What do you understand today about your life that you did not understand a year ago?

Humans are geniuses. We are one of the most intelligent species in the entire universe. It’s not that we were born with this all knowing knowledge of the world and how everything works. But rather, we’re quick learners. We adapt and evolve to any and every situation. Thousands of centuries ago we were given just primitive tools and skills to work with. The world was a big scary place with a lot of bigger, badder animals. There was a million and one challenges to overcome. And we had no knowledge or understanding of this complex world. But none of that stopped us from learning more and more as the years went by.

It started with things as simple as fire. We learned how it worked and how to create it. Then we advanced to some of the most amazing discoveries from electricity to flying airplanes. And now we understand more and more amazing things about the world each year. We’re always learning as a species. But we have to learn as individuals as well. The things I learn will be different from the things you come to understand. You should always take the time to think about what you’ve personally learned in life and remember it. So what do you understand today about your life that you did not understand a year ago?

Here’s a short story on what I understand about my life today that I didn’t understand a year ago.

I was sitting in the passenger seat with my head in my hands. I hated waiting outside the airport. I knew that the moment we got comfortable, an officer would honk and tell us to keep driving. So as I watched a variety of strangers walk in out the building I was secretly hoping they would just walk out the doors. Dwayne was in his own world beside me changing the songs on the stereo. I started wondering if the girls were even going to come out. I know they both had work with very busy schedules. It’s rare that you see someone drop everything to fly out to Cincinnati on a whim. There’s no way they would make that type of sacrifice for us two clowns. Then I looked up and saw DeAsia and Eilidh walking straight towards our car.

When we got to the expo, it was funny seeing them get into business mode. Dwayne and I had did nearly fifty of these events before. We were able to do everything on pretty much autopilot at this point. But the girls had to warm up and get used to the rejection of selling. It was funny seeing them clam up and get annoyed when moms would just wave them off. The only thing they nailed from the jump was the pitch of the product. Being our ex-girlfriends they heard a lot about the business from conversations Dwayne and I had. So they knew the features and benefits from the inside out. Not to mention, they’ve been to a handful of expos many times before.

I watched as DeAsia nervously approached a young mom walking past the booth. She spoke softly and kindly as she explained each feature in depth. Then Eilidh would grab the attention of an older couple with three kids. She’d give them a high-energy pitch putting her full confidence in the quality of the product. Both families sat down and signed for our program. Dwayne and I looked at each other and smiled. These two girls were some of the kindest and caring people we’ve ever known. Of all the things they could be doing with their time, they decided to fly out here and work with us for no pay. We finished that expo with our sales numbers to date. I was more than grateful and I know Dwayne was too.

We took note of all the sacrifices they made for us. And as soon as sales season was over we started thinking of how we could show our gratitude. Of course we told them thank you many times in person. But I always struggled with speaking and expressing my emotions. I’m really bad at emotions in every sense of the word. So when I tried to tell Eilidh and DeAsia thanks it always came out wrong. It would come off as a short and cold thank you as if I could of cared less. I often come off as cold to people. So I talked to Dwayne about what we could do to show our gratitude. And we came up with an amazing idea.

Later in the year, we took them on a surprise trip for their birthdays. We celebrated both Eilidh and DeAsia’s birthday at the happiest place on Earth. Yes, we took them to Disney World in Orlando Florida. It was fun planning it all out and finding the best theme parks. We found a modern AirBnb and got all four of us access to four days of parks. It was a very expensive trip. But in the end, I melted inside when I saw the smile on DeAsia’s face as we walked into Disney World. She had been begging to go there for almost a year now. And Eilidh has been obsessed with Harry Potter for years. So when we saw the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park even I had chills running down my spine. They were so happy. And we were both happy that they were happy.

I now understand that I show appreciation differently than others in life. I might suck at being emotional and affectionate with people. I will never be the one that wears my heart on my sleeve. But I do care about my people. And I do want the best for them. I work hard everyday because I want to show my gratitude by making my loved ones happy. It’s the most rewarding feeling in life. No money, cars, or adventures will match the feeling of seeing your friends smile from ear to ear. I show my appreciation not by saying I want you to be happy. I show my appreciation by doing all I can to make you happy.

So even though I’ve showed them, I want to say again I truly appreciate all you guys have done for Sparketh. You know who you are. Especially you, DeAsia and Eilidh!

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