Monday, November 6, 2017

Everything Happens For A Reason

I've noticed as I spend more time becoming aware of the synchronicities in my life -- how things are connected, coincidences, and how a single moment in time can lead me down a new path -- it seems everything does happen for a reason.  I've seen some pretty nasty fights go down on Facebook over this statement.  No, it doesn't mean that if bad things happen, it's because you're a bad person, or even if good things happen, you're a good person.  Bad shit happens to everyone, and horrible people do sometimes win.  No, you didn't do anything to "deserve" losing your loved one long before their time should have been up.  And no, that guy isn't so awesome that he "deserved" to win the lottery and become a millionaire.  For me, it's more about seeing the connection between my attitude and what it brings into my life. 

Let's take this morning, for instance.  I woke up to a nail in my tire.  Luckily, I was leaving for work early and it was drivable.  I took it to a tire shop where they were able to give me two new tires in about 30 minutes.  Did I want to spend the $500 on new tires?  Not really, especially considering my recently-changed financial situation.  But was I able to pay for them without seriously causing pain to my wallet?  Yes, I was, and I was grateful for that.  I got to work about 45 minutes late.  I found out our card readers weren't working properly, and no one was actually able to get into the building until about 15 minutes after my normal start time.  That means, I technically didn't lose that much work time this morning.  Obviously, this isn't a life-changing incident, but of all the days to have to get to work late, sounds like this was the one. 

Last month, my roommate of two and a half years gave notice, saying he would be moving back to Italy.  An acquaintance asked if I would consider letting him move in instead of placing an ad for a new roommate.  I said yes.  The roommate tried to take back his notice, and I told him I had a replacement so he would have to leave.  With about a week to go before the end of the month, the replacement backed out, leaving me with very little time to find a new replacement, and the current roommate had already found a place to stay until he moved.  I panicked for a minute, then I decided I would be fine.  I took a hard look at my budget and decided I could make it work without a roommate.  I had placed an ad on Craigslist, but decided I wouldn't worry if I didn't get any good potentials.  Then I spent a few days alone in my roommate-free house, and I remembered how much I disliked living with strangers.  I decided I would not be replacing my roommate.  For probably the first time in the entire seven and a half years I've lived in this place, I actually enjoy coming home (before this roommate, I had a really terrible college student for a year; and before that, I lived there with my ex-boyfriend -- before that, I hadn't lived with a roommate since my early 20's).  Even though the replacement flaking at the last minute stressed me out, had he not said he wanted to move in, I may have caved when the roommate asked to cancel his notice, and I would still be sitting here (either with the current roommate or with the replacement), not really enjoying the space in which I spend a good portion of my life.  Everything happens for a reason.

Last weekend, my friend came over to give me some decorating advice.  She thought I should move my bed to a different wall.  Last night, I decided to do that.  That bed has been in the same place for seven years.  Apparently someone spilled something behind one of the night stands.  The wall and carpet were destroyed.  The paint was peeling, there was some mold, and the sheetrock had eroded away.  Everything was dry, though, and I haven't spent much time on that side of the bed since my ex moved out about four years ago, so I have to assume this happened a long time ago and I've just been breathing in those mold spores for years.  I spent last night scraping mold, bleaching, drying, and spackling the hole in the wall.  So, had we not discussed redecorating, my bed would still be sitting in the same spot, and I would have no clue that there was a portal to another dimension in my wall.

Almost three years ago, a former co-worker sent me a job ad.  I wasn't job hunting, so I immediately forwarded it to another friend who was potentially looking for work.  She called me and said that another friend we had in common (someone I went to high school with, had worked with in a law firm, and had lost touch with), was the one leaving the position (for another position in the organization) and was waiting for my resume.  I said I wasn't looking for work but wanted her to apply for the position.  She encouraged me to reconsider.  So I threw my hat in the ring.  That led to me being hired for the best job I've had in my entire life.  Over two and a half years after starting this position, I still enjoy coming to work.  I love the people.  I find the work interesting.  Even though I wasn't job hunting, this job fell into my lap for a reason.  It got me out of stressful litigation work (which I had done for 20 years, and didn't realize you didn't have to work a job where it was a nightly occurrence to wake up with a start thinking you forgot to do something), and into a job where I feel like I am actually making a difference and helping people. 

My last story will be a little bit more of an interesting path my life has followed.  The person I dated most recently lives a couple of hours away from me.  But for how we met, there probably would never have been a reason for our paths to cross.  We met "randomly" last May.  He was the pilot on one of the activities on the adventure pass Jade bought for us.  I knew Jade from the pole dance world.  We met about seven years ago on a pole dance website, and I introduced her to Twirly Girls.  We were at a Twirly Girls event a couple of years ago and we started talking more often and bonded.  I had gone through a break up with my ex and was navigating the ridiculous world of online dating apps.  I essentially hadn't been single in over a decade and she became my dating guru.  The reason I found Twirly Girls was because an old high school friend had received an email about the studio opening in Pleasanton and a group of five or six of us made an appointment to take a class in December 2009.  Everyone but Rita flaked.  Rita and I have now been Twirly Girls for almost eight years.  The reason I reconnected with that old high school friend was because she was having weight loss surgery and someone suggested me as a good resource for information, so she found me on Facebook and asked if we could meet to discuss my experience.  (On a side note, she was also indirectly the reason I ended up meeting the ex I spent six years with.)  So, quite literally, had I not been fat, had gastric bypass surgery, and ultimately found Twirly Girls and Jade, it's possible I would not have ever met the person I dated the last year and a half.  I know that will be a stretch for some of you, but I still think it is an interesting quick look at how things happen in our lives, which shape who we are, and send us in new directions.  Everything happens for a reason. 

The best thing I can do is choose to see the things that happen, and the people I meet, as lessons that help me grow and become a better person.  I can very easily get bogged down in negativity and "why me" syndrome.  Instead, I find it easier to deal with difficult times by finding the lesson, staying positive and not letting myself spiral into depression.

2 comments:

  1. I'm one of those people who doesn't care for the specific wording, everything happens for a reason. Would I argue on facebook about it, hell no. I don't argue, period. But I do believe that lessons can be learned, good things can (eventually) come from any experience, good bad or ugly.

    A job I took in Connecticut, I hated living there, couldn't wait to get out of the northeast. Had I never moved there, I probably would never have landed in the area I'm in now, thus I wouldn't have met my husband.

    Aerials. I knew about this studio back in 2013. Back when they only taught silks. If I had tried silks first, chances are good I would have quit and never tried aerials again, thus wouldn't have found lyra. The whole reason I found lyra was because I had taken up hula hoop dancing. And the whole reason I took up hula hoop was b/c I was looking for ways to work my core for roller derby. There are days I regret ever trying roller derby. But in a way, it led me to lyra.

    So yea, there are painful experiences in my life. But had they not happened, other things may not have, as well. The point, for me, is to not regret, to not get mired down in wishing those painful experiences had never happened. I can't undo them, fresh out of time machines over here. So I may as well just move forward.

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    1. Perhaps "everything that happens teaches you a life lesson and you get to choose how you're going to respond." :) I get it...it kind of feels like it is saying bad things are to punish you and good things are to reward you. I'm learning that I have more control over my response than I wanted to believe. I often let my emotions take over and can quickly start spiraling downward if I am sad. And I am seeing how often it is my own expectations, and my reaction when someone else doesn't meet the expectations I set, that is the problem -- and not someone else's behavior. Just all part of the process of seeing how everything is connected and how often I have way more control than I have given myself credit for. :)

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