Recently you asked, "What is the smartest decision you ever made?" I don't even have to think about it. It was the day I decided to drop out of college (in my third year) and enlist in the United States Navy. It was a quick decision, and one that wasn't necessarily what my parents wanted me to do at the time, but I have NEVER regretted it.
About two weeks after I made the decision, I was in boot camp. The Navy taught me how to read, write and speak a foreign language, fluently, in less than a year. I traveled to distant lands and learned how people live in other places. I learned patience (well, at least I have more now than I did then!), how to communicate effectively, how to understand what is actually in my control (and what isn't), and perhaps most importantly, I gained the confidence to do anything I set my mind to. I spent 8 years on active duty, then left to finish my education and become an attorney.
Ultimately, I spent a total of 22 years-plus in uniform, retiring from the reserve force almost 7 years ago. The friendships I made in the Navy are the forever kind, and so is the relationship I have with my husband, who is a retired active duty officer and the love of my life. After 22 years, there is just too much to tell about why this was the smartest decision in my life, but surely it was.
Thank you for the opportunity to email you about this.
Very truly yours,