There is an acorn theory that who we are destined to become is imprinted on our souls from the first moment of our lives. Destiny! Soul! Just the thought of baring my soul makes me feel vulnerable and alone.
If I’m drilling down too deeply for you on this first day of a New Year, then hit delete now. It’s not too late to grab a New Year’s Day mimosa. But I must warn you, one day you will have to come to terms with this thing called destiny. If you’re brave enough to consider a kernel of truth, read on.
I am an Acorn is a nursery rhyme that you’ve heard before:
I'm an acorn, small and round
Lying on the cold, cold ground
Everyone walks over me
That is why I'm cracked you see
I'm a nut! I'm a nut!
No matter what happens to the little nut, one day it will grow to be a mighty oak tree, presumably just like you and me, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes we don’t know how big the oak tree will grow and how long it will live.
Take my childhood friend Sue Klofak. Sue was a total geek girl and my closest childhood friend. We were New York kids, working-class, streetwise, a little tough, playing street games: kickball, basketball, and football. We used to swap books. It became a competition to see who could finish a book first. Together we read hundreds of books. Our love of learning manifested itself in very different ways. Sue collected rocks, fossils and bugs. I wrote stories, staged carnivals, and posted flyers everywhere, charging all the other kids admission.
Sue stayed in New York City, went to Columbia University and became a paleontologist on staff at the American Museum of Natural History. I moved to Seattle and built my own public relations business and write articles, essays and books. Could we be acorns? Doing those funny little things as young kids became indicators –without all the standardized tests, personality quizzes and Rorschach’s—of who we were destined one day to become.
For many years, I lost touch with Sue Klofak, then we reunited. We used to go to Nick’s on Broadway and eat burgers as massive as the size of our heads. She also loved going to the Silk Road, a Chinese restaurant that served wine and beer for free. Sue loved cream puffs, the New York Mets and her family. I learned this past May that she died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage on the site of an archeological dig in the southwest. There was no warning that this mighty oak tree had fallen.
Back to acorns. I’ve noticed that every person has an indelible essence that defines who they really are. Maybe this essence is their soul. Life isn’t really about winning or losing, success or failure, startups and risks, or getting maimed in the eye by the forest of social media selfie-sticks. The mission of the little acorn is to keep growing by putting one root in front of other, and to keep transforming the bad to good, and elevating it to a higher level, until we become the mighty oak tree that will stand the test of time, no matter how long that time will be.
Love + gratitude to my friend Susan Marie Klofak, 1956--2015
My business often requires me to help people create awareness for who they are and what they do for a living. To some extent, I help people actualize their destiny. --Patricia Vaccarino