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How easily our lives could have gone differently

Do you ever think about that? I think about it a lot.

I met my wife when I was 15. She didn’t go to my school but she was friends with a girl I sat next to in math class. I was in a chat room with that girl on a lazy Saturday afternoon when my future wife joined.

Everything about my life ended up depending on moment. My kids, my career, my house, my wife, the college I went to, the car I drive, how I spend my free time, who I spend it with, the food I eat, the clothes I wear. Everything.

I would have gone to a different college and never found the CS course that decided my career path. I would be single or with someone that I wouldn’t like as much. Would I have different kids? What would they look like, those little strangers? Would they also argue about who gets to sit next to me on the couch?

Who knows where I’d be living, what I’d be doing, what I’d want out of life, what I’d be missing.

Who knows what I’m missing now?

And yeah I know, the butterfly effect is a thing that people have been talking about for decades. But this is my life. It’s all I’ve got. And everything about it came from my seat in math class and an afternoon when I was bored enough to join a chat room.

Sometimes life just slips in through a back door, and carves out a person and makes you believe it’s all true.

She Used To Be Mine, Sara Bareilles

Or should I go back further? Was it that my parents moved to a neighborhood zoned for that high school before I was born? Was it that my parents met each other in the first place, at the same college that I ended up going to?

There are so many things that had to happen just so to make us who we are. Too many things. How did I ever feel like I had power over my life, when it could be decided by a chat room on a bored Saturday afternoon in high school? How lucky am I to be happy with the life that chat room gave me?


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