Mrs. Goodes' Work Experience Class
Special Note from Mrs. Goodes'
Senior Year of High School
March 19, 2004
One word I could use to describe my life and myself is fortunate. I've been very fortunate. My life has been, is, and hopefully will be great. I owe this fact to God and my family. These two factors have influenced and blessed my life more than I can imagine.
Overall, I can look back on my life and say not that it was easy, but that I've learned, grown, and lived, and done it well. My life started on August 21, 1986. After a grueling, bloody c-section, I slept for a while. I later woke up to the best thing I'll ever own, My Family. Four loving, gracious grandparents, two reasonable, wise, and devoted parents, eight fun, accepting aunts and uncles with their mates and abundant offspring, and two tough, exciting, feared playmates called brothers. This group of people has formed who I am. I grew up with these people, learning with and from them. I was born in Walnut Creek, CA and soon moved to Martinez, CA. I went to John Sweat Elementary and probably spent most of my time sitting outside the classroom door scowling while my classmates enjoyed learning and fellowshipping amongst themselves. I was incredibly eager to learn, but sitting with other kids in a foreign room being taught by some wench was nothing compared to being pre-schooled by my mother. Yes, I admit, I was somewhat of a momma's boy. The only thing I remember from that school was the lawn just outside my classroom and the taste of both paste and the cheek of my first "girlfriend". Of course that relationship stopped as soon as my lips touched that little girl's cheek as we ate lunch in the grass. From that day forward I gave up romancing and received a curse of never having a true girlfriend until I was seventeen; or maybe it was a blessing. I moved to Forest Ranch, CA halfway through my kindergarten year. Forest Ranch is obviously a forest, filled with old people and lunatic drug addicts. No joke. I grew up in this secluded area with almost a total absence of feminine influence-minus my mother-which allowed for the dream life every boy wants. When I think about my childhood, I see forts, fires (did I mention I was a pyro?), dirt, motorcycles, blood, hikes, boxing, climbing trees, camping, wrestling, hunting, fishing.....I grew up in the hills and trees, and can't feel at home without them. Did I mention camping? Yes, camping. My parents live for four things: religion, raising their kids, working, and camping. Every summer, without fail, we camped. We went to the beach, the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the strea..... we camped all over California, Yosemite being my personal favorite. We've seen rockslides, fires, rain, snow, sun, hippies, even deaths in Yosemite. We've backpacked the backcountry and climbed to the top of Half Dome a few times. We've enjoyed God's gift of nature very thoroughly. God. I can't say where I'd be without him in my life. All I've talked about was given to me by God. I've been fortunate enough to have a perfect life and live it under the guidance of two devoted parents who love each other and me very much, and have followed God's instruction and guidance without fail. This has made my upbringing virtually flawless. Speaking of flawless, you should see the house my dad built for us. I's definitely been a big part of my childhood. From playing in the stacks of lumber as my dad built my home to coming in at 12:00 from spending the evening with my girlfriend, I've loved this house. I've seen sunrises and sunsets from it's porch, smelt bacon in the morning and barbeque in the evening rising up through it, sat by the wood stove and on the air conditioner vent.....just, grown up in this house. I would never wish for another house to sleep in or another town to jog through......until now.
I graduated from Forest Ranch Elementary which had seventy students at the time, attended Chico Country Day School and Marsh Jr. High for seventh and eighth grade, and have been dragging myself out of bed every morning for almost four years to drive down the 16 mile hill to the growing town of Chico to go to Pleasant Valley High School. I'm about to graduate from this playground of instruction, conformity, and discipline which I'd recall had a lot to do with slouching in chairs, "goofing off", and taking a test here and there. But I admit, I learned a lot. Once I break free of these binding chains of school, I will be on my way to a promising career in something, a beautiful wife (hopefully), children, and, of course, a lot of family camping. But, right now, I'm still working toward that day I walk across that elevated lit up platform in front of a crowded football field. As you may have concluded, my dad is a General Contractor. For years I've been working off and on underneath him. He has taught me everything I know about construction and done it well. He can sure get you motivated with a few "encouraging" words, if you know what I mean. All in all, however, working with my father is great. You learn a whole lot about your dad when you see him in all aspects of his life, especially his work life. Right now, I'm tossing around what occupation I would like to engage in for the rest of my life. I'm not sure construction will be very good for me because of scoliosis in my back. Real Estate is appealing to me, but working on the weekends and time away from family sure doesn't. After school and work, I haven't had much time for a whole lot of activities. Sure, here and there I'll go fishing or go for a run or do something with my buddies, but my most favorite activity at the end of the day is spending time with Bridgette. For over six months, I've been blessed with a fun, joyful, friendly, understanding, caring-ok, this is getting a little too mushy-, loving, passionate, warm hearted girl masked behind long brown hair, big blue eyes, soft, olive skin, and a figure that will stop traffic. "Yep, that's my girlfriend" I say to my friends. I'm very proud of her, and she consumes my time like a vacuum. Going to Lake Almanor, Table Mountain, Bidwell Park, Sacramento, even to the movies and for long drives with no predetermined destination with this girl have been some of the best times I've had. In six months, through all the misunderstandings and small problems in our relationship, I've grown faster than I ever have in this amount of time. Learning to bite your pride and your tongue (at the right time) can save you from a whole lot of trouble and teach you one of the most important values you'll ever have. My girl definitely keeps me on my toes. It's good for a young man to have a girl to be accountable to. It keeps you from doing things you'd regret otherwise. When I look back at how our relationship has played out, I know God has definitely planted Bridgette in my life for a sure reason. She has changed me for the better. Even though I may regret writing this in the future, I know I'd be gypping anyone of a very important aspect of my young life if I did otherwise. My life is playing out pretty good right now, and the future looks even better.
In the next phase of my life, my adult life, I have all kinds of things to look forward to. Most importantly, I see a wife and kids. Five kids: two girls and three boys. I want to spend the majority of my life with my family. Whenever work will allow, I want to be with the ones that I love. I want to raise my boys to work on their trucks, to ride motorcycles, to finish a fight when necessary, to appreciate the outdoors, to fish, to hunt-I want to be there to congratulate my son on his first buck and help him gut and skin it. I want to spend time with my daughters and make sure they don't become too girly. I want girls that won't be afraid to get a little dirt under their nails or to smash that big hairy spider on the wall. I want a wife that will go camping with me and my kids and that shares the same values with me. I want to go to church every Sunday with my family and teach my kids to love the Lord as my parents did. I see a bright and awesome future. I know I won't get everything I want and disappointments will come, but I'm gonna try my hardest to be the best husband, father, and eventually grandfather to the ones that should mean the most to every man. If not, he doesn't know what he's missing.
Fortune. To some men a fortune is gold; to some it's a mansion. My advantage is that I don't have to toil all my life just to achieve my fortune. I've had it since I was born, and it will continue growing 'till after the day I die. I thank God for giving me the greatest fortune I'll ever have: my family.