My grandmother was in town this past week. At one point she asked me whether I wish my mom and dad didn’t separate and divorce when I was little. I told her on one hand I wish they hadn’t, but that 99% of me is so glad they did. If they hadn’t divorced, I would have been a different person and I like the person I’ve turned out to be.

Because they divorced, my mom met my stepdad and they had my brother. We moved to South Florida when I was in high school and I was so annoyed and convinced I wanted to go back to Ohio that I went there for school. I spent a few years making horrible decisions and then dropped out of school and moved back to Florida in an attempt to get my feet under me, figure out what I wanted to do, and stop the bad decisions. (Turns out you really can’t go back again.)

Dropping out was smart. I moved to Oregon with my mom and stepdad and brother, got lucky by enrolling at Pacific University where I had amazing teachers, got lucky again when I met my sole mate on the first day of class my second year there, who I married and had two amazing kids with. I started Infinity Softworks as a senior and have managed to keep it moving forward, mostly, for the past 16 years.

Everything about me stems from that divorce and to take it away erases 37 years of my history, all but my first two. Was it horrible and painful? Yes. Did I make some stupid decisions because of it? Yes. Did I have a hard time being comfortable in my own skin? Yes. And all of that was a bi-product of that divorce. But in retrospect I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I couldn’t. At least not if I wanted to end up where I am now, and that I wouldn’t trade for the world.