Sometimes, life gives you hints about which way to go. But it's not always so easy to see them.
I realised this week, in a moment of reflection, that a seminal moment hit me when I was about 15.
And since I've been having a clearout of the house, how about a picture from roughly that time? Oh,the days of hair and youth (and bad smiles)...
The handsome one is my Dad, the finest father a man could ever wish for (even if, as you can probably tell, he didn't much care for being photographed).
Anyway, back to the point, and that seminal moment, one of life's little hints. So this is how it goes -
Our English teacher, the wonderful Karen Osler, set us a story to write for homework. The title was My First Love.
Everyone else wrote about boys or girls. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, that thought never occured to me.
I wrote about something else entirely (and no, it wasn't myself, before you even think it.)
The next week, Mrs Osler called me up in front of the class. This was usually a very bad thing, indicating I had yet again wronged English/ the school/ life in general.
But! On this unique occasion, dear Mrs Osler praised me to the mountain tops for my originality and declared me the far and away best writer in the class.
And that inspiration helped me to do well enough at school that I could go to university, and all that followed.
I think, these many years on, that moment set me off to find the loves of my life -
Writing, and teaching.
They were always there, whatever I did, it just took a while (ok, 30 years plus) to realise.
And what did I write about in my story from all those years ago? What was my first love?
Which just happens to be another of my great loves in life.
Music, writing and teaching, all came together for me, all those years ago.
Alignments in life, and hints from the stars. They happen, sure enough. Sometimes, you just need to listen for them.