Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.
— Lawrence Block
Serendipity is one of my favorite words. It describes the “happy accidents” that occur in our lives.
For instance, in high school, I had a casual friend who was supposed to be moving far away over the summer. We had a lot in common, and I was sad that we weren’t going to get to know one another better.
One evening, someone accidentally rang the doorbell as they were attempting to move a sofa into the newly-rented apartment across the hall. As the two burly men apologized for disturbing me, the other door opened and there stood my friend who had, not only stayed in the area, but was now my neighbor and would become a close friend.
Recently, another friend had, seemingly, dropped off the planet. Every number I had for her was disconnected. We have also been friends since high school and have shared the many highs and lows of our lives through the years. I was worried and confused.
One afternoon, my daughter and I were in the neighborhood her father had lived in when we were in high school. The only way I would remember the street to turn on was if the carwash that was dilapidated way back then, was still there. It was – and still dilapidated. I turned down the street and instantly remembered the house I hadn’t seen in thirty years. A man just happened to be standing in the garage.
“Wendell? Do you remember me?” I asked, walking toward him.
“Of course,” he said, “You have great timing.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s due in this evening,” he said, as if I knew what the heck he was talking about.
“Due in? From where?”
“Idaho,” he announced. “They moved about eight months ago.”
Eight months ago. That is just about the time I started my search. It also turned out that Wendell wasn’t supposed to be home that afternoon, but he had a job cancellation. Serendipity.
A couple of years ago I was faced with my first Christmas after the death of my mother. Although I was trying to keep a brave face, secretly I was worried that it was going to be too much to bear. And then I got an email from the second boy I ever dated. That same week I got an email from the FIRST boy I ever dated. They had both found me on Classmates.com (where I had been a member for four silent years!). They both reentered my life, telling me how often they had thought of me through the years; serving as the perfect distraction to my holiday dread. Serendipity.
Yesterday, as I was searching the online classifieds, I received an email from Meetup.com telling me of a local web marketers group that was meeting this morning. They were featuring two speakers who were going to extol the virtues of WordPress and teach advanced skills and plug-ins. I went. Even though some of it was beyond my realm, it ignited even more curiosity about this strange new world in which I’ve stumbled. Fascinating. Exciting. Serendipity.
But here is what I know about serendipity: you have to have your eyes and heart open. When you say to yourself, “I wonder if I could…” or “So and So is on my mind, I wonder where…” or “I wonder how you do such and such…”, heed wonder’s call; some “happy accident” is sure to be around the corner just waiting to draw you into this wonder-filled world and answering needs and questions you didn’t even know you had.