It truly is amazing to me to think that 10 years ago at this time I was enjoying my first summer with the knowledge that I would not be returning to school in the fall. Unlike most kids that summer, I was not scrambling to find a full time job. I had been working since I was 14. Worked at a dairy farm until I graduated, and moved on to the restaurant biz, I was hired before school ended. That summer was one of great change and purpose for my life. I was dating a girl in the class under me since the previous Thanksgiving, and we were enjoying our time together. 1998 was a good year for me. There are times when I feel like the world is falling apart around me, and wish I could escape for two minutes back to that time.
Now don’t get me wrong here…I hated school. I hated nearly everything about it. There were only three things I liked about…my girl, art, and music. The funny thing is the only thing that has stuck around sinc that summer has been my art, and my music.
The girl and I parted separate ways on Valentines the next year…her decision not mine…Tried to make amends and failed miserably.
Needless to say 1999 was not a good year. Dejected, heartbroken, and no sense of purpose for what I wanted out of my life I several times thought that the world would be better without me. But I had no courage to do anything other than run away. I embarked on a mission for my church if for no other reason than to escape my past. The mission became more than that eventually, but it truly wasn’t until near the end. No most of my mission was spent sulking on the past I left behind, and the poor choices I had made, not knowing the one good choice I had made.
I reflect often on the choices we make in life, and the sliding doors that we open and close (good movie reference). What would have happened, if I chose not to go on my mission and face the fears of my life that were confronting me. I would have spent every waking hour trying to fix what was broken in that relationship, until it finally broke me. Would I have a life with her, maybe if tried hard enough…BUT, I would have the joy and happiness I have today. I chose a door which led me to finding an eternal companion that I will never be without, and a family that is beyond measure. My two kids are a joy to be with and I love every minute I get to spend with them.
Could I have had a life through the other door, yes it is possible, but would I trade it for what I have today.
Absolutely not. I love my wife and my kids. I would lay down my life to protect them from feeling the pain I have felt so many times in my life.
As for my friend (yes I still call her that for one day I believe that when I am old and gray our friendship will be mended) I hope that you get a chance to read this. I am sorry for my part in what happened long ago. I miss your friendship that you gave to me, I hope one day we can be reunited and share our lessons of our lives together. I hope that you have found someone in your life that is just as special as you were to me, and as my wife is to me today. I truly do miss you my friend, my sliding door is always open for you to walk through…may you find what you are looking for out of life.
I know I have.