Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ever wonder how you got here?

There are times when I feel like life isn't so much a carefully constructed plan as it is a series of bumps, bouncebacks, ricochets, and random events that get us to where we are. I've had people ask me about "the secret to my success," and I guess that they're serious about it—but I have no great words of wisdom to bestow. Oh, I can share a few of my philosophies and observations, but I can't delineate a Benjamin-Franklin-like plan for success, because that's not what happened.

If things had gone as I planned when I was fifteen, I would have pursued a career as a comic book artist. If things had gone as I had envisioned when I was eighteen, I would have followed Dad's footsteps as a journalist. If things had gone as Susan and I planned when I was twenty-one, we would have bought a house in Rome, where I would have continued to teach until retirement. The list goes on and on...

But we never plan for the unexpected twists, the lucky (and not so lucky) events. I never imagined, back when Susan and I did fanzines in the 1970s, that the same skills would carry over to Comic Shop News, which is basically a fanzine with much better pay. It never occurred to me, when MSA offered Susan an entry-level programming job back in 1977, that a move to Marietta would lead to so many changes. I never dreamed, when I agreed to help Artie Decker order new comics as an experiment in his store, that I would become a co-owner of that store five years later. I never planned on a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a farmhouse in Rome in 1992 would become, in 1999, one of the best financial investments I ever made. And of course, I would have never believed that a near-fatal heart attack would ultimately result in my being in the best health of my life.

I wish I could describe a meticulously planned roadmap for my life, but I'd be lying if I did. John Lennon got it right... life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans...

1 comment:

Charles said...

And I'll add that without your acquisition of the store, I'd likely never have met one of my very best friends. Here's to unexpected twists.