at best, and the housing market was too expensive, I miss living in Bridge City. Its a good area to live in, and has a low crime rate. I just wish employers were willing to pay skilled workers what they are worth.
Even though I resent being exploited, why I miss working in the welding shops? Why do I miss being exploited? Why do I miss backbreaking work? Why do I miss barely scrapping by on my bills?
Maybe its not that I miss those hardships in life, maybe I miss times that seemed simpler?
If I could go back in time to when I finished high school, I would pick a different career path. A path where I did not put myself in a situation to be exploited by the welding shops. Why should I work 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and barely scrap by? Why should I have to work 60, 70 or 80 hours a week to barely pay my bills? While at the same time oil companies are turning record profits.
In a way, I feel that the welding shops turn their employees into wage slaves. Pay them just enough to pay their bills, that way they will beg to work overtime. Screw that. As a skilled professional, I should be able to earn a nice living from 30 hours a week, much less 40 hours a week.
GOD as my witness, I miss my children. They are growing up and going their separate paths in life.
When I look back there is the ugly face of regret staring me in the face. Why didn’t I take my kids fishing more often? Why didn’t we do more stuff together? My kids and I did a lot of stuff together. But now that they are grown, I regret every second, every minute that I missed with them.
Getting a divorce from my ex-wife did not make things any better. Seeing my kids every-other week was emotional torture. Time seemed so short, the weekends, and the summer vacations seemed to slip through my hands like sand.
In December 2011 two of my sons, a buddy of mine and I went on a three day camping fishing trip on the Angelina River. We had a great time and I hope we can do it again in December of 2012.
As I grow older, I cherish the time I spend with my kids.
Awhile back I was reading an article about a Roman trash dump. A letter that was found in the dump was from a mother to her son asking why he never wrote her anymore. Seems that people never change. We lose contact with those that we love, and why is that?
Good relationships take hard work. Bad relationships take no work at all. If you want something to fall into decay, ignore it.
Maybe the “ignoring” part is why I feel guilty with my kids? There were times when they tried to get my attention, and I was too busy with other stuff.
Why do we get distracted from the important things in life? Maybe that is one of the things that makes us human?
Why is youth wasted on the young
If only I had known what life would have “really” been like, I would have done a LOT of stuff differently. In fact, I would have done just about everything differently.
Maybe our youth is why we as a species have been so successful? Maybe our learning, our rebellion, our shortsightedness is why we survived the ice ages when other species went extinct.
Maybe breaking the bonds with our family allowed us to explore the land on the other side of the mountain, explore the land on the other side of the river, and to explore the islands in the distance.
Maybe youth is not wasted on the young? The youth have enough time in their future to learn from their mistakes and change their ways.
I can see youth rebellion as an important evolutionary trait. When the kids reach prime breeding age, the anger and rebellion drives them away from the family. Thus reducing the risk of inbreeding. This keeps the gene pool with a steady influx of new genes.
One thing is for sure, life is a never ending learning experience.