Margie (my better half) and I had dinner last night with a long-time friend of hers we hadn’t seen in almost twenty years.
In the course of reminiscing, Margie recalled the night, decades ago, when she made the decision to move to New Jersey. At the time, she was between jobs and relationships, and she had come up north from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to spend some time with two sisters who lived in the area: one in Jersey; the other in Manhattan. The fateful decision took place in an upper East Side watering hole Margie and our dinner guest often frequented.
Then Margie said, “If I hadn’t made that decision…” and I finished the sentence with “we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
I met Margie when we worked together at a school in New Jersey, less than a year later. The rest is history.
Fifteen years ago, on a balmy August evening in Atlanta, I met a Georgia Tech Computer Science faculty member at a networking event in which I had given a presentation on Web development.
After the presentation, he and I chatted about technology. I mentioned I was experimenting with ColdFusion for building database-driven Web sites. He invited me to visit him on campus, partly so he could persuade me to use PHP instead. I took him up on the offer.
Our meeting was set for Wednesday, September 12, 2001. The evening before our meeting, trying to recover from the shock of the day’s events, I emailed him asking if he still wanted to meet. We decided to keep the appointment. Life must go on, we agreed.
I was blown away by the power and simplicity of PHP. From that day forward, I’ve been a PHP developer. Six years later, when I bit the bullet and succumbed to the lure of WordPress, I might not have become a convert (and a WordPress developer) if I hadn’t abandoned ColdFusion for PHP — the scripting language upon which WordPress is built.
The Moral of the Story?
The decisions we make (as well as the ones we don’t make, because not to decide is to decide) can have profound, life-changing consequences. Dang if that’s not both scary and exciting.
It’s not as if I’m telling you anything you don’t know.
It’s just that every once in a while, it’s good to stop, smell the coffee, and reflect.