I’ve been thinking a lot today about cause and effect. Why things happen, why things don’t. I really dislike the saying that ‘everything happens for a reason.’ I’ve heard this time and time again (usually around funerals… or after break-ups or something), and I never believe the person saying it. I don’t really think that most life moments are just predetermined cogs in a grand machine. People talk about destiny, about fate. The romantic in me wants to believe that, but the realist in me doesn’t buy it.
Man, this sounds like a depressing post already but it’s not. There’s nothing sad going on, nothing I’m being melodramatic about. I got to talking with a coworker today about what her options were for colleges. Three different schools, three different choices, three different life paths. That got me thinking about what would’ve happened in my life if I’d chosen differently.
I start thinking about the ripple effect that has brought me to where I am at this exact moment in my life. I was born in South Carolina but my parents didn’t stay there. I was born 3 months early, but I lived, while another boy in the same predicament as me did not. My family moved to Pittsburgh and have stayed here, despite my Dad almost having to uproot us to Kansas when I was in high school. I chose to quit gymnastics after 10th grade and took up marching band for good.
I went to a small college in Erie because it felt comfortable. I left that behind after one year to go to an Ohio school four hours away from my hometown. I kissed someone I probably shouldn’t have while I was there. I switched my major three different times. I took internships that were sometimes unpaid and contemplated staying in Ohio due to no other job options.
I got my first post-college job back in Pittsburgh at a place that eventually broke me. I dated a guy who I eventually broke up with because I just knew there was no future there. I was unemployed for a while. I found a new job. I met an amazing guy that I’ve been with for over two years now. I moved out of my parents house and into a townhouse with roommates. After that lease finished, I finally moved into a place of my very own.
And now I’m 26, and it’s almost Thanksgiving, and I guess I’m thankful for all these choices. These wrong turns. These twists of fate. Because they brought me to now. Right now.