Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

September 26, 2013

The small decisions that guide life

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Around two years ago, I traveled to Louisville with my brother and decided to take a boat tour on the Belle of Louisville. I didn’t know, couldn’t have known, that the seemingly insignificant choices made on a daily basis can have a big impact on the outcome of life.

My brother, Brad, and I had been roommates for three years in our Indianapolis apartment, and I was moving to Frankfort, Ind., for my first reporter job. We decided to celebrate my new job, and the end of an era, by going out of town for a weekend.

After walking around downtown for awhile, Brad suggested we go on a boat tour. I agreed only to find that it was actually a Christian singles boat tour mostly consisting of individuals 50 and over. My brother and I were two of four who were in our 30s and under.

Me, being me, and up for just about anything, I decided to hop on over to the dance floor. I tried to coax my shy brother on the floor with a nice selection of ’80s dance moves from the sprinkler to the shopping cart. It was a no-go for Brad, but I did manage to get some of the mature ladies on the boat to join me.

Shortly there after, I met a man who hung around the balcony of the boat and was by himself. Since I’ve never met a stranger, I introduced myself and found out we had a lot in common. We both came from the journalism world and shared similar interests.

We continued to talk almost every day after that night. We would Skype chat when we couldn’t visit each other, and typically one of us would make the four-hour drive one way to visit every weekend. An opportunity presented itself for me to take a job in what I love the most, education reporting, with the Glasgow Daily Times. Just like that, a city girl became a country girl, well sorta.

Throughout all of this, he’s been kind, patient and a best friend. He’s dealt with his bathroom sink being cluttered with makeup and all sorts of other magical female beauty potions. He’s embraced my odd affinity for my cat, King Leonidas, where I talk for him and generally give him far more human-like qualities than a cat should possess. He’s accommodated to a fridge full of lactose-free and almond milk because I’m lactose intolerant, and most importantly, he’s loved me because all my idiosyncrasies and things that make me, me. The kind of things that many would describe as faults, but no, that’s really the good stuff. It’s all the little things about each other that only we know.

It is with great pleasure that I will be marrying the love of my life, my partner in crime,Will Spillman, in December. It’s also with sorrow that I tell you this will be my last column at the Daily Times. I will be moving for Will because he received a job offer in Lexington.

I thank you all for the memories and stories you’ve shared. There are so many amazing educators and staff in Barren, Metcalfe and Monroe counties, and I have enjoyed working with you all. Thank you to all the teachers, who on countless occasions, let me sit in their class with a massive camera and the impossible request of “just pretend I’m not even here.”  

I’m sure that when I leave many will still remember me as the crazy woman who jumped in a pool of freezing, cold water dressed as Wonder Woman for a Junior Achievement fundraiser. Oddly enough, I’m OK with that.    

As I pack up our belongings for my last week here, I remember that all of this journey started with a chance encounter with a man on a boat. I’m blessed that I’ve been a person to take risks all my life. Just like the man in Robert Frost’s poem, I, too, have chosen the road less traveled and it has made all the difference in the world.

Shelley Smith has been education reporter for the Glasgow Daily Times.