16 "The 'Y's' in the Road of Life"
Left or Right, which way?
The “Y’s” In The Road Of Life?
Have you ever looked back on your life and realized that certain things that you chose to do could have actually been a “Y” choice in your past? When there was something that happened where, if you stop and think about it, you would have turned left instead of right, you can see there would have more than likely been a different way of life for you and those around you? Sometimes it could have made your life better, maybe sometimes worse, but you can see there would have more than likely been a big difference. I know there have been stories and movies based on this, but I am just giving my point of view on the subject and some of the ways it could have affected my life.
I know that when I was in school, I never had good guidance and I feel that was only part of the reason I didn’t do very well. I was always changing schools when I was young. My sisters were changing schools too, but the difference was that my oldest sister actually liked school. My other sister didn’t like school. But she did like to go so she would be able to get out of the house. I never did, plus they were older. I never had a goal or career to aim for. I actually had no one to point me in any direction, right or wrong. I remember that when I was in the 7th grade I had Geometry. I was getting a D- in the class and about 2 weeks before the end of the semester I was called into the counselor’s office. My counselor, the first time I remember seeing one, asked me why I was having such a hard time in that class. I just answered that I didn’t know. He then asked me what kind of grade I received in Algebra the previous year. I simply replied with a question, “What is Algebra?” I never had Algebra. I didn’t know you were supposed to have Algebra before Geometry. I guess I was very ignorant when I was in school. That’s a sign of lack of guidance. I can’t blame that on anyone either. I just really lacked initiative. I always took life as it was handed to me.
I’m not blaming anyone for my life turning out the way it did. It really wasn’t that bad. I’m just pointing out that if I would have had some guidance my life may have turned out different. That was a “Y” in the road. Without guidance I went one way and with guidance my life may have gone a completely different direction.
Once I finished school and enlisted in the Air Force you would think things would go better for me. When I look back, that’s when I can really see that this is where the “right turn or left turn” questions really started. In other words the “Y” in the road that went the wrong way.
I took my aptitude test for placement in the Air Force and I was supposed to be placed according to the results of the test scores. The two scores I actually remember were the highest score and the lowest. The low score was 55 in General. The high score was 80 in Electronics. With those two scores, where do you think they placed me? I was placed in General as a baker. I found out at the end of my 4 year tour of duty that if I would have questioned it, I could have been transferred into a tech. school and been trained in radar or something to do with electronics. With that kind of training, it’s un-imaginable as to where I may have been able to make it to today.
But then again, being placed in a field like that they may have sent me to Viet Nam and what might have happened there? Being a baker, I never had to serve a tour of duty in Viet Nam. I spent 1 year in Alaska as my “overseas” duty. I have to think that I was made a baker because I wasn’t meant to die in Viet Nam. There’s another “Y” in the road that went the wrong way, and then again, maybe it went the right way. I’m still here.
Then there was the time when I was working for a company, about 27 years ago, installing and repairing graphic arts equipment. I had learned how to repair the horizontal cameras and film processors that newspapers and graphic arts companies used. The main office for the company was in New York. They sent me there for hands on training a couple of times. This was a time when the newspapers were just getting into laser printing and technology. They wanted to start training me on the new laser printing system that USA Today was just starting to use. That would have meant I would have to go back to New York for three weeks of training. My wife at the time all of a sudden became very ill. I didn’t get to go for the training. Then the company requested me to go for some training again and again my wife became ill. I ended up losing my job because I was unable to attend any training classes. Come to find out the wife was getting sick because she didn’t want me to leave for any period of time. Needless to say, our marriage didn’t last long after that. I wish I would have stood up to her at the time.
Anyway, the point is, where would I be today if I could have gotten in on the ground floor of the laser printing technology? That was another “Y” in the road. I can’t blame just her for pulling that stunt. I could have gone anyway, but I was thinking of my three kids and grandson she would have to be taking care of if she was sick.
After that I separated and later divorced my wife.
That’s another “Y” in the road.
I never did get rich. Maybe that tells me that I actually took the right turns at all of the “Y’s” and everything turned out the way it was supposed.