Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life at a Crossroads

As much as I hate cliches, I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel like I've been living in the middle of one for longer than I'd care to admit.  It's true... I'm stuck at a crossroads.

The worst part isn't that I can't make the decision, but that I'm still staring back at that crossroads after the decision, trying to decide if I made the right one or not.

I've posted a little bit about this in previous posts, but I'd like to share a little of my current personal situation with all of you.  I've been working in a management position at a local non-profit for over two and a half years now, and for the majority of the last two years I've been very unhappy.  I don't want to go into details, but suffice it to say that the company hasn't been meeting my expectations, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, my wife has been on-again, off-again about going into the military.  We currently have two daughters, aged four and six.  Circumstances kept my wife from joining until now, but most if not all of those circumstances no longer apply.  Five months ago, my wife came to me, finally sure that she was ready to join, and was seeking my blessing.  Because of her fluctuating desires, I told her I'd support her if she could prove that she was really committed.  Over the next months, she proved it.

Fast forward to September 12th, when my boss issued me a 90-day performance improvement plan, essentially a "ship up or ship out" ultimatum.  Later that same week, my wife came to me again, decisive in her desire to move her ship date up from March to October/November.

Part of the reason I hadn't been freaking out about her leaving was the length of time before her ship date.  I still had six months to get used to the idea, and suddenly we're looking at her leaving in weeks instead of months.  I soul-searched, and told her I was okay with the expedited date.

What's not to like, right?  I get to stay home with my kids, give them the attention they need, and I get to finally embark full-time on my writing career.  Well, this has to come at the sacrifice of proximity to everyone I care about outside my wife and kids as I follow her cross-country (or further!) to let her live her dream.  All along the path of preparation, I have many family members complaining about her decision to me, I believe to try to get me to change her mind.

These past few weeks have been very difficult for me, and I'd fallen into a bout of depression, at least until a couple days ago.  I withdrew from everything, including writing, work, family... I was an introspective hermit.  It always amazes me how, when you get down on yourself, you withdraw from all the things that will make you happy.  It makes me wonder why God would design us that way.

Back to the crossroads.  I'm nearly certain I made the right decision, but those other paths look so inviting.  To visualize, it feels like I could have turned left or right along the edge of a dense forest, following the sunlight and clear flowing streams, but instead I chose the dark, lonely path through the forest.  I know that, eventually, this path should open up into a beautiful meadow, but it's hard not to doubt my choice as the darkness closes around me.  I just have to stay as positive as I can, and look at the path ahead as an adventure, and not a mistake.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt so uncertain about a decision you made?  How did it turn out?  What did you do to weather the storm?  I'd love to hear other people's stories on this subject.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

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    Please correct the author information accordingly - it helps my photographer business ...




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