I’m in Chicago today to prepare for my labor of love with my biz partner Liz Strauss, SOBCon Chicago 2011, which starts tomorrow (check out our website for more information, and here is the livestream of the event)
Yesterday I was in Milwaukee visiting family, and while I was there I stopped at a Starbucks on a particular street corner. It was a corner that brought back two specific memories. The first was SOBCon 2010 in Chicago.
There, we talked a lot of “forks in the road”, and what we do when we get to them in our lives. We all agreed that “doing something” was better than spending a lot of time deciding which direction to go.
I quoted Yogi Berra : “When You Get To a Fork in The Road, Take It“.
And that’s where the second memory kicked in. I had been on this street corner before…….long before……
It was a very cold night in late January 1978 – very cold. It was probably 25 below zero. I was halfway home that night after working the evening shift at the mall, and I had to change buses. I stood at the bus stop, with every stitch of clothing I owned wrapped around me (or so it seemed), and just shivered. “Gosh, this is horrible” , I thought. “I need to get out of this”.
I also thought about my young life at the time and where I was going. I felt strangely out of place in this town, and very restless. There was something tugging at me to make a change – a big change. I had just heard of a scholarship opportunity at a small university in San Antonio Texas the week before, and it really got me thinking. I had visited that area the summer before at a retreat sponsored by my high school, and it really struck my fancy. But it was 1,200 miles away – away from my family and friends.
But I sensed that if I stayed where I was, I wouldn’t be really happy with myself. I felt like there was something missing. And yes, I was really cold too. I thought of 70 degree days in January in South Texas. Boy that would be nice. But it’s so far away. I would really miss my family and a few close friends.
I was at a fork in the road that night, and little did I know what that decision would mean to me. As the wind howled and my shivering only worsened, my mind suddenly cleared and the path became clear – I had to leave. I was going to San Antonio. Even though I wouldn’t know a soul, I decided to take the risk and do it, and start over.
The bus finally came and as I finally could feel my face again I looked out the window of the bus and dreamed about the new horizons that were in front of me……………
That day, that moment, that fork in the road, was the most important decision of my life. And thankfully, it was the right one.
What was your “fork in the road” moment? And did YOU take it?