April 15, 2012

We all come to pivotal moments in our life, moments where decisions are made. Decisions that not only affect us, but those we love and come in contact with.

Understand as you read this, I have always had a self-deprecating sense of humor. I choose to find a way to laugh even in the hard times. Indeed, laughter is the best medicine and in my case a little insulin as well.

That being said, allow me to explain a few of my own pivotal moments. Mine started at birth. I was born butt cheeks first. Yep, the first part of my body to see the light of day was my backside. I was turned in a breech position and the doctor, noting that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my body and throat, made the decision to turn me. His decision, along with my mother’s strong will and ability to endure excruciating pain, directly affected the outcome. Having gone through such an ordeal as that, along with being in labor at least 16 hours it’s a wonder that my mother would want to have any more children at all. She is a great influence in my life, as is my father, and eventually went on to have my two wonderful sisters Nicole and Michele.

The next pivotal moment was at the age of six when I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. This journey began at 3am one morning when my parents, scared at my condition, rushed me to the Emergency Room. After testing, it was determined my blood sugar was over 1000 and I was going into ketoacidosis, a life threatening situation. While spending more than a month in the hospital regulating my blood sugar levels, I realized quickly without a cure, I would suffer with this disease for the rest of my life.

My parents made a decision. They began teaching me that this was the card I was dealt. They taught me how to be a fighter. That decision would be huge in determining who I would become and how I would get there. They never held me back from what I wanted to do whether it was riding dirt bikes, playing sports or music; they showed me how to adapt. That is a trait that I now pass along to my kids.

As humans we are uniquely different, yet somehow all the same. In our journey no matter how long or short it is we all want to be happy, healthy, successful, loved and appreciated.

I like to compare it to the game of baseball. Life comes at you from all directions, just like a ball does an outfielder. Some of the balls will be pop flies, grounders, line drives, you have to be prepared for how it will come at you. Just like in baseball when you are in the outfield you are part of a team but eventually you have to step up to bat and take a swing as an individual.

During my later teenage years, in the slushy, wintery weather of Central Pennsylvania, I had an occupational job while attending high school, in addition to playing in a band. I had dreamed of this five-pronged chrome microphone stand for weeks. Not wanting to be late for work, I was waiting outside the music store five minutes before it opened. When the manager arrived, I asked if he would let me in early to buy the stand for my gig that night, grouchily, he refused. (Mental note….never hire someone who is that grouchy to handle a job that requires people skills). I waited in the cold for the additional five minutes until the store opened. The stand was $49 plus tax. I had $44. Realizing that did not have enough money, I tried everything I could to talk the manager into letting me buy the stand. This included bringing the rest of the money the next day, working in the store for free. Again, he refused. In his angered small mindedness, not only did he lose a customer, he had no realization of the effect his decision had on me. That moment changed my life and professional career forever. I walked back through the slush to my car and vowed I would sell everything I owned, except my vehicle and some of my equipment, so I could move to Los Angeles and make it in the music business.

Thirty two million records later I can tell you, how we adapt and react to the decisions we make at those pivotal moments, as well as the bumps (or knuckleheads as I call them), along the way directly affects us and those that are around us. Regardless, we all learn from every situation. Things happen for a reason. You just hope they are for the right reasons LOL. Rock on and see you next month.

~Bret