Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Choices - Decisions that molded who we are.

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?

1 comment:

  1. HA! The questions are irrelevant because the cascade that follows are unworthy, as you pointed out yourself. It appears that the very first decision that you made as an adult is just about everything you are today. I have had some serious misery in my life, but when I kiss my beautiful wife good-bye and give her a big hug hello, every last bit of what I have gone through brought me to her, and like you ... I can't put a price tag on that :)