Saturday, May 31

Q & A #5

Here is one that really does require deep thought. I probably won't have as many responses because of it, but that's okay too.

What one event/decision (if you HAD to choose) do you think most influenced where you are in your life today? How has it affected you? Here is my story:

I was born in Louisiana. My parents divorced when I was 2. My mom remarried when I was 4. I saw my dad every other weekend for many years. Once I hit 4th grade, I moved around a lot with my mom, step-dad, and sisters. I did not get to see my dad as often.

Once I hit the pre-teen years, my home life deteriorated fast. It was more than just a teenager's angst. There was not a lot of harmony in my daily life. I spent a lot of time in fear (not physically) of going home.

When I was 15, we were living in Tennessee. I had a great group of friends and all I could ask for as far as drama in my social life. I was as happy as I could be under the circumstances. My step-dad decided it would be best for our family to move to FL.

To say I hated him and was miserable was an understatement. Not only did I lose my friends at 15, I also hated being at home. It was the worst summer of my life. So when my dad asked me to come visit for a month, I jumped at the chance.

It was such a different life with my dad. Of course, I was his little baby and he did not see me often, so I was a bit spoiled. BUT. There was so much harmony in his house. No one lived in fear to come home. I was so at peace there. If I was going to start over, I might as well do it with my dad where I was comfortable instead of in FL where there was non-stop tension. So I called my mom and told her I was moving to Louisiana with my dad.

And she lost it. My mom was devastated. She begged me to come home and talk about it, but I was firm. No need to come home, I was set. So my mom threw in that if I came home to talk, we could go up to TN to visit my friends. Well, that was the deal-breaker. I was so desperate to see my friends, I would have done almost anything to go back there. So I flew home with the understanding that I was going back to my dad's in something like 2 weeks. I didn't.

I remained in FL for the rest of high school and college. I met my husband in college and made some friends there that we were so close to, we moved to NC with them. I believe my life today is the way it is in a large part due to the fact that I decided not to move to Louisiana.

I know I have probably made a lot of decisions in my life that have led me to this point. But I truly believe in my heart that my entire being would be different had I moved to LA.

So there you have it. Anyone out there have anything to share?


Mike said...

THere are a few, but probably quitting The Know How and choosing you over the band. Not that you really made me choose, but I sorta knew I had to, if i wanted one or the other to work. Both wasnt going to allow me to dedicate the time to either. I think i made the right choice. :)

NaeNae said...

This question is a powerful one. I'll have to think about this one. BTW - I enjoyed reading your response to this question. I was amazed while reading it. I imagined you grew up in a family like the "Cleavers."

Tiffanyrose said...

I think my life changing moment was when I decided to go to Arizona for college as opposed to the traditional Utah. I met Brandon and there is no other way I would have ever met him. Circumstances all fell into place and everything was right. My life took the route it is on know because ofthat one choice.

Jacqueline said...

I would have to say that 9/11 has influenced my life the most. Before 9/11, I was a stay-at-home mom with a new house and 2 new cars. Life was comfortable and I loved it. About 6 months after 9/11, Mark's income decreased to about 1/3 to 1/4 of what it was. We had months when we couldn't pay our mortgage. We almost lost our house. I can remember when they came to cut our power off and I had to get money out of Sam's piggy bank to pay it. You want to talk about feeling like crude ... Mark blamed me for not having a job and I blamed him for not making enough. We almost separated. Both families blamed the son or daughter in-law too. It was bad! In the end, we knew that it was just something that we needed to deal with. I put Sam in daycare and got a job. Within 2 years, I was a lateral-entry teacher and I had gone back to school to get my teacher's license and Masters. If someone had asked me 10 years ago if I would end up becoming a teacher and go back to school - I would have thought they were crazy! It has humbled me and made me have compssionate for people that are struggling financially. Even if we won the lottery, I look at Needs and Wants totally differently now. I can tell that when I talk to most people that have never struggled financially they do not have the compassion for someone that is struggling. It has made our marriage so much stronger than I think it would have ever been if we didn't go through this together. Mark has so much more respect for me that I am working and going to school. Also, I have respect for his support and that he believes in my goal. I think I was meant to be a teacher. But, I never would have become one unless this happened. I still cannot believe that I work fulltime, go to graduate school with 2 little ones. It made me become someone that I never thought I could be. I think that this horrible event made me grow-up and become a better person for my family.

Nikki said...

This doesn't really answer your question exactly, but I think this is fascinating enough to write in response to your question anyway.

