While in my early 20’s, I took a graduate school course in educational philosophy and discovered I was an existentialist–make every decision as if it is your last decision. I embraced that idea, and thus, I never looked back with “would have, could have, or should have.” Further, I don’t suffer from “buyer’s remorse.” Once I make a reasoned decision, I don’t dwell on it. It’s the proverbial water over the dam, regardless of the outcome.
In 1983, I made the biggest decision of my life to date. I gave up my dream job, I forsook my rising political career, I left my family, and I followed my spouse to his fledgling company 2,500 miles across country. Now, my decision was not painless; I found myself far away from friends and my career. Admittedly, for a while, I suffered from depression. I had no job and no friends; my spouse worked 10-12 hours a day. I had no reason to get out of bed until noon. I didn’t shower for days at a time. My dog didn’t care I smelled in our tiny condo, and my spouse was too tired to care.
I slipped further into the depression abyss and wild thoughts danced through my mind. My local Ohio celebrity status was reduced to zero. No one in Scottsdale, Arizona, knew my name. Until….
I ventured to the condo complex pool. A much younger woman than I sat alone among the snowbird, winter visitors. We conversed; Julie, too, had moved from a small town in North Dakota to follow her spouse. She, too, had no friends, nor family. She, too, was a nobody like me.
Julie and I became fast friends; we shared secrets; we shared advice. She nannied for me when my eldest was born. When she and her family moved back to North Dakota 26 years ago, I missed her. I’d often wished we could at least chat about her sub zero weather as I picked lemons.
Last week, Julie and her husband came to Phoenix. When they arrived at my front door, she and I hugged and cried, “Sue, you saved my life.”
“No, Julie, you saved mine.”