I was at a client’s yesterday. We were discussing a blog I write for him; and what the topic should be for the next post. He was intrigued because three different situations had taken place within two days. Two of them on the same day, and one the day after. Coincidentally they were all connected. And he thought it would make for an interesting story. I agreed.
But it made me think about my own life.
Not long after I started freelancing I was in a boutique. Although it was literally around the corner from where I lived, and I’d walked past it dozens of times, I’d never been in. Until that moment. Located in a victorian town house, it’s spread over two floors. I was on the main floor. Suddenly, for no reason that I can remember, I looked behind me. Coming down the stairs was a former client. We hadn’t seen each other in years.
For a minute or two we just stared at each other. Of all places to run into each other. When she found out I was freelancing, she immediately told me she had a lot of work for me. Unbelievable.
So. Was that meeting nothing more than a chance encounter? Just two people finding themselves in the same place at the same time; and nothing more. Was it serendipitous? If I’d woken up that day telling myself that I had to start looking for clients, would I have bumped into her; did it only happen because I wasn’t looking for it to happen? Was it fate? Was it all pre-determined, and no matter where I’d been at that moment in time, she would have turned up? You know, the Universe unfolding.
I’ll never know. At least I don’t think so.
These things happen to me a lot. In fact it happened to me earlier today. In the middle of breakfast I suddenly thought of a friend I haven’t seen, or heard from, in months. I know, it’s not all that unusual. But not five minutes later I got a text from her. She said she’d emailed me last week (which I never received) and, when she still hadn’t heard back from me, she got worried.
That’s a bit weird. Not bad weird. Interesting weird. Who conjured who, first?
Then there was the time a guy I’d been dating lied to me. I’d wanted him to do something with me that he didn’t want to do. Instead of being truthful, he told me that he was playing dominoes with his friends. He even called me, from his car, to say he was on his way and would see me later. I’d been just about to leave myself, to get some groceries. I was hungry, so decided to stop for a quick lunch at a friend’s restaurant. She served great salads.
As I was leaving, she was arriving. So we stood right outside her door for a couple of minutes, talking. Something made me look up. There, driving down the street, towing his boat behind him, was the jerk. Actually we noticed each other at exactly the same time. That was it for him.
I had all day to go food shopping. Why’d I pick that, particular time?
Why hadn’t I had lunch at home, earlier?
Why did I pick that particular restaurant?
If my friend hadn’t shown up when I’d been leaving, if she’d been there when I arrived, I’d have never been outside, at that time.
For that matter, if either he — or I — had arrived at our same spots even a couple of minutes later, or earlier, we would have missed each other. He’d have gotten away with his lie.
Coincidence? Happenstance? A lucky break? Was someone watching out for me? Who?
I’d like to know who to thank.