The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
There are moments in your life that you will never forgot and absolutely change your perspective on the world, a game changer. I didn't include some of the obvious ones like getting married to Mrs. Shife or parenthood because if you're a regular reader of this blog then you already know how much those things have changed me. Below are a few of my game changers that made me see this great, big, beautiful world of ours in a new light:
- My dad was stationed in Japan for the Air Force, and one weekend we took a trip to the coast. I got to see the ocean up close for the first time. I was just amazed at how vast and powerful it was.
- Seeing Star Wars when I was a kid. Maybe 8 or 9, but seeing the fantasy world that George Lucas created was amazing.
- Puberty. I don't think I need to go into too many details about this one.
- 9/11. Another one that doesn't need any explanation.
- Having my article published in a newspaper. It was a preview story about the a college women's volleyball team's upcoming season and it was a cool feeling seeing my name in print for the first time.
- Hearing Nirvana for the first time. I will never forget it. A buddy of mine popped in the CD my freshman year of college and it just rocked my world.
- There's a place called George, Washington, and in my humble opinion, the greatest venue for a concert ever. It's called the Gorge at George and I was fortunate enough to see some amazing shows there. The combo of music and nature is a beautiful thing.
- Seeing my first Playboy. I was about 12-13 and playing in the woods with some friends when we ran across it buried underneath some branches. My friends and I just stared at those pictures with our jaws dropped.
- Realizing at a Chinese restaurant in Moscow, Idaho that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Mrs. Shife. We were having dinner with some friends and it dawned on me that she was the one and I wanted to marry her.
- Holy cannoli. What an eye-opener it was going away to college. I just couldn't believe all the freedom I had, and ultimately the responsibility that comes with that freedom. I didn't handle it well which led me to the Navy …
- … and my first night at boot camp. Probably the most scared I've ever been. I thought I had made the biggest mistake in my life because I had been yelled at all day by grown men and women. Just felt like I bit off more than I could chew. It all turned out fine but that first night trying to sleep in the barracks when other guys were crying made me question my decision-making skills.
- Losing my mom. She was my everything since the day I was born and her passing away suddenly was absolutely devastating. I think of her often and miss her daily.
- One thing that helped me deal with my mom's death was messages that I got from her after she passed away. Some might write it off as coincidence but things just happened to me that I can't explain any other way than she was letting me know that she was okay. It was very comforting to know she was looking down on us.
- The Northern Lights in Alaska. Again another moment where Mother Nature showed me how awesome she is and I was just in awe of the world I was living in.
- Going to my first St. Louis Cardinals game when I was a boy with m grandad. It was great day at the ballpark as I got to see the team that I'll love to the day I die with one of my favorite people. It was also awesome that my favorite player at the time - Darrell Porter - hit a home run.
- The Arizona Cardinals going to the Super Bowl. Another one of my favorite teams that has a history of being absolute garbage. Seriously they have sucked for most of their existence but somehow and someway the stars aligned just right and they made it to the big game. It was a moment that I had literally been waiting my whole life for.
- Casablanca the movie. In my early 20s, I didn't fully appreciate such classics as Casablanca, and I certainly didn't appreciate black-and-white movies. Then I took some film classes in college and I was enlightened. I think it's the best movie ever made.
- As a teenager I was certain that my parents were dumb. Realized after I went away to college and the Navy that they were a lot smarter than I thought.
- Learning that I was going to be a dad. I think I was walking on clouds for about a month after Mrs. Shife's pregnancy test came back positive. So very, very glad that we decided to have kids.
And Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. Mrs. Shife and I aren't big into the Hallmark-manufactured holiday but Kyle and Hayden really get into it.
I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.