I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. And if you give it enough time, you can usually figure out what that reason is. I also believe that each of us is set on a course headed toward a certain destination and nothing you can do is going to change that. You may think that your actions are altering things, but no matter how you travel there or how many detours you take along the way, you always end up exactly where you are supposed to be.
I often ponder this when I think back on how J and I ended up together. We first met when I was a senior in high school and went on a recruiting trip to Cornell, where he was a sophomore. I was 17 and had dreams of working in Media and J was the only thrower at Cornell who was enrolled in a Communications course that semester. So, by default, I ended up spending the day with him. He took me to class and then on a never-ending tour of Cornell's very hilly campus (note: I could rock those hills now, but back then I was an overweight non-runner).
Despite, J's very interesting tour, Cornell wasn't the place for me and I ended up at the University of Pennsylvania. J and I would continue to cross paths for the next two years (Penn and Cornell are kind of rivals), but we never spoke again and I am pretty sure he had no recollection of who I was.
Then in April of 2002, at the end of my sophomore year and his senior year, we both were selected to compete as members of the Penn-Cornell team, which would travel to England to compete two months later. I was crazy excited (it was my first trip out of the United States). But just a few weeks later, on May 15, my father passed away unexpectedly. It was such a hard time and I contemplated not going. But my mother insisted. She probably knew it would do me good to get away.
So, I went and two days into the trip, J and I started dating. Everything happened so fast. It was fun and spontaneous and so completely unlike my "normal" life. It was something I would have typically shied away from, but things kind of sucked at that point and I figured that even if it ended badly I couldn't hurt more that I already did. But, it didn't end badly. In fact, it was pretty perfect and by the time that we returned home I knew that I was going to marry him.
And when I look back on it now, I think about all the things that tried to work against us. The things that could have kept us from ending up together. What if I had gone to Cornell? Would he have seen me the same way? What if I decided to give up my spot on the trip? Would we have crossed paths again? What if my father hadn't passed? Would I have been as open to the possibility of dating J or would I have let fear win out? I guess I'll never know. Either way, I truly believe that the sequence of events in the weeks and years prior, brought me to that exact point. It was where I needed to be and I was in a mental state that allowed it to happen.
And that is why I don't fight the power or sweat the small stuff. I have faith that things will work themselves out in due time. That you need to look for the signs, pay attention to what is around you and to take the detours when you need to. The path is already there for you. You just need to find the means of travel that work best for you.