Choices are sacrifices, and inevitably a choice is giving up something that you want for something that you want more.
I had a really interesting conversation with a friend the other day, where we discussed the idea of the Sliding Doors concept, the choices that we make on a daily basis and how a single choice can affect the direction of the rest of your life.
In the last 32 years there have been two major life choices that I have made that I credit for being ultimately responsible for the life that I currently lead. The first was at the age of nineteen, when I chose to attend a university that was a hundred miles away from home instead of studying at a more local institution. The second was in 2005, when I had just graduated.
I was 24 years old and had just spent four years at a music conservatoire, gaining a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance on the violin. I was a terrible student, scraping through the qualification with the bare minimum of work (something that I still regret to this day), and I was all performed out. To be quite frank, I would have quite happily set fire to my violin at this point – I had gone from being a big fish in a small pond in my home town to a tiny piece of plankton in an enormous intimidating ocean of students who were more talented, driven and ambitious and I didn’t have the courage or motivation to compete.
As the panic of job hunting began, I managed to secure a post in a telemarketing company. I didn’t want it – even during the interview my brain was screaming at me to withdraw and walk away, but I stayed because I was scared that another opportunity wouldn’t arise. A violin hating violinist with a degree in music doesn’t have many avenues that they can explore.
Two days after the interview my ex-boyfriend, who I was living with, was reading the local paper and spotted an advert for a Learning Mentor at a school, working with teenagers with learning and behavioural difficulties. I only had a limited idea of what the job description was about, but I thought that it sounded interesting and decided to apply for it.
I was offered an interview. Unfortunately, the day of the interview was on the same day that I was due to start my telemarketing job. I had a choice – go to the job or go to the interview. If I went to the interview, I would lose the job. If I went to the job, I would miss out on the opportunity to interview for a post that I actually wanted.
I chose the interview. It was a gamble, but it paid off – I got the job, a year later the school offered me the opportunity to train as a teacher, I qualified, moved to a different school, met The Bloke and the rest is history. I was lucky.
What about you guys? Have you had to make a choice that has changed the direction of your life forever?
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