Fame or fortune, which would you prefer? Guest Post by Robin L. Sanders

Fame or fortune, which would you prefer?
by Robin L Sanders 
Stardom was something that I always dreamed of accomplishing as a child.  Often, I would do things that would attract attention, dance, sing, act out of control or just lie in order to hold anyone’s attention.  I wasn't able to explain or understand any particular reason why I wanted so much attention at the time but what I did know was that it felt good, sort of like being famous.  Although I was this attention craving psychic vampire that would suck the energy from everywhere and take peoples souls, there was this other side that would always bewilder me; I was extremely shy.  I’m the type of person who would beg for the leading role and when I get the part, I coward down like a dog with his tail between his legs.  During my not so reckless youth as a high school freshman, I would heckle some of my friends during their presentations just to get a laugh and when I was called up on stage I stuttered horrifically.  The humiliation and embarrassment of the matter wasn’t the issue, what was the real matter was a girl that I had a crush on for a long time.
Wonder Years Narration Voice Bitches!  Her name was Stephanie Richardson, a pretty young brunette that wore a clingy full-length pink sweater along with close-fitting Levi’s jeans that stopped at her ankles.  In my opinion she was never a high-heel person since I never spotted her in any, instead she would casually walk through the halls wearing only comfortable sneakers.  As she was walking and facing in my direction, she smiled and waved.
“Hey you?”
‘OMG!’ No, wait that wasn’t an actual term we used during that time.
Oh my God!’ I said to myself.  ‘She’s talking to me?
Well that’s what I thought when everything turned in slow motion as she passed me by, landing into the arms of a taller more handsome and attractive young man.
Long story short; I never had the courage to approach Stephanie Richardson because I felt that I wasn’t good enough.  As I recall at the time I was a pimpled faced, 5’6 out of shape nerd who wore a sloppy hand me down sweater off the rack with ill-fitted jeans that flooded close to my knees.  Don’t get me started on shoes.  The glasses I wore were definitely big, non-designer as the rest of my wardrobe and were always broken for any unknown reason.  Not a single girl in school thought I was attractive enough to pass the friend barrier and most of the guys assumed that I was gay, which in their term, Virgin.  Because (chuckles) everyone knows that if a teenage boy is not having sex, he’s going to turn gay and go to hell and stay gay forever, classic American fear mongering.  Picture a cliché scenario of a guy reaching his first orgasm then miraculously growing a massive thick mustache with beard, Paul Bunion style.
While I was an outcast who had nothing to offer, Dan unfortunately was very popular amongst his classmen and whatever he say, think or do they would say, think or follow.  All of the girls loved him and all of the boys either feared, respect or admired him.  I may have envied him but in some way I actually respected him, which was probably one of the many reasons why I wanted to be famous.  Being admired, respected and loved is a wonderful thing that brings positive feelings of joy and a sense of well-being.  This was a sensation that I always wanted to experience but failed to accomplish while Dan who lived through it all could care any less.
A few years later after graduating from high school, I lost my interest in popularity and decided to follow another subject such as Fortune.  It was my fourth year in college while working as a graphic designer under a local newspaper in Dearborn, Michigan.  It wasn’t the best place I’ve ever worked at but in a sense, I needed the job to gather more experience in my profession.  Like many nerds who’ve experienced rejection and ridicule from they’re high school lives, I’ve succumb to the dark powers of the business world.  My goal was to have my own company that designs promotional packaging to fortune 500 corporations and make a substantially large profit.  My old positive views, ideas and personality were later overridden with a more aggressive, persistent and combative nature.  I’ve learned that you have no friends in business and if you’re not stabbing someone in the back then expect someone to stab you.  If there were only one big promotion available on the table every employee would do whatever they have to do by any means necessary in order to get it.  The business world was not a positive experience for me.  Sure, I’ve had many good experiences of accomplishing personal goals, gaining praise amongst my coworkers but at most it was stressful and negative.
Four years later, I’ve suddenly lost competitive interest in the graphic design world of business and decided to leave my job for a truck driving position at Fed-ex.  Working as a truck driver was good at first since I never wanted to work in a corporate office again but later it got worse.   As the years had gone by, I started getting more and more hours added to my route, which wasn’t a good thing since I lost a lot of my personal time.  The job was very challenging since labor was involved as well as complaining customers, angry dogs, bad traffic, dumb pedestrians, and strict schedules that were impossible to accomplish by the long distances under slow speed limits.
Five years later I was fired from my job as a driver and was forced to move out of my apartment while collecting unemployment.  In truth, leaving that job was the best thing that ever happened to me as well as leaving the prior.  I remembered there was a book that I was working on for a long period of time.  I mentioned that, didn’t I?………..I didn’t?  Well, didn’t think it was that important but yeah I was working on a book from the time I was in college till now.  I stayed with a friend who was also another fellow writer who encouraged me to finish my book.  After I took his advice as well as his crystallized wisdom, I decided to continue working on my story.  Even though I’ve hit rock bottom, I’ve still found some joy and relief in writing as if I’ve found a sense of purpose.  In fact, as I recall, I would take the time to write down a couple of paragraphs between lunch breaks or stop my truck in the middle of the road to write down an idea. It doesn’t matter if a million people had noticed me or if I made a trillion dollars, the truth of the whole matter was that I was happy.
Fame is something that I want but don’t need as well as fortune, what I want is fulfillment but if I have to choose between the two then it would definitely be fortune.

About the book:

An 8-Track to 81 Chapters

When a Social Studies teacher assigns a special project to six high school students, (Richard, Shelly, Nathan, Charles, Morgan and Britt) they receive a lesson that may indeed change lives of many worlds. As they work on the problems set before them they come to realize that the typical real world issues that each student had been dealing with doesn’t look all that bad. As the unlikely group of misfits explores the project, they discover strengths that they were completely unaware they had. For seven whole days they stay in a mysterious book unlocking puzzles, fighting demon-possessed statues, creating bonds with a memorable cast of characters and fighting a villain who controls the powers of the heavens. Mr. Hutchenson, a professor of social studies at St. Cardinals, is a man who plays a large part within this story, but just as the kids have to discover that, so does the reader. These six kids work on finding that strength by not only fighting the enemy, but the enemy within

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