There have been a few moments recently when I’ve retreated into my comfortably dark cave muttering all kinds of unprintable things. Most of them start with “Why the Hell…” and then wander off down various thorny paths.
As much as I would like to believe my life is “together,” there have been, throughout that “life,” a host of challenges that have given me cause to question (a) my sanity and (b) my ability to do anything right.
Fortunately, each instance has resolved itself in one way or another…not always the way I would have preferred, but at least there has been a resolution.
And each resolution has reminded me of one simple fact…we do things for a reason.
I’m not sure if I actually managed to convey this revelation to any of my students at Curry College, where I headed the Public Relations Concentration until recently and taught most of the undergrad PR courses.
I tried to set a good example for one and all as a reasonably successful public relations professional, but I may not have covered all of the “finer points” of that great mystery called “life.”
For me, it all started when I called a friend in the personnel office at the Air Force base where I was stationed after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam. My instructions to him were, in a nutshell, “Bring the paperwork. I’m going back to Vietnam.”
He knew me well enough to know that I was serious, so, after an hour’s lunch, I went back to my office to inform my boss that I was returning to Vietnam…in three weeks.
He, too, knew the backstory, so he reluctantly congratulated me and wished me the best.
Why was I determined to go back to a war zone?? As I say so often, “Simple-ish.”
During my first tour as an English Language Instructor based in Saigon and teaching “English as a Second Language” to Vietnamese military personnel, I had (much to my, and the majority of my friends who knew me well, surprise) met, fallen in love with, and vowed to marry a young woman who was assistant manager of the hotel where we instructors were billeted.
The “normal” way of thinking back then was “Why would anyone in his right mind go back to a place where bombs were falling out of the sky and things were blowing up in the streets?”
But I had a reason. And, to put it all in some sort of perspective, Margaret and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary this year…on the exact day that we moved out of our home of 22 years in Massachusetts and began our permanent relocation to Florida.
And…yes…we had a reason for that. We both are retired. We had been in Massachusetts off and on for more 30 years. And, to put it politely, winters in Massachusetts suck!!
So I’m sitting here today in my new home in Riverview, Florida, at the end of October with crystal-clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid-60s. I’m free to do what I want when I want.
It’s not perfect, but I remind myself, when things get a little wobbly, that change is good, and I was (we were) more than due for a positive change.
More important, I remind myself that, throughout my personal and my professional lives, I have done a lot of seemingly unusual or irrational things that, in the end, resulted in something very positive because, at the beginning, there was a reason.