Monday, April 07, 2008

Has it been 10 years already?

Exactly ten years ago this month I was meeting with an Army recruiter about signing up and getting the hell out of my hometown. I ended up signing on the dotted line and coming to Europe of course, and the day I stepped off the plane at Rhein-Main AFB in Frankfurt, Germany was May 1st, 1998, or as I like to call it; the day my life really started. That means that this May 1st will mark exactly 10 years that I've lived in Europe. This fact, combined with my recent health scare, has me feeling very nostalgic lately. Looking back over the past decade, I just can't believe how much living I've packed into ten short years. And when I think about the events that led to me calling the recruiter and what my life was like before I did so, it just literally blows my mind. It was the smartest decision I ever made and I shudder to think of where I would be today if I had never taken that leap of faith, trusting that there was something better out there for me.

In honor of my impending 10 year anniversary, I've decided to post the first several chapters of the book that I started writing last year so people who read this blog can get a bit of an insight into what my life was like immediately before I joined the Army back in 1998, the events that drove me to consider such a life changing move and how my life changed when I came to Europe ten years ago.

I had chosen for the title of my book "Dancing Lessons From God", a title which will explain itself after the first few chapters. Thus each excerpt I post will be under the heading of "Dancing Lessons From God", followed by the sequence number in case people fall behind and want to catch up. I'll try to post a new excerpt every couple days or so, time permitting. So without further ado, let's start with the introduction...

By Rik Thibodeau

“I’m miserable here and I’m going nowhere…but joining the army?”

I sat at the kitchen counter at my mother’s house and spoke those words rhetorically. She offered no advice – not even her customary “well, maybe it’s something you should pray about” – but rather stood by the stove silently and let me pour out my frustrations. I was trying to make the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life; I was 26 years old, and I was contemplating enlisting in the US Army. I was a college graduate, I had a seemingly good job with my own office, a lot of friends and plenty of reasons to stay right where I was at. So how had I reached this point? It didn’t come about suddenly; looking back it had been building for quite a while although I didn’t realize it at the time. I don’t believe in destiny or any of that kind of crap but the forces that led to my sitting on that stool in my mother’s kitchen trying to figure out what to do were at work for a long time. I would make that difficult decision and it would change my life in ways I could never imagine. To understand and appreciate my journey, you must first know a little bit about me and the life and times I grew up in…

(click HERE for Part II)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More, more! Keep posting Rik. I have been really curious about this book since you first mentioned it to me. Anyway, I'll see you in about 18 days...I should roll into H-Town on Saturday (the 26th) afternoon. I can't wait, brother! C U then.