I remember it like it was yesterday. I was driving to Asheville, my first relocation to a new place totally alone. The drive from Palm Beach to Asheville was about 12 hours. My car packed from window to window, floor to ceiling; every one of my possessions was with me. All I could do for the entire ride was try to imagine the details that would one day complete the picture on this currently blank canvas of my future. Where will I work? Who will I meet? Who will my closest friends be? How will we meet? What will the name of my favorite restaurant be? I was overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. After almost 5 years there and on my way to my new home city, I looked back and thought about all of those wonderful beginnings, how they happened, the choices I made on ordinary days that brought me into contact with the people who are now my most beloved friends. It’s so interesting to think about.
Now I am here in San Francisco, starting over once again in many of the same ways. Again enjoying the anticipation of much desired relationships and connections with new people, and all the while assessing & appreciating the varying nature of such beginnings. It’s really cool actually the way in which on any given day, and totally unexpectedly, someone could walk straight into your life without warning. And then, there they are; someone you now know. I love that.
One recent encounter I had was particularly awesome. I began interacting with another blogger, Jeannie Page, who would comment on my blog posts, and I on hers. We exchanged a few emails to express appreciation for each other’s work. During this exchange we discovered that we both live in San Francisco. One day shortly after this I was going about my day and my best friend called to inform me that she had a change in her schedule and now had the afternoon free, suggesting we should do something together. I agreed and rearranged my schedule to make time for an outing with her. At first we had discussed taking a stroll through Noe Valley, grabbing some coffee somewhere, and having a chat. By the time I reached her apartment she had packed a picnic and insisted we go to the beach. I wasn’t expecting a trip to the beach so I wasn’t dressed appropriately and we didn’t have time to go all the way back to my place. We decided to have a picnic at the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park instead.
We hung out for several hours, talking, listening to music, and sipping on wine spritzers. I was having a great time and wanted to stay longer, but nature was calling and I needed to find a potty. We packed up our things and headed for the exit. The main entrance/exit was closed so we had to walk nearly the entire perimeter of the park to the after-hours exit. By now I was ready to pop. We finally reached the car and decided to head for my place instead of driving around looking for an appropriate place to stop. Once we got there, we both took a bathroom break and decided to continue our adventure by going out to dinner. I suggested a couple of restaurants that were close to each other and we started heading in their direction. As we walked down the road, a young woman was approaching. She stopped and asked me, “Are you Dara Poznar from WordPress?” Stunned, I hesitantly confirmed that I was while still not knowing how she could possibly know me, and then she introduced herself and we excitedly gave each other a big hug. What a surprise that was!
Jeannie wrote about this exact encounter here on her blog, The Awakened Life, and outlined the events of her day that allowed her to be at that exact place at that exact time to meet me so unexpectedly. From what I’ve come to understand, she believes that our encounter, like most of her life experiences, was something more than a mere coincidence. It was something that occurred as a result of external forces at work. I on the other hand see it as a very awesome coincidence; the result of totally random decisions that led us to the same place at the same moment. The thing I think we do agree upon is that it’s a good thing. I was very happy to bump into Jeannie, and we’ve since gotten together for a cup of coffee, engaged in some fantastic conversation, and are currently making plans to meet up again.
I’m a sucker for stories. I enjoy appreciating how things come about, especially relationships. Each of our lives is filled with many, many stories. Some seem rather ordinary. Some seem somewhat serendipitous. All of them though, mean something. The beauty is that we get to assign that meaning to our experiences and encounters. When someone walks into my life out of nowhere, it’s quite special and means a lot. I’m so grateful for life’s fantastic surprises, and the beautifully spontaneous productions of its chaos and disorder.
Be you and enjoy it!