Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I believe in Poor Life Decisions

I believe in poor life decisions.

I believe that sometimes the worst result today can provide you with the best outcome in the future.

In the summer of 2005 I decided to move across the state of Michigan for a girl. I rationalized this decision to my friends with statements like “I want to closer to my family” “it is all about the school.” When really it was all about the girl.

This was a poor life decision and I knew it. But sometimes we need to make these decisions. My decision to move across the state was one of the best I have ever made.

The first year living in this strange place I had two major social outlets; The World of Warcraft and a rapidly deteriorating relationship. This, as you can imagine, was not a healthy environment. Unbeknownst to me this year filled with nights staying up too late in front of my computer with a headset on and nights staying up too late getting in shouting matches with my girlfriend, would lead to self discovery that I feel lucky to have experienced.

During this turbulent year I signed up to participate in an alternative spring break through my University. I did this because I thought it would provide me with an easy way to meet friends and I had never gone anywhere for spring break though I always wanted to. Little did I know that it would be a catalyst that would change the course of my life. Having never volunteered for anything in my life I was a little unsure what I was getting myself into but when I got into that 10-passenger van and started my journey to rural West Virginia there was no doubt that I had made the right decision. I spent my first spring break trip installing cabinets in a brand new house. This house was built by GED students who were looking to acquire job skills in construction and sold to a blind man in the community, who was homeless, for $4,000.

Halfway though the trip I realized that there was a part of my life that had been missing until that week. Community service was something that would make me a healthier person. When I got back from my trip I submitted an application to help and coordinate the program that had just greatly impacted my life. After being accepted for the position I was sent to Chicago to participate in a conference for alternative breaks programs and had the opportunity to meet people who were just as passionate as I was, from all around the country. This empowered me to take back control of my life.

I got out of my extremely unhealthy relationship, I quit playing WoW and put all of my extra energy into providing opportunities for other to do service during their school breaks in hopes of providing the same experience that I had had. And without realizing it committed myself to life-long service.

All of this because of one poor life decision.

Audio recording of the above.

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