Life is a wonderful thing, and it's amazing when you look at it how so many seemingly small decisions can end up having long lasting and almost life changing consequences.
I look at a few key moments actually that have played a part in putting me where I am today and having some of the experiences that I have over the past few years. I know I've mentioned it before, but one tweet suggesting I go watch Concord Rangers was essentially the start of what has been a 6 year journey as part of a club I now see as family. Back then, I would never have even had a thought that a) I would fall in love with the club as much as I did, b) I would become good friends with the players & people around it, and c) that I'd end up being a committee member and editor of the matchday programme. The experiences that have come my way can essentially all be traced back to going to that first game.
It hasn't stopped there though, the team is on the verge of their 4th cup final in as many years (Ryman, then 2 Essex Senior Cups), holding their own in a league not far off the pro game, and the club continues to expand and progress with all the community work they are doing. There's a bright future on the horizon for Concord Rangers and those that are a part of it, however we got to be there.
I went to New York back in 2002, and brought home a New York Jets towel, just as a bit of NY merchandise really. If I didn't pick up that green & white towel, which I still have to this day, would I have chosen a different team to follow when I got into the NFL? Probably, or I may not have even have got hooked on the sport like I eventually did. Small decision, but ultimately it led me on a road which has taken me back to New York two more times to see the Jets live at their home stadium (and meet the team owner), I've been to countless NFL games at Wembley (including to see the Jets last year), and I have met some fantastic people on both sides of the pond thanks to a mutual love of and enjoyment of the Jets or the NFL in general. Again, it's not stopping either, I plan on visiting NY again this year to catch another game, meet up with some of the friends I've made over the last two years, and hopefully meet some more.
Small decisions that you don't think about too much at the time can set you on a path that can bring a lot of opportunities and experiences. Even with work it goes all the way back to being too lazy to find anything for work experience back at school. So I asked my mum, who at the time worked at Fenchurch Street station, if I could go work with her for 2 weeks. Easy enough, no effort in finding businesses or roles that matched what I wanted to do with my life, because I didn't know even then. There was timing involved later on though, as I finished school just as a part time job came up, the manager knew me, so it was easy enough to get into that job and settle in. 16 years later I'm still on the railway, doing a job I enjoy with a number of decent people and getting a decent wage for it. Obviously there's been tough times and I've had to work hard over the years to change roles and move upwards, but I wouldn't be in the place I am today if it wasn't for these decisions way back when.
Why am I being all reflective and thoughtful about all this? Well I was thinking about it all, one of those moments where you wonder how you got here, what decisions led you to this stage in life. I overthink things sometimes, so waffling on here allows me to clear the head a bit!
Am I talking bollocks? Maybe, but the thing is that, even if I do say so myself, this makes sense. The decisions you make through life, no matter how insignificant they may be at the time, will set you on an unknown path which could ultimately lead to some of the most impressive, enjoyable and interesting experiences there is, from the places you may visit, the people you meet, the relationships you form, the things you do, it all started from a simple, 5 second thought of a decision way back when. They say life is what you make it, well yeah, thanks to the decisions and choices you make.