On more than one occasion in my life, I’ve uttered that statement. Really, the chain of events is simple, but when you’re watching an explosion take place in super-slow-motion, you sometimes forget about the mechanics behind it.
In March 2014, I was hauled into the boss’ office (after being recalled to work in the middle of the night for a drill — ahh, the Army). Along with three of my fellow Warrant Officers, we had been loaded on a four-month-long course in Borden, Ontario, departing in two weeks’ time. Binary decisions: Take the course, run the risk of promotion. Don’t take the course, don’t know if the opportunity would ever come up again.
I took the course.
The day I passed my last performance check, I got the phone call. On the other end was my wife, telling me she’d become emotionally involved with another man. I was due home in three days, and suddenly thrust into an unknown world.
Three months later, I got hauled into the Sergeant-Major’s office, this time telling me that the Branch valued my leadership and that I was being offered a promotion and a posting to Victoria. Decision was mine. Again, binary decision: take the posting, go to Victoria, be the Chief. Don’t take the promotion, but still likely get posted, not to Victoria (likely to Winnipeg). The decision seemed to be fairly simple. I took the posting.
Victoria always was where I wanted to end up – my intent was to get here, take the foot off the gas, and just coast. I tend to be a chronic over-achiever, though, and may have peaked a little early. For reference purposes, I still have just under 16 years left on my contract with the military.
Shortly after the machinations were underway, my wife told me she wanted to separate. This happened six weeks before I was due to drive to Victoria. Nothing like coming into a new post with a whole lot on your mind.
Upon arriving, whether by accident or coincidence, I decided to get out and meet some people. I won’t mention my method of approach, as that isn’t relevant, however, I did end up becoming acquainted with some locals, and getting a chance to explore the region. And then, there was the 14th of April.
I’d successfully negotiated my way into drinks with a woman, and by the end of that night, had managed to get a solid second get-together planned. And another. And another. And wouldn’t you know it, love had come back to town. I’d been rather bummed out about my existence, but it happened on the 18th of April – I decided that I wanted to be happy. And in declaring this, I was able to make it happen.
Her name is Kristy. She’s a musician, a composer, a photographer, a lover of food, of dancing, of quiet, of activity, of all kinds of things that I’d only dreamt were possible, and that she herself embodied.
Since then, we’ve set about making our own set of memories together. It’s a fun road, one I can’t wait to explore more of.