Do you know those moments in life when there are decisions to be made that are just going to change your life? When I look back, there are several of those. There was the decision for Richard to leave the Army and to move to Washington instead of staying and moving to Alabama or the decision to leave the States and move back to Germany just after Violet's birth instead of waiting a couple more years as we had planned before she announced her impending arrival.
Sometimes I revisit these crossroads, wondering what would have happened had we decided another way, didn't make a decision at all. And I have to say, even though at some point I might have wished to have decided differently, I am no happy for the way everything has unfolded. I am a firm believer of the butterfly effect, and without all those decisions and sometimes struggles we wouldn't be where we are now.
The crossroad that I most frequently revisit is one that I faced back in November of 2005. I was in my last year of college and seriously asking myself what to do. Many of my friends were already sending out applications for jobs or university while I was not yet quite sure of what to do with myself except that I wanted to go live abroad, to the US to be exact. It was at that point that I got in contact with a concert agency that operated offices in the US, UK, and Germany. They were looking for a translator/interpreter who would be the liaison between them and the German-speaking artists and agents. I was in heaven when they asked me to come to an all-expenses-paid interview to Liverpool. But just a week before I was supposed to fly out to meet the agents, something happened that I would have never imagined: one night, when the TV program was too bad even for my standards, I surfed Myspace (back then, Myspace was still the site of choice for most) and stumbled over the profile of this guy. He was kind of cute, but actually that wasn't what caught my eye. What really got me was what he said, and I just couldn't help emailing him. A day later I actually had an email back; after exchanging a few more emails I took the plunge and asked him for his phone number. We talked for more than 2 hours that night, and the next, and the one after, and then we agreed on a date for the following Saturday, the day of my interview in Liverpool.
There I stood at this crossroad, contemplating my future. There was the job too good to even dream about; and then there was the guy, who I knew was my soul mate without having ever met him in person. I took a deep breath and stepped on the path that might well decide over the rest of my life. I called the concert agency and canceled the interview. Call me crazy, but I gave up the job of my life for a first date with a guy I haven't even met in person, and I haven't looked back ever since. Five months later we were married and this year we will celebrate our 5th anniversary in one of the places where we've been most happy: with our friends who have become our family in Washington.
When I revisit this crossroad it is not because I regret my decision, because I know that my job would only kept me happy for a little while; what I really wanted was a family. I revisit this point in my life and wonder, whether the other path would have just been a little detour that would have led me back to the other one, or whether it would have meant a completely different life which I don't even want to imagine. I am happy with my life, happier than I would have ever dared to dream. Without all of these crossroads and the decision we made, we would not be where we are today, and at least I can't imagine my life without my soul mate and our wonderful little crazy girls!