Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trail of Gratitude (1 of ...)

There are many things in life for which I am extremely grateful. When I consider each and every blessing, I see a trail of gratitude lined by others who continue to contribute to my good fortune whether they know it or not. Because my wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 25th of November (14 years yesterday), my list of "Turkey Day" thanksgivings will forever have her at the top. Though I'd like to take credit for capturing her heart, the below trail of gratitude is more responsible than anything I did myself. With that, I am grateful for:

My friend Heather who introduced us...

The Detailer who banished me to Adak, Alaska where we met (though admittedly, I was not happy with him at the time)...

The then Cryptologic (now Information Warfare) Community for welcoming me to the wardroom...

The mentors who helped convince the then Cryptologic Officer Community Manager (the position to which I am honored to be currently assigned) to take a chance on an economics major from the Naval Academy (USNA) with little to offer...

The strength to quit flight school (not as passionate about flying as I had originally thought)...

The friends who helped me graduate from USNA (graduation required much teamwork)...

My parents who helped me make the informed decision to give USNA a shot (for me it was not a childhood dream, but something that "just happened")...

The USNA Soccer Coach (Dr. Greg Meyer) for helping with the admission process...

My congressman (Pete Stark) for nominating me for both the Naval and Air Force Academy...

My guidance counselor (Ms. Linda Ellis) for encouraging me to seek a congressional nomination...

My parents for nurturing me into a young adult that others saw as worthy of attending a service academy...

My parents for signing me up for soccer at the age of six and giving me every opportunity to fully develop that passion (admittedly, the ability to kick a ball opened many doors that would not have been open otherwise)...

Clearly, that is the Cliffs Notes version and but one trail of many in my life. If any one thing on the list did not happen, I would not enjoy the life I do today. Thanks to all who contributed to my ultimate introduction to Marianne. As I "connect the dots," it started as a six year old boy signing up for soccer. It is absolutely crazy when we step back and consider how connected and dependent our decisions, opportunities and challenges truly are.

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