Sometimes Things Happen For A Reason
For a number of reasons I spent nearly six years pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Geography and Anthropology. As part of it I spent a year as President of the Anthropology Club, a nonprofit, student led group of peers that met for talks, speakers and social events.
As part of that we organized a Spring Conference every year that was held at the Itasca State Park Environmental Station.
I'll spare the details of the conference, but my last year there I met a woman, Christine, and we sort of hit it off. I seemed to have an affinity for shorter women and she was no different at just about 5 feet. She was also spunky and feisty and rode a motorcycle. In this case, she had even ridden hers four hours up to the conference, which is an amazing feat on any motorcycle, especially the little Kawasaki 400 she had.
Well, anyways, after the conference we dated a few times. I quickly found out she was a fairly strong feminist, which I totally respected. When I asked her if it was okay if I opened doors for her, etc., she said "Sure, as long as you know that I am capable of doing it for myself." She also corrected me when I called women girls. This has stuck with me since then, again, something I'm grateful I learned from her.
Somewhere along those few dates, she gave me a Want Ad for a mapping job in Golden Valley, MN that she'd clipped from the Minneapolis paper. Being a St. Paulite, I would have missed it had she not thought of me and cut it out. I applied for the job and got an offer shortly thereafter.
While I thought we were destined to be partners for a while, Christine had other plans. She even flat out said, "If you're thinking long-term with me, you might want to understand that I'm headed to Iowa to go to Chiropractic School." It was a Dear John letter without pen and paper. It hurt because I was smitten with her feisty nature, the fact that we both rode motorcycles and her cool apartment in Uptown Minneapolis. But it wasn't meant to be. She went off to Iowa, I started mapping and ended up in Wisconsin.
The point I wanted to make was that sometimes life puts people in front of you that can change the trajectory of your life forever and you never see them again. We were talking to our son Ben about how sometimes this happens with friends, or job changes or tragic events.
It's weird how in this case that two month love interest served to start me on a career path that today marks more than 36 years in mapping/GIS. I'm sure there's millions of stories about this kind of thing. I mean, look at the story of how my wife and I met. Again, the common denominator was a single person, in this case, my brother Rob. We are now almost 33 years into marriage all because I wrote him a letter from Wisconsin to New York.
It just goes to show you that people are sometimes put into your path for a reason that you never dreamed. And after having a career that I have loved like I do, I am thankful that Christine Whatshername came into my life, even if briefly. Who knows where I'd have ended up otherwise?
If you know me, you know I'm a music nut. So, one of the things I want to do for this new blog run is tie in a piece of music that relates to the story. This song came on the stereo one night years ago and we debated how it was or wasn't similar to my favorite band, The Church.