When I was in the Army, I was what they called, "hard core." I put every fibre of my being into being a soldier. I had the ambition, and the drive, and love for the esprit de corps. It's one of the few places where almost immediately, I felt I belonged. If anyone was going to be a lifer it was going to be me.
The reasons I left the Army were complex, but I did leave. It was a decision I regretted for years. and for years I kept thinking, I could always go back, until I was too old, too out of shape, and I finally realized that that life was truly gone from me.
It was hard, and it was something I actually mourned. What made it more difficult was that during that time, my then spouse remained in the military, or closely associated with its work. I felt left out, and a little lost. But, that didn't kill my ambition. My drive went into my kids, my education and my career.
My regret reached its peak, when friends I served with started to retire. But then, I started to take a look at the toll the experience took on them, and realized, that maybe my departure from that path wasn't so bad often all.
My Partner, Ric often says, "Things have a way of working out." He's right, they do. Lessons are learned, opportunities revealed, and without intention, life takes me to unexpected places I wanted to be anyway. I know how lucky I am, but even if my luck runs out, I won't discount my regret as part of the journey that gets me to where ever I'm going.