Do you ever wonder about the cause and effect of things sometimes? You know, as in “If I do this, then this will happen and then this will happen and so on…” Or, the opposite: “What would happen if I had never done x, y, z?“
I suppose it’s sort of like the domino effect of experiences in life. I’ve always preferred to hold rather tightly to my belief in all things logical and rational, but I came across this wonderful quote from Anna Quindlen the other day. And, well, she puts the whole idea of happenstance into perspective…
Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.
I’ll admit that I rarely take the time to look back at my decisions once I make them — there’s that whole thinking rationally tendency again — and I’m even less likely to consider what my life would be like had I taken a different path. What’s the point, I’d wonder? The past is, well, past, and besides — isn’t it more important to keep looking forward? To move forward? To keep going?
Yes and no.
When I think about it, there are times in my life where I’ve wanted to go a different way or was even scared to do something altogether. Right after my father was diagnosed with cancer, I transferred from the local community college to a bigger university. I was completely overwhelmed and ready to throw my backpack away and call it a day, but my parents, luckily, talked me out of it. If I had quit, I wouldn’t have joined the school paper, won the Best Damn Reporter award and graduated two years later with a love of journalism.
And who knows? I might not have been led to blogging, which had become one of the biggest parts of my life.
Also, when I started working as a community college newspaper adviser, I seriously didn’t think I was cut out for it. Here I was, a twentysomething just a couple years out of college. What could I possibly have to offer? But, I went for it, and again, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I mold future journalists, but I also met people who changed my life forever. I made lifelong friends and even learned so much about myself in the process.
We just never really know what is going to mean the most to us over the years, do we? What has changed your life for the better, friends? Something that you never could have predicted at the time, but means the world to you now that you’re looking back on it…
[Photos via We Heart It]