One decision – A lifetime of Changes
I find it amazing how one decision a person makes can change the course of everything in one’s life, their family and friends’ lives. The decision my husband made to interview at a company in North Carolina had a ripple effect that has been continually making waves in our lives. What started as a whim by accepting an interview, lead to overwhelming life changes not only for him, us, our family, it also affected lives of people we know.
All changes, both positive and negative happened, of decisions made by that one moment, where he said yes to the interview. We packed up, we moved, we joined a temple or two, changed schools, shipped our son off to sleepaway camp for the first time, we made friends, we became involved and from there we became whole. I say “we” but I really mean “me”. I am the first to admit that I was a lost puppy for a good while. I gained back a part of me that was lost in the move, my transition from living in New York to North Carolina. My domino effect started in February 2012 when my husband flew off to North Carolina to interview for a position far away from home, and from that time on, our lives have been changing ever since. Every decision big and small was heavily weighed, to a point of agonizing futility, as I was never really sure the decisions we made were the right ones. Which school to select, swim club to join, camp, to work/not work, find a job, every choice came down to making a decision, and ultimately going with what felt ‘not wrong’ as nothing felt quite right.
Fast forward to this past February, our son became a Bar Mitzvah. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it when a 13 year old is called to read from the Torah for the first time. It’s a big deal to me, our family, our son and our faith. Months of preparation and studying were involved. It was a lifetime event that I soon won’t forget, one that I will cherish. I can honestly say it was one of the happiest days of my life witnessing my beautiful boy achieve this milestone. I watched our son make that leap into adulthood with grace and humility. While this was really monumental in our lives, and I could dedicate a whole post just on the Bar Mitzvah and what it meant to me, to him and us, I was even more moved and overwhelmed by all of the friends and family who were able to make it to North Carolina for a weekend celebration during a tumultuous winter. Our weekend celebration was sandwiched in between some of the most challenging storms of the winter, at least in the North East, and where most traveled from. The decision for my husband to interview, to move, to make our lives here in Raleigh affected these friends and family and by them traveling to North Carolina, by sharing a weekend with us, was our domino effect on them. They wouldn’t have been in North Carolina on that particular weekend if the interview wasn’t scheduled, the job wasn’t offered and accepted, the move…. I’m getting deep, I know. I also know that I am highlighting those who were able make it, however, our decision to move also affected those who wanted to come but were unable, as circumstances prevented them. Our decision had multiple effects.
My North Carolinian friends, many who volunteered their time and talent helped me pull off a great weekend and my heart is full love, joy and pure gratitude to the people who surround me. From those helping me decide what to wear, what to serve, how to decorate, preparing meals, decorating cakes to talking me off a ledge and just being there, I am eternally grateful. I don’t believe the weekend festivities would have been so meaningful, had they not been involved. I’ve had numerous conversations with friends who’ve I made, and there answer is simple “this is just how we do it here”. I think back and wonder how we would have celebrated in New York and I’m positive we would have had a beautiful and meaningful reception, with our family and friends to join in the festivities. I realize that it wouldn’t have been the same and honestly, I wouldn’t have known the difference. The decision three years ago, had it not been made, would not have brought these additional families into our lives. And that would have been a big loss in my book.
Just a month ago, we just came back from a week long cruise in the Caribbean celebrating our friends’ son’s Bar Mitzvah. Three years ago, I would have never imagined going away with 30 other people, sharing a week’s worth of memories, another child’s crowning achievement, yet, there we were, happily celebrating. And, I wouldn’t change a thing. This was all because of an opportunity, a chance, a fleeting moment and a conviction deep down in our heart that the one decision was the right one. While we were on the cruise, my husband and our friend (a fellow NYer) were just saying the same thing, how, with one fell swoop, a decision to move to Raleigh, things are set in motion, and that this is the course you are supposed to be on. One decision has led us to that particular moment, of sharing the high seas and family milestones, of watching multiple sunsets and celebrating Mitzvahs, of having those friends in our lives. It never would have happened if the choices we made were different.
When I reflect back to that particular decision, three years ago, I am so pleased my husband decided to push the envelope, to take a big chance, to not be afraid of changing the status quo, of making waves, and then for us to make the decision to move. I begrudgingly have to admit that it was a good move in the long run. That the one decision three years ago to interview, led to us to make other life changing choices to how we lead our lives in Raleigh. While it might not have felt right at the beginning, during the middle, and even times in the present when I long for what is ingrained in my soul, I am sure time will enlighten us that we make decisions for a reason. We make decisions for changes, to shake things up, to make those very waves that challenge us. How those decisions affect us, no one knows for sure, but I am sure glad we riding the waves to find out.