There are many things that have created who we are. The decisions we make, create who we have become; Good decisions as well as bad decisions - culminate to dictate our existence.
In my personal life, when I look back on the decisions I have made, and even though they might not seem to be sound decisions, they have led me to where I am today.
I suppose the first real decision I needed to make was to tour with a rock band right out of high school or to stay where I was.
There was this band called the Darrell Mansfield Band, their bass player was leaving the band, because him and his wife were expecting their first daughter. I was offered the position after a concert by the leader of the band, I would have left that night and we would have gone on the European tour and ending up in Israel for a video shoot.
I looked at my girlfriend and I could not imagine not seeing her: I was 18, and she was still in school. Without hesitation, I declined Darrell’s offer. A year later The Darrell Mansfield Band disbanded, 28 years later I am still with that same girl.
Yes my life could have changed, I could have gone on to tour with other bands, and Kelly and I still might have been together. But the life I chose gave me five wonderful children and two wonderful grandchildren; we are expecting our third grandchild - the first granddaughter.
That was a win!
My second big decision was only a few months later. We were living in a small town, where my parents lived, and they hated Kelly. To protect my wife (we had been married less than a month), I wanted to move us out of that small town.
I had the day off from my job, and my best friend, who had enlisted in the Navy, said he would take me to the recruiting office; I always admired the Navy, but from afar. Kelly told me to not sign anything and we should talk about this when I got home.
I came back a sailor.
My other choice would have been to go to college, and get my degree, instead I moved my wife The Pacific Northwest, where my two oldest children were born.
Not a loss, not a win either.
The next decision I needed to make was where to go to school. In the late - 80's schools where as prominent as pimples on a teenager's face. My wife saw an advertisement for this school, and so we went to check it out. We agreed upon entering the building: we would talk about the school before enrolling.
I don't know what happened - I believe they hypnotised me, because I signed up for a four year program to be completed in two. However, at the end after I took the finals: The school closed their doors forever. I didn't even get to graduate.
That was a big loss.
I had smaller decisions, some of them I chose correctly, some I did not. Most still haunt me.
The next big decision was should I re-enlist or go into the reserves. This time Kelly was instrumental - she did not want to be a military wife any longer, so I was not going to make her do that. I left active duty.
I could have been retired by now, but I would have been in two wars, and who knows how many deployments. I do sometimes feel like I have sold the cow for magic beans, but on the other hand Jack did have an amazing journey.
That was a Win again!
I guess I have been taught to lead with my heart. Whenever I did, I believe I chose the path that made me happier in the end; albeit sometimes the path was harder, I cannot imagine a life without my wife.
What would your story be? What choices did you make, and how did that form who you are?