I saw something on TV last night which was talking about life changing events. I think there is going to be something on TV later this year or next year, which will be made up of stories from members of the public explaining about events that have changed their lives. It didn’t have to be anything amazing or profound and it could actually have been something that lasted a long time rather than being a one off event, but it was something that changed their life as a result.
So G and I were talking about this while we ate dinner and I had no problem with identifying a significant event in my life. In 2000 I went to New Zealand to see a friend and while I was there, her housemate wanted to do a skydive, so we went along to watch. They asked if anyone else wanted to do it and my friend said she would and I thought about it and just couldn’t really think of a reason to say “no”, so I said I would as well. The skydive was really amazing and this incredibly exhilarating experience that left me on a high for quite some time. I am generally a fairly risk averse person and not one who tends to make many spur of the moment decisions, but that experience was just amazing.
When I got back to the UK, I went back to work and a short time afterwards came to the conclusion that I didn’t really like my job and actually wanted to do something totally different. That was quite a scary prospect, but I thought back to doing that skydive and how scary the prospect was and how risky that felt - and yet the end result was so amazing.
I changed careers as a result of that and generally I would say that was a good move. But actually it also led to a number of other changes - the people I met, the things that I have learned, the ability to buy somewhere to live. Ultimately perhaps I would have changed jobs anyway and maybe have ended up doing something sort of similar, but I don’t think I would be doing what I am now if it hadn’t been for making that decision to change careers at the particular time I did and I only did it then because of that skydive.
I don’t believe in fate and my life would just have gone down a different course, whether for better or worse if it hadn’t been for that skydive. But ultimately I am here now right where I am at because of it. I am not sure I can think of another moment that I can see as being quite so significant in terms of setting off a sequence of events and to me it is a really defining moment.
London’s Alleys – Spital Yard
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