The idea and the basics of this post ran through my head while in the shower. While you try to poke out your mind’s eye to rid yourself of the image of me in the shower I will see if I can transfer it to writing.
I was thinking about all of the events and decisions that lead me to where I am and how a change in any of them could change the direction of my life. It starts with sophomore in high school Tater
taking the advice of an older friend and applying to participate in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership weekend. I applied and attended. It was my first time doing something like this and being away from my family. I was weird and awkward the entire time, but it gave me the confidence to
apply to attend the Governor’s Scholar program the summer between junior and senior year in high school. I was accepted and spent the summer on the campus of the University of Kentucky where I met a group of people with whom I fit much more than the people at my high school. I got out of my comfort zone, lived away from home and had the opportunity to figure out who I was away from my small town. It probably was a big part of me
deciding to attend UK instead of Western Kentucky University. I had fond memories of the UK campus. Couple this with the fact that many of my closest friends from high school were going to UK and it was an easy decision. Going to UK gave me the
opportunity to accept a friend’s invitation to attend a service at the Baptist Student Union. Which gave me a place to go
when I realized that if I continued to hang out with the party crowd I spent my freshman and first half of sophomore year with I would likely end up leaving school. Spending more time at the BSU meant becoming friends with a new group of people who helped me break away more from high school me and start becoming more the me I am now. Those friends
introduced me to someone who went from being a friend of a friend to a friend to my girlfriend to my wife. Having a girlfriend lead me to getting a job to make money to pay for dates(my other job was in exchange for a free apartment). This meant I
started working at the university library where I discovered I was happier and more competent than I was in the classroom where I was trying to be a teacher. I decided to change majors to communications and then get a masters in library science and also decided
to ask my girlfriend to marry me which meant that I go with her to where she landed a job after graduation
in Cincinnati where I eventually got a job at a market research firm where I met people who broke me out of my shell more than ever before and where I gained confidence that I could be successful in the professional world. I worked there until
my wife was transferred to DC where I worked temp jobs until I was offered a contract job with the state of Maryland working with the prison system libraries
which gave me the experience to be the perfect fit for a job with a public library system running the library in the county detention center. This steady job made us financially ready for kids
and my son was born a year later. Four years later our daughter arrived, They both decided to go to school locally which could be the next turning point that means I will retire in this area.
All of these things linked up put me where I am today. Any change in any of them could have dramatically changed the direction of my life.