Texas.

Yes, I lived in Texas.  For 5 years.  With my bride.  That’s where the Princesses were both born.

Life is all about choices, risk, and adventure.  Otherwise, it’s a rather meaningless existence, I think.  One of those risks was simply to say, “No,” to an extremely limiting question.

It was spring of 1999 and we had only moved into our first home the prior July.  I got a phone call from a professional recruiter headhunter.  He was wondering if I would be interested in getting away from government contracting and consulting sales to consider a different (and completely appropriate) career in wholesale distribution.

Sure.  After all, this was an opportunity to actually use my degree.  Would I be willing to work for an independent and wholly-owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart?  Sure.  Am I really sure I want to stay in Virginia?  No.  That was the big “no” I mentioned above.  My beloved?  Born and raised in Virginia.  All of her friends were in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C. area.  And, yes, she was pretty adamant that she did not want to leave Virginia.

However, I told the headhunter that I was listening – and that my bride was not thrilled.  The position, he told me, was located in a city between Austin and Waco, and the company was over 135 years old at the time, top tier in their field.  He wanted to know if he could set up the phone interview.

Long story short, we ended up moving to the Lonestar State.  This was 15 years ago, and we were only there for 5, but I think they resulted in probably some of the best experiences we’ve shared in our lives.

Life presents us with choices in the form of post-secondary school options (colleges (which one), trades, military services, or working straight out of high school), geographic locations, relationships, you name it.  And the devil (if you choose to believe in him) has us second-guessing a lot of those choices.  Regretting them even.

For example, I could easily regret, if I allowed myself, my decision to take out student loans and accept some of my parents’ help for my undergraduate education at Virginia Tech and call myself names over turning down free education and military careers through West Point and ROTC programs.  Easily.  But then I probably would never have met my bride, had two incredible Princesses with her, and experienced the deep friendships I have today.

NOTE: Interestingly enough, I’d be near completing my military career and looking to start another career soon (which I’ve already done, transitioning from engineering to counseling).

I may not even have had the spiritual experiences I’ve faced.

Yes, we can easily get caught up in the “what could have been” or “what might not have been” scenarios if we engage in this exercise.  But, what is the point if not to be grateful for what we have experienced?  I, for one, can imagine my life any different, but I truthfully do not want to.  Even the struggles and not knowing what challenges are coming up next.  I don’t want to go there…

Are you living a life of regret or balls-to-the-wall adventure?  What kind of risks have you taken, either alone or with your family, that have indelibly written depth on your soul?  Finally, knowing that not everything works out as we plan it, what have you learned?

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