An entry for Moment That Changed My Life Contest. How a moment's decision changed my life.
|Looking back at my past, I see one moment among many that changed my life. If you'd told me then the truth of that moment, I would never have believed it.
It started in college, when I met the love of my life. I didn't know it at first. Initially, his soft-spoken accent and hazel eyes had intrigued me, but ultimately, his kind nature and acute intelligence won me over--I was a sucker for a brilliant mind.
Our time spent together was short, but we made the most of it. In the evenings, we would talk for hours, laughing or arguing logic over some nonsensical question. In the daytime, when we chanced to run across one another, he would embrace me and I felt cherished. At that time, I’d never felt more loved. But the summer, like all summers, had to end.
When we parted, we went back to our respective hometowns, to continue on the paths that had already been written for us to follow. We maintained a long distance relationship, though, neither of us ever considering the alternative of breaking up. My heart would flutter every time the phone rang; I checked my email religiously--I was hooked.
Our dedication to one another gave way to making plans of being together. As we plotted, we discussed our future, how we’d finish college at this age, get married, have children. It was all carefully planned. We were young, happy, and in love--nothing was impossible. One day, he reminded me his birthday was coming up, as if I'd forgotten.
"Why don't you come to my birthday and surprise me?" he asked. I could hear the smile in his voice, the accent coming out in a purr.
I was a college student then, and, as with most students, I was broke. I considered this dilemma. My mind spun like mad, weighing the possibilities.
"Are you still there?" he questioned, hearing the pause in my voice. I wanted to go but my pride wouldn't let me.
"I can't go," I said, and I said it with finality, knowing that if I hesitated even a little bit in my answer, he would ferret out the reason and try to fix it. My answer effectively sealed my fate. A few short weeks later, our relationship came to an end. The love was still there, but the distance overcame us. Later, he would tell me that he would have made the long drive to pick me up just so he could have me there.
Since that day, I have thought many times about what my life would be like had I chosen to go. His unrelenting focus on his goal of getting a Ph.D. and becoming a scientist shaped who he was and would have shaped me to fit around that life. The things that drew me to him as an adolescent would have separated us later. I have become very spiritual since then, married another man who shares the same passion that I do, and felt many blessings in my life. I will always believe that decision was divinely guided as I enjoy some of the happiest moments in my life.