I've heard it said that we all have ten defining moments in our life, events that have such power that they change who and what we thought we were. Some of them are clearly major events; some seem minor to others, but may have had a major impact on us.
I don't think that "ten" is a magic number, but I do know that we experience things in our life that promote change. Our lives, however, are not randomly forced in one direction by any event. The event is simply a crossroad, a turning point, where we exercise our free will to choose a new direction.
For some time I've wanted to systematically think through my life and identify those defining moments. Though you are invited to read these essays, the exercise is really something I am doing for myself. Whether you find my defining moments interesting or not, I'd encourage anyone to try a similar exercise. I'm starting, today, with the earliest defining moment I can remember.