So I’ve been bad about blogging, and just as bad about keeping up on reading my friends’ blogs. But Bangs’ recent post on her blog titled “My Top Five Life Changing Moments” caught my eye. In the spirit of Arsenio Hall and C+C Music Factory’s “Things that make you go Hmmm”, it got me thinking a bit.
Hmmm… My first reaction was “I don’t have five life changing moments, I’m boring.” But upon further reflection… I think I do. I’m also due for another. As I was telling Smarty from Smarty’s World the other day – I’m my own worst enemy and my biggest obstacle. I need something that’ll move me out of my own way like gangbusters.
So let’s see…
1. The moment I saw my parents off when they dropped me off at college. Having lived a very sheltered existence as an only child of old-school parents – I was ready to get out on my own. While I loved school and learning, I more or less hated high school. I never quite fit in. I wasn’t brainy enough for the bookworm crowd, I wasn’t athletic enough for the jocks (despite being a black belt and running track), and I wasn’t cool enough for the popular crowd (currently the balding douche-bag crowd)¹. When I went to college, I was able to start fresh with a new group of people, and was able to find like-minded folks that I can relate and connect with. I was also painfully shy, and was able to come into my own a bit (I’m still shy, just not as painfully).
2. The moment I decided to give my relationship with my future wife a try. This was huge for me. Up until that point I’d had only one real relationship that meant anything – it hadn’t ended well (We’re cool now though). I knew my wife for about four years, but had been only friends so she was around when that other relationship ended. It took a huge leap for me to commit to her, and tougher still to remain faithful while away at college (and she back home). It took 6 years before we actually lived in the same town. …As an aside, why is it when you start dating someone, every hot girl you ever liked starts expressing interest? Where the heck were you 2 months ago?!….
3. The moment I quit my job as an executive recruiter. I’d only been a recruiter for six months, but I knew right away that it wasn’t for me. This change was good because I got out of a situation that I knew wasn’t going to result in a good outcome for me. But at the same time, I feel like it changed me for the worse. This was the first time that I’d had a significant failure or setback. Up until then, pretty much anything I’d set my mind to, I accomplished. But after that, I came to the all too clear realization that I could fail. Unfortunately, it’s taken me quite some time to snap out of it and understand that I can fail, but I don’t have to fail. That has been a long journey 10 years in the making, one which I’m still working on.
4. The moment I watched the Twin Towers fall on 9/11/2001 – Perhaps this one is on my mind because we just commemorated the tenth anniversary of that day. I think this one goes without saying, and I’m sure many feel this was life changing for them as well. To be clear, I wasn’t there. I didn’t know anyone who died there, personally. But my world view changed that day. I was unemployed at the time, sitting in bed watching everything unfold. My wife had just called me from her job to tell me to turn on the TV. I turned it on in time to watch the second plane hit. I remember chatting with people online who still had internet access before they left their offices and calling their loved ones on their behalf, telling them “So-and-so is alright.” I was faced with the frailty of life, the concept of those who got up and went to work that morning like they did most mornings, without any idea of what was to come. I was also struck by all of the stories of close-calls. Folks that should have been there, but weren’t because the train was late, they got stuck in traffic, or they spilled coffee on the way out of the house. In any case, I won’t belabor this one too much. I do know some who were right there, it happened in front of them but they survived, so my experience pales in comparison to theirs.
5. The moment I first held my children in my arms. Yes, this was two moments – and maybe the critical moment was when I held my daughter, my first born. Suddenly, it wasn’t just my wife and I. We were two care-free kids living life without kids, oblivious to how our lives were about to be turned upside down. It’s amazing to me that there’s two of them… Like Bebe’s Kids – They don’t die, they multiply… It also amazes me that my daughter just started Kindergarten… Wow where does the time go?
Given the rut I feel I’ve been in over the last few years, I’m sort of ready for my next Life Changing Moment…
What say you?
¹ – Any resemblance to any high school classmate, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.