Thursday, October 3, 2013

FTSF - Difficult Choices

Our FTSF prompt this week is "The hardest choice I ever made was..."

I do not spend a lot of time weighing options.  I do not hem and haw over what I should do.  I simply look at the situation, go through my choices, and quickly pick one.  For example, I spent less than 30 minutes total choosing the flooring, wood for the cupboards, and the countertop for my new kitchen.  This quick choice thing applies to everything, though.  We bought our house on the farm before we even listed our previous home with a realtor and after looking at exactly zero other houses.  Some people may say it is the "scott" in me, but I have no doubt my quick decision-making has everything to do with a choice I had to make when I was 16.

The hardest choice I ever made was when I was 16, and I had to decide with which parent I was going to live.

My parents divorced when I was in 2nd grade.  Things weren't smooth by any means, but my parents did their absolute best to make sure we knew we were loved.  We lived with my stay-at-home mom, but we lived only a few miles from Dad.  We saw him all the time.  He never missed a weekend or Wednesday night visit, and he came to track meets and swim meets and anything else we did. 

Both of my parents remarried, and life went along until the summer after my sophomore year of high school.  My stepdad worked for Ford, and the plant in Ohio had shut down.  He was out of work for a while, but eventually was transferred to the plant in Kentucky.  Six hours away from our home in Canton.

My parents did not tell the four of us (my siblings and me) what we were going to do and where we were going to live.  They left the decision up to us.  Each of my siblings and I independently decided where we wanted to live.

I am not going to go into why they had us choose.  I still don't know that answer myself.  All I know is how I felt, and I felt like I was having to choose between my parents.  Because I loved them equally, with all my heart, I had to take other factors into account.  I weighed the stepparent options.  Neither was ideal.  Really, neither was enjoyable.  I factored in the fact that my dad had two young kids with my stepmom.  I knew I'd be in for a whole mess of babysitting if I moved in with him.  I thought about my grandparents, who I spent hours and hours with each week.  I had started dating COW about 8 months earlier.  I had done extremely well in track my sophomore year, and with some changes being made in the state, I was on target to do extremely well my junior year.  I thought about the reality of moving to a new state two years before I was going to be on my own anyway.  So many thoughts consumed me for what seems like years, but was really only a couple of weeks.

In the end, I chose to stay in Ohio with my dad.

To this day, one of the hardest things I ever had to do was tell my mom of my decision.  I will never forget her reaction.  There were tears.  Lots and lots of tears.  I knew I had broken my mom's heart. 

Time marched on, as it is meant to do.  We all moved to our new homes, settled into our new reality. 

I have absolutely no bad feelings about the entire situation I was in back then (although sometimes I wished my parents would have just made the decision for us).  My mom had no option but to move, so I certainly can't fault her for it.  I missed her terribly at times, but it was only two years before I was off to college and living on my own.  As it turns out, I ended up going to college an hour and a half away from my mom and saw her more often during those years. 

I have never stressed over making a decision since that one very large, very emotional one.  The college to attend, the job to take, the city to live, the house to buy, the car to drive.  None of them took much thought at all.  None of them deserved the time and effort compared to that one decision from my teen years.

Yesterday, I read a post by Lillian about choosing a theme song for your life.  Really, it was more about how a theme song pretty much chooses you.  Here's one of the songs that chose me years ago:


Having trouble getting the video?  Go here.

Have a lovely day!

(This was going to be a FTSF and quick takes combo, but this FTSF took long enough.  I'll fit the takes into my post for the 10 Things of Thankful hop this weekend.)

Finish the Sentence Friday

34 comments:

  1. Can't even imagine having to choose between my parents, but think as a teen my dad and I butted heads a lot and might have chosen my mom, because of this, but then again my mom was a bit of a nosy body and wanted to know everything I was doing at this time of my life, so I could have just as easily chosen my dad. But then again..see I don't think I could have decided. give you tons of credit for making that decision and could totally see it being the hardest decision to indeed make. Thanks for sharing and again linking up with us!!

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    1. Fortunately, this happened after I went through my most difficult phase, so my mom and I were actually getting along. It would have been really bad if this would have happened a couple of years earlier, and she would have moved before we had come back around.

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  2. Oh. My. God. While I will refuse to judge the decision your parents made as I do not know their minds, I am heartbroken for little-girl you who had to choose. My parents' divorce was messy and horrible with my mom basically leaving and having my dad raise us. To me (maybe my life perspective as a mostly Clark, Scott, or something else), I'm glad that I didn't have a choice!! I don't think I'd have been able to do it. Wow.

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    1. Thank you for holding judgment. :) The divorce wasn't too bad, but the remarriages weren't exactly pleasant. I will forever be grateful for the way my parents made sure we knew they both wanted us.

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  3. That's an awful decision to have to make. Love your theme song though, and glad that you've been able to take something positive from this massive, hugely impactful decision and make it a tool for your future.

