We've all been there. A place in your life where you've been forced to make a decision that can, ultimately, change whatever coarse your life is on or change the outcome of your life completely. How do you decide which road to take? Oftentimes I stop and think what seems the best to choose now...will it really benefit me in the long run?
Roughly 9 years ago I left a job that I loved. A group of people that I really did consider to be my other family. My office, strangely enough, felt like my second home. I was comfortable there. Maybe too comfortable. There was a mutual affection and respect for the people that I worked with. When the decision was made to leave the company, although I really did want to come home and be a wife and mother, I was devastated. I can remember I would cry every morning while most of the staff in my section of the building went to their morning briefing. I had reached the point that I would take my makeup bag to work with me because I would have to go and fix my face. If anyone spoke to me about my decision to leave - it never failed, a silent tear would roll down my cheek. It may seem strange to whomever reads this, but I spent so much time with these people and doing my job and making sure everything was 'just so' that the idea of leaving them worried me. I did not worry about how they would function without me. I worried how I would function without them.
Who would I find to talk to in the preschool pick up line? I spent my days talking about budgets... car pool parents didn't want to sit and have a debate about the price of tuition or whether the local store had a monopoly on juice box sales. How would I channel that energy into being a wife and mother and not drive my family insane in the process? And heaven forbid...what about when CABIN FEVER struck. We lived in the middle of nowhere. My neighbor best friend had moved to North Carolina during my pregnancy. I thought I'd go insane!
But I'm off on a tangent. A few months ago I ran into one of my 'old friends' from work at the local Lowes. We both live here in town. His wife works at the college where I attend. And I had not seen him anywhere in at least four years. He said everyone still talks about me and how I could handle situations that came up at work like they were nothing. It made me feel good to know that they remember who I am and that they miss me. Is that selfish?
Today I decided to email my old boss, just to see how things are and to see if he was even still working at the company. Within minutes I got a reply that started out 'Wow, where have you been?". It has been nice today to take a few minutes here and there and catch up on our kids and our lives. And it's made me a little sad. What if I had never left after 9/11? What if I had chosen the other road along the path - where would my life be now? I would still have my beautiful daughter and my husband... but how different would my life had been?
I know...spending time on the 'what ifs' is never a good idea... but I think we all contemplate that 'bend in the road' at one point in our lives. Maybe it's because I'm about to (hopefully) begin a career as a teacher - a completely different path for me. Maybe it's just that I think my seasonal allergies are bringing on a cold. But you know what? It feels good to reconnect with these people from my past. It's sort of like sitting down and looking at an old box of pictures. At least that's how it feels for me today.