The Story Behind By Choice

25 Jul 2017

By Rene Folsom

Life choices, and the blunders that often follow, can make for some very interesting books.  But what happens when the choices we make in life, and in love, create our own little happily ever after?

This concept is something I thoroughly enjoyed exploring when delving into the mind of my main character, Sofie, in By Choice.

“It wasn’t a matter of choosing between blue eyes or brown, short hair or long, blond or dark, clean shaven or scruff… My choice was more important than mere physical characteristics. I was letting down the careful barriers I’d built around my heart, and I knew this decision would impact my soul.”

When we are children, we are constantly told that there are consequences for our actions and the choices we make.  This is so very true, both in life and in love.  Many know that these choices don’t always come easy, and even the most simplest of choices can make a great impact on our lives.

This story, By Choice, started out with my own personal experiences when I met my husband.  I know, most might consider this inspiration somewhat cheesy, but sometimes the true stories in our lives aren’t always as whimsical as we might hope.

To this day, I cannot tell you that there was only one solitary choice I made that brought me to him.  It was a multitude of choices combined, some big and some small, that lead me to my own #MeetCute.

Eighteen years ago, at the young age of nineteen, a rather bad decision on my part caused a separation between the family I held so dear.  I was given a choice—break up with my boyfriend or move out and never turn back.  At the time, I was so sure of myself and positive that boy was the only one who deserved to hold my heart.  When given the scary ultimatum, I chose the boy.  In hindsight, most would consider my choice to be the wrong one, especially considering that relationship fell apart much faster than it was built.

But did I really make the wrong decision?  If I hadn’t made the choice to break ties with my family over that boy, I never would have moved and met my husband.

There’s the kicker—sometimes a choice you make might not always produce the outcome you desire at the time.  Life just might surprise you with something even better in the wake of your choices.

Skip ahead a few months—I’d considered my life to be in ruins because of my bad choices, or what I thought was bad at the time.  Estranged from family and unsure of what to do next, I sought out a job at a pizza place, figuring a delivery driver was just the right mundane and active job I needed at the time.  One thing most people know about me is, I never slack when it comes to representing myself.  I will always take a few additional steps to be as professional and impressive as I could possibly be.

So, when I stepped foot in a large pizza chain to apply for a job holding my resume and smiling proudly, I never expected the man behind the counter to laugh at me about my representational choices.  I found out later that bringing a resume to a pizza joint was not only unheard of, but was way overboard.  But hey, the manager liked it just fine and hired me the next day.

That man behind the counter chose to poke fun at me, but I paid him no mind.  I was proud of my accomplishments in life and wasn’t ashamed to show it.

Fast-forward another few months to my sister’s wedding.  My family had big hearts and chose to let me back into their lives.  They knew that just because the decisions we made might burn a few bridges didn’t mean those bridges couldn’t be rebuilt.  We all deserved a second chance at making the right choices.

At this point, I was happy with my job… yes, the same pizza delivery job I got with my stellar resume… and I was happy with me.  So, when I met the singer the night before my sister’s wedding, I was caught off guard by the feelings I had for the man.  He was suave, handsome, and had a voice that could melt the panties off any young girl.  We sang together for my sister’s first dance and immediately took a liking to each other, regardless of the almost twenty-two year age gap.

But… and this is a big but…

Remember that man who laughed at my choice to bring a resume for a pizza delivery job?  Well, I was slowly getting to know him and all his wonderful traits.  For the past several months I’d been working at the pizza joint, I chose to get to know him more—to see the man behind the snickers I got the first day we met.

The week my sister got married, I started dating two very wonderful men.  My choices, whether good or bad, led me to this experience—one I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I’d spent my weekdays with the wedding singer, his weekends tied up with various gigs from time to time.  And then I’d spent my weekends with the marketing manager at the pizza place, our feelings for each other growing stronger by the day.  I chose not to keep my affections secret from each man, no matter how uncomfortable most would think it’d be.  I was young and knew just how impacting choices could be on my love life and life in general.

The singer was handsome, and considering my vocal training experience, I simply loved the idea of being with a singer.  Just the thought was attractive to me.  However, he also had his past choices that would heavily impact my future—he could no longer have, nor did he no longer want, more children.  Did I want to choose love over family yet again?  The thought was scary.

The pizza manager was also handsome, and considering how he made me feel when we were together, I simply loved the thought of growing old with a man like him.  Seeing him interact with his son was a damn good way for him to steal my heart.  However, he too was quite a bit older than me, and when we went out on our first date, he talked about nothing else than a woman at his church he had eyes for.  Was he already choosing someone over me?  Did I have any right to take it personally considering I was seeing another man?

Both situations made doubt creep into my mind.  Considering the choices I’d made that put me here, and how deeply I knew they could impact my future, I tried to tread lightly.

One day, after a few months of dating both men and enjoying every minute, my future husband looked at me and told me he loved me.  However, his love came with one condition… he said he couldn’t bear the fact that I was dating another man.

He was asking me to choose.

So, By Choice, I married the man who laughed at me when I brought my resume into a pizza joint.

Because of my choices and the amazing life I have now because of them, I wanted to share a similar story with you all, starting with Sofie—a quirky redhead who had a rough start in life and had to learn how to open her heart.  Through her choices, she found happiness not only with a companion, but within herself.

I hope you enjoy this new #MeetCute story and will learn to cherish all the choices you make in life.

— Rene Folsom

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