My younger daughter turns twenty-eight today.
As with many twenty-eight year olds, she is struggling with finding herself, trying to determine if she needs to continue the way she’s been going or change course. i think…no, actually, i hope it will turn out alright for her. I know i have little control over what happens next.
When i was twenty-eight, i was making monumental decisions about my course for life. i was a sports editor in a great mid-size daily in upstate New York, The Watertown Daily Times, on my way up. But it was tough financially. As with most careers, there wasn’t a lot of money in the beginning, and my life, our lives were going to be changed drastically in six months when Blythe was due. i wanted to remain the sports editor as i discovered it really was a passion of mine, but to make the income for a family of three, i was either going to have to go to a big city daily and work the night desk, etc. for a while, take the national news or state news editor jobs at The Times or do something else entirely.
My wife, feeling the economic crunch as well i was, wisely asked what about going back to the Navy. i had thought about it but not mentioned that possibility because she was an “Army brat,” and i believed she had enough of being a military dependent. To provide the needed security for my wife and child-to-be, i decided i would apply for reinstatement to active duty. i did and was selected by the skin of someone’s teeth. i was one of six returned that year.
My course was set, at least temporarily (as it is in all things called life). And having Blythe as my daughter and going back to sea were two of the best things that have ever happened to me. The sea was my passion. i think i was a pretty good officer, a leader, but i thrilled deep inside every time i took the watch on the bridge and taking the “con,” driving a steam ship through the seas in most conceivable situations and damn near every kind of weather. i retired as quickly as i could when i knew my ship driving time in the Navy was over.
My new course was set, as Sarah was born the day i retired, actually just over six hours after my retirement ceremony concluded. My course, as it is in all lives, keeps changing.
The course for life will keep changing for Sarah as well. i hope she has as wonderful of an adventure as i have since changing my course at twenty-eight.
She has had a good start:
Happy Twenty-Eighth Birthday, Sarah. May your course in life be through calm waters except when you need a thrill.