As I stated in my last post that I would let you all to know about a choice I had to make in my life that led me onto the path I am currently on. This was actually made for me, but it’s the way I chose to utilize what had been given to me, and checking my own self-doubt in the same instance.
In 2004 I had been a young chef for about 10 years. I had spent my entire high-school years in the back of kitchens, skipping school to work, and honing my techniques. I am not shy to say that I had the skills to pay the bills at that moment in my life. I had traveled both coasts and was working for a top notch restaurant in Seattle. On my way to work I was looking out the window of the truck I was in and the next thing I knew someone was asking me if I was allright.
The truck had flipped on its side with my right (dominant) arm going through the passenger side window. Several minutes went by and I was finally pulled out of the truck. My right arm was bleeding severly and I couldn’t feel my hand. Hours in the E.R. went by and the verdict came that I had almost severed my ulnar nerve. After this came plus the 287 stitches I was quite shaken up.
Fast forward 13 months. I was finally done with extensive therapy and was deemed back at 100%. The first thing I wanted to do was handle my knives. Sadly, the feeling and technique were gone as if I had never picked one of them up in my life. This was my first choice of what to do next…
I knew that my career was over and I could drink my sorrow away or move on. I had a son to take care of and knew as much as I hated it that I had to persevere and to start down a new road.
I enrolled in college with little success. It had been years since I was in school and I was not ready for the discipline I needed. I began to fail miserably and that led to drinking. Choice number two was to find something, anything to get me back on track. Enter my savior, well sort of, my grandfather. A WWII Marine and Guadalcanal Veteran, tough as nails at the spry age of 79. I sat down and chatted with him about his experience in the Marine Corps and was so taken I decided to join.
I hadn’t told anyone about this new choice (3) that I was about to make. I was 25 and truth be told had made many attempts at starting something but I was always let them peter out or just gave up, I knew if I enlisted in the Marine Corps, there was no getting out of that. I enlisted on the Marine Corps Birthday and went home to tell my folks. In the parking lot I realized I had finally made a choice of my own to do something good for myself and my country. I still let out a yell wondering what the hell I had just done.
Mom and dad were for me with hints of apprehension. Best friend and brother told me I wasn’t young enough or tough enough to become a Marine. Choice 5 became to prove them wrong. This wasn’t an easy choice and let me tell you the Marine Corps will make you strong both physically and mentally. You face a long drive towards Parris Island, it’s filled with anxiety, dread, and dreams. You know now that you have got to come home a United States Marine or you will have failed everyone, parents, friends, church, you name it even the postman. I say the postman because after the first letter I sent home, he hand delivered them straight to my parents instead of putting them in the mailbox.
It’s now been almost 2 years since I left the Corps. I was a grunt in the infantry and was in a famed unit the 2/2 G Co Raiders. It was the best choice I have made in my life. The self-motivating factor is prize enough to have been given through that experience. The greatest thing I learned is that I had that self-motivation within me. The trials and tribulations you experience through boot camp only reinforce what was already there.
So now we have two pieces to Becoming. We can say we need only our own self-motivation and the choosing of where we want to take our path and to leave self-doubt buried six feet underground. Where are you going to go? It’s up to you. You will believe in yourself, will motivate yourself, and you will make the right choice in taking that first of many steps into your next endeavor. Once you begin to start the desires you have will seem inconsequential, as they will come to you because of the direction your taking. All because you realized you have got what it takes, you can be that Marine, that pilot, that lawyer, or that gal with two homes.
It all begins with realizing you have potential within and the choice to use it.