Looking back on my life, I wouldn’t change a thing; it has been a wonderful journey and I have been incredibly fortunate. I have travelled to many great places around the world, had some very memorable experiences and enjoyed the company of many lovely people. It feels as though I sat down before I was born and planned out what my life was to be, both good and bad, in order to have the experiences I needed to have and the lessons I needed to learn. I have come to accept events without questioning them as there always seems to be a reason. An example of this was when I tried to sell my offices and couldn’t, yet over the years it provided me with an income and later it provided me with a home just when I needed it. Having been through the hard times, I am aware of the positive things that have come from the negative and how much the negative has positively influenced the person that I am today. Consequently, I always look for what I can get out of any situation that I find myself in.
Dave and I sometimes talk about the day Val asked me to leave and how I could have sunk into depression, taken to drink, lost my job and ended sleeping on the street. Instead, I was to rise above it rather than sink into the depths. Certainly, I was fortunate in that I had somewhere to move to. I also had something to occupy my time, and equally as important my mind and to give me something to focus on.
Having something to do is always important in such situations, as it was when I had to move down to London and work all the hours I could. I would go to concerts, shows and visit places rather than sitting in my room and feeling sorry for myself. Or the time in the Marines that I spent in the Navel Detention Quarters; I made the most of my situation. I looked for the positive side and took life as a challenge. I always looked to see what I could gain from the situation or experience. There is always a positive side, something to be gained, be that in the near or the distant future.
During my life I have experienced several lows but having seen the misfortune that others have had to endure, especially in places like Aden, East Pakistan, and India, I have nothing to complain about. The lows have made me appreciate the highs and I realise I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the bad times, as hard as they were. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate all the good times I have experienced.
The other thing worth remembering is that it’s not where you start in life, or where you finish, its the journey that you take. Its about what you see and what you do along the way. Its being able to live each day and to get something from each and every experience that life brings you. That is what living is about.
As for the future, who knows? I will play my cards as they are dealt to me. That doesn’t mean I won’t strive for what I want. I have learnt to accept who and what I am, but to strive for what I want to be. I will change what I can’t accept but accept what I can’t change. If I can do that, then I will be content. It is contentment that we should be striving for, and something that I am fortunate enough to have attained.
Images of me through the ages