The event: Castro invading Cuba. Castro invaded Cuba in 1959 when my mom was four years old. My grandfather was a very affluent lawyer in Cuba who worked for Batista's government. When Castro invaded, his soldiers overtook any and all property they wanted, and this included my grandfather's house. My grandfather was thrown into a POW-type prison, and soldiers came in with guns and took over my grandmother's house, with my grandmother, my mom (4 years old), her brother (3 years old) and my mom's aunt (who was 16 years old at the time). They had to hide the 16 year old from the soldiers so they wouldn't rape her. We can only imagine what they did to my grandmother. :(

My grandparents had family in Argentina and in 1960, my grandfather somehow managed to get his family out of Cuba and fly them to Argentina. From there, they were able to fly to America where they arrived with absolutely nothing. They met some amazing people (who we still invite to my uncle's Christmas party every year, and they come every year) who helped get my grandmother a station wagon to live in (they went from having a mansion to living in an old station wagon). Somehow my grandfather managed to get out of Cuba a short time later and once he arrived, these nice people helped him get on his feet.

Eventually my grandfather was a very successful lawyer in Florida and lived in a 7000+ square foot house that was built around the time my mom left for college. He was able to build his life back, and I give him so much credit for everything he went through in his life.

My mom met my dad in high school and eventually they went to UF together and got married and had my brother and me. So, despite the fact that Castro completely destroyed my family (and the families of hundreds of thousands of people), I owe him my life. Strange, isn't it? I would never have been born if Castro didn't force my family out of their home and into America.

Mandi said...

See my Urban Plunge post. (

That's a big one right there.

Isabelle Mae Mommy said...

See my blogpost at What an interesting post!

Mandy said...

I'm having trouble with blogger: this is long - sorry!
In June of 1998, I was finishing my first year of teaching (holy smokes, it was 10 years ago really like right now). I had applied for graduate school to UGA, where I got my undergrad in Early Childhood Education (PK -5th teacher cert.), GA State, and Auburn University. I was given the big REJECT letters from UGA and GA State, but I hadn't heard from Auburn. I had applied to these three schools for a Master's in Communication Sciences and Disorders, AKA "Speech Therapy".
So one afternoon after school, I was in the front office of my school and I'd talked to my Mom that day, who said, "Go call Auburn - just CALL - and see where you are on the list". So sure enough I call, and I get the secretary, who puts me on hold, and goes to talk to the head of the department, who comes on the phone and says, "Actually, you are next on our list to call - you will get your formal acceptance letter in the mail, but we are extending an invitation to our program starting Fall of 1999". I was speechless.
I turned in my resignation and headed to Auburn.
My brother was on the 5-year (well actually the 4 year + one more semester to be exact) plan as well for his college career, like his sister, and so he was at Auburn for ONE more semester. He is two years younger than me. He helped me transition back to college life, and I got to see him more than I had in a long time. Looking back on things, I think this was the time that we got to be truly closer - on many levels. I didn't know ANYONE in that town, and so when I moved there, he helped me with tons. So first off - that decision to move to Auburn was an incredible one for my relationship with my brother, who I totally adore to this day.
But for the second reason, when I started at Auburn, I also started dating his best friend, the guy my brother had lived with at Auburn for many years. At first? Awkward. Jacob (yes, my dear husband) had to pretty much ask Brent if he could date me. Brent couldn't handle it in the beginning, Jacob and me holding hands, or talking on the phone. But the longer we dated, it was just *nice*. It was like they got to be together/hang out lots, and so did my brother and me!
Well, you know the rest. Jacob and I married a few months after I graduated with my Master's, and the rest is history.
So there you have it.
My decision to resign from Dekalb County Schools in June of 1998 and return to school at Auburn University? The best decision that most influenced where my life led - it landed me my wonderful hubby and strengthened my relationship with my little brother (who for the record is the same age as my husband haha)

brittany said...

I've thought that exact thing about that choice you made! If you had moved in with us, you never would have met Mike because you probably would have ended up going to LSU because you would have had free tuition. At the time, I was sad that you decided to not move in w/us because I really wanted the opportunity to be "full-time sisters" and not just "summer sisters," but it all worked out in the end.

However, now that we blog, I feel like I know so much more about your life, so I feel closer to you. I've always been glad that Mom met Gee b/c their relationship is very "harmonious." They are so different, but they compelment each other. But I'm also glad that they met because I love having you as a sister, and I hope that we only continue to get closer. Love you to the mountains!

Mirdonamy said...

These stories are all fascinating! I feel like every decision we all make or thing that happens to us causes a change in the wind.

If my mom were still alive, I may not have moved to Gainesville to go to UF. I would not have met Bobby, who I am blessed to have as a friend in my life, even if he is my ex.

My mom was against me going to UF (due to the Ted Bundy thing). I probably would have gone to BCC, then FSU (my original plan, when she was alive). Tony would not have moved to Gainesville to live with me, and would never have met his wonderful wife!

Another quick story, when I was studying for my finals in my grad school program (which I haven't continued), my sister invited me to a party. I fought her on it, as I didn't want to leave the house. Because I decided to go, I met John! He & I have been together for over a year and a half now! We are so happy!

There are probably many other stories, but those were the first to pop into my head.

I love and miss my mom. I just can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't go to UF or move to CA. No clue where I'd be...

Anonymous said...

I'm finally blogging this.