    I'm glad my own choice of whom to live with was always a no-brainer. I can't imagine choosing between two parents you love...

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    1. It is a great song, isn't it? I get goosebumps when I hear it.

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    2. Very. Just had another listen of it :)

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  4. I don't envy the decision you had to make... that is really tough! I am glad that everything worked out in the end.

    I am similar to you I think, I really don't deeply ponder decisions. I feel like the decisions I make quickly sometimes turn out better anyway! Well, at least, they are a whole lot more interesting that way. And we all need interesting.

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    1. Everything has worked out just fine. :)

      Life most certainly is more interesting when you make quick decisions. The stories that come from those choices are usually the best!

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  5. I really don't worry about decisions either. My wife has spent hours looking for a dress for a formal affair, and pick the wrong type. Then, her and I go back into the store, and within 20 minutes, we're leaving with something she loves that I've picked out for her. I won't even go into how long grocery shopping takes her. lol Deciding, as you had to, obviously wasn't easy. My mother passed on when I was only 13, so I never had to decide anything like that. But, at least when you went to school, you were able to get back together and keep things going. Strong story!

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    1. Oh, I wouldn't be able to shop with your wife. That would drive me batty! :)
      I'm sorry to hear you lost your mom when you were so young. My mom lost her dad when she was the same age. A horrible time (not that there is a good time) for it to happen.
      I talk to my mom several times a week now. Things are going well.

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  6. That was a terribly tough decision to make when you were young and I feel so sad that you had to make it at all. It makes me realise how lucky I was that my own parents' marriage was absolutely rock solid and they were there at all times - they celebrated 60 years of marriage before they passed away eight years ago and I still miss them every day.

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    1. Wow! I love hearing about strong, long-lasting marriages. A great example for us all. I am very grateful to still have my parents.

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  7. What a crazy decision to make! And so tough for your parents too. Divorce sucks.

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    1. A tough situation all around, for sure.

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  8. Divorce is rough and I had to choose things when my parents split up but nothing like that. I can see how making snap decisions comes easily to you now.

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    1. Divorce forces kids to grow up a little quicker, I think. Some faster than others.

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  9. What a tough spot for you to be in. I cannot imagine having to be in that position, make that choice, and all the bad feelings that had to come with whatever decision you made. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

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    1. There wasn't a win either way. Just something to get through, really. Certainly made me feel bad for all the times I previously told my mom I hated her and was going to live with Dad.

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  10. What a huge decision! I can't imagine having to choose between parents.

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  11. I'd would have chosen my mother as my father was a tyrant. You made the right decision though. I can tell. It's the way of things for some to have to make adult decisions long before they should have to do so.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I agree. I made the right decision. That's probably why I am OK with it all and have no anger or bitterness about it.

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  12. What a tough choice to have to make at that age, especially with siblings involved - not sure if you split up or all stayed together and what effect that may have had on your relationships. :(

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    1. At first, three of us stayed with my dad, and my youngest brother moved with my mom. The next year, my other brother went to live with my mom. My sister then moved to my mom's to live with her so she could commute to college. Our relationship isn't like other families, since we all have different memories, based on where we were living at the time. However, we are close now, getting together many times each year.

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  13. I can't imagine having to make a decision like that at such a young age - the world on your shoulders. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's a good thing that you can't imagine it. :)

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  14. Our posts have similar themes, Christine, but from very different perspectives. Family choices and dynamics are very rarely clear cut, huh? And factoring in everybody's feelings, preferences, happiness... it is a lot. Thanks for sharing your story- I really appreciated reading it.

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    1. There certainly isn't any clear-cuttedness about my family. I will head over to read yours right now. I'm intrigued...

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  15. sorry Christine, I still hear the strength in your decision process, as I read this Post.

    With all due respect to those not present, your recounting of your mother's reaction to your decision speaks much more highly of you (accepting the responsibility and dealing with it) than it does by her response.
    ...not that there's anything wrong with being a scottian woman! far from it! lol (although, we *do* have a saying, "a scott is often wrong, but never uncertain").

    I enjoyed this Post immensely, to share, (if only as a reader), in a part of a person's life that is so...pivotal. And, all kidding aside, as remarkable as the Doctrine appears to be in the insights it offers...it is still 'just' a tool.*
    Thanks for sharing this.

    * I knew that you were going to pick your father.... lol

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  16. I am in awe of you and don't take this the wrong way but....I heart you! DI

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  17. I'm not sure what decision I would have made if I'd been in your shoes. Either way you went someone was going to be upset, at least you were mature enough to recognise that and make it based on what you needed.

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  18. my heart goes out to you. What a sad situation for everyone at the time. I'm sure it was hard for your parents too But, such a young heart to have to make that choice I'm so glad God has blessed you with a beautiful family of your own, God blsee you for sharing.

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  19. I can't imagine being faced with that decision. I'm glad everything worked out for you.

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!