Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scintilla#13, Day 7

The choices:

1. Write about someone who was a mentor for you.

2. What have been the event horizons of your life - the moments from which there is no turning back?

While I know I've had mentors -- my parents, a fantastic youth pastor, even my ex -- no one really stands out. I'm pretty much a do-it-my-way person, and most jobs I've had have been in one-person departments or as an individual contributor. I never climbed a corporate ladder so had no mentor there either.

So that leaves #2.

The pivotal event horizon for my life was where I decided to go to college, and then two years later, decided to stay there to complete my degree rather than transfer to a larger school (although I'd been accepted at a couple).

Those last two years  put me on a track that has determined nearly everything else.

It was a small school affiliated with the United Methodist Church and nicknamed '52 acres of Christian atmosphere.' It was in a tiny rural county seat town, just 30 miles from the University of Missouri, but since few people in those days had cars on campus, it might as well have been 300 miles. 

The quality of education was adequate; I had some wonderful professors in my major field, English, but I don't know that I was especially challenged there or in any other class. After my freshman year, I spent much of my free time at the campus radio station and learned news reporting, a choice that would influence the rest of my career. I also met my husband (now ex) and married slightly more than a month after I graduated.

That choice determined where I would live for the next 27 years as we moved five times in three states for his jobs, and then I would find jobs or freelance, which then formed my experience and resume. We adopted our daughter which changed nearly everything, both good and not so good.

While there were other, lesser, life choices made during that time, it wasn't until I was in my 40s that I began to really see the crossroads when I was standing at them, which made the decisions much more analytical and difficult.

And then when I was approaching my 50th birthday, I made another crucial choice -- to leave the marriage and move to California -- which changed the course of my life. And I've never been happier.

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