LIFE IS NOT A FORMULA
Here’s the thing about life. All my life, I want to be in control of everything. I’ll be fixated on a certain outcome, and I thought life is a formula. By doing XX as input, like every quantifiable equation, I’ll automatically receive XX as output. For example, as humans, we believe that by putting so-and-so amount of hard work, we will automatically get that promotion or reach that goal… and then what?
Of course, there’s things like, like learning if I trained hard, I would be able to run at a better pace than my last best time; I would be able to run longer distances. Improvement made me happy.
But what made me feel those small moments of happiness a little bit more, is when I decided to go for a run in my neighbourhood, and in that split second, deciding which direction to take or maybe taking a little detour. It is letting life decide for me where to go, without a plan. I realized, that when I ran and I expected certain conditions to apply or followed a route and it didn’t go exactly as planned, I’d be left with disappointment.
Like life itself, It took rewiring my brain and a trip to Europe, to understand, that 1+2 is not always 3. My trip to Europe was one of the precursors to changing my mindset because that was truly when I learned to lighten up on my planner’s mindset. I learned to embrace adventure as it comes, and find happiness through life’s little surprises.
Europe is also one of the reasons I got my ‘Serendipity’ tattoo.
Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.
So, today it is about Serendipity. Not Europe either (although I’ve talked immensely about it), but about San Francisco and how serendipity has weaved its way around how things happen in life for me.
Last year, I experienced one of my most painful breakups in my history of relationships at age 26. It’s the kind that makes you change your perspective on how everything works in life. The kind, that makes you grow up, and wonder about WHAT THE HECK and WHO THE HELL is truly important. It’s also the first time, I realized, that no matter how much I love and how much work I put into a relationship, it won’t give you the outcome you want because life is funny like that.
Last year, I also swore, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else until April 2017, because I for some reason set out in my head arbitrarily (Les, you’ve got to stop planning) that was when I would be my complete self again, ready again to accept a partnership in a positive way.
Well, in January 2017, that all went out the window, and so did some of the other things I swore I would never commit again.
I MET MOOSE.
Moose, is my current boyfriend. He’s the kind of boyfriend who makes sense in the moment. The kind of boyfriend who took me by surprise because life likes to throw you curveballs… and make people creep up on you when you least suspect it.
Like the plot of a romance movie, the two main protagonists never really meet until later on. But of course, there were a few moments when they would’ve met if not for XX and X.
So, in my process of rediscovering myself, I decided to try out this online dating app, called Bumble. Of course, in my non-committal phase of life, I was only interested in meeting people for the sake of meeting interesting, quirky, adventurous people who would teach me new things about the world… and those people just so happen to be out of town.
One day, I connected with someone on Bumble. And like every girl on the dating app, I of course get a lot of matches, sometimes I’d take them seriously, sometimes I didn’t.
But this one caught my eye, because he’s from San Francisco. It was a place I had thought about moving to, for various reasons and of course, he was pretty good looking too. It didn’t hurt to connect, right?
So we connected, on a fine Summer day, and we chatted. Mostly, I was giving travel tips to this man who was from out of town and visiting Vancouver with his friends. Like any good hostess, and ambassador, I of course was not able to meet up. I did give some darn good tips though because I’m a foodie and adventurer.
So, while I was hiking Joffre Lake, the trip ended for him and it was time for him to go back home to US of A, and that was also the end of our mini-stream of texting conversation.
Life continues as normal. My life is jam packed with things I am doing to grow myself, for personal discovery. I was playing volleyball 3 times a week, running a half marathon. I went to Europe.
Little did I realize, that through all of this, that we’re both still connected and subconsciously following each other on other aspects of social media as we both embarked on our personal journeys in life and the world.
I loved Europe, and I needed more travel in my life. I needed to see San Francisco, because I needed to really see if it was THAT wonderful as everyone had dubbed it. So one day in November, I decided in the spur of a moment, I would book a plane ticket to San Francisco.
This whole personal/self discovery journey was also coming to a head. I learned the essence of serendipity, and wanted to remember it by something. So, one fine day, I took a walk down the hipster part of town in Main Street. I decided to go for a coffee at 49th Parallel and get the famous Lucky’s Donut, as part of my solo-date and I did something completely unplanned and uncalled for.
I decided to get the word ‘Serendipity’ tattooed on my arm, because I walked into a new tattoo shop on my walk home, and it somehow called out to me. When I walked in with the intent to ask for a consultation, they actually had a spot open up, and in the spur of the moment, I decided to do it. To get my first tattoo ever, although I’ve thought about it repeatedly for the past 5 years.
It felt great. I felt that rush of decisiveness I had loved when I finally am able to check something off my bucket list.
The whole time, as I continued on with my mini-adventures, I’ve reached out to the guy from San Francisco on Instagram where we’re connected for a few tips, too. After all, shouldn’t he return the favour since I gave him such wonderful tips while he was here?
So intermittently, we’d send a few direct messages here and there, until one day a notification pops up on Snapchat for new friends suggestion. San Francisco guy was one of the suggestions, and I decided to add him because more points didn’t hurt!
You have one new notification.
I looked at what it was, and it was a notification from San Francisco guy. He had made his way to New York, and he was visiting the bar from How I Met Your Mother! I loved that show, and was intrigued to chat more.
Soon, our chats turned into late night phone calls that lasted for hours, and soon instead of tips, San Francisco guy was helping me plan bits and pieces of the trip and even offered to pick up my friends and I from the airport.
I didn’t know it then, but through our conversations, I had developed some good feelings for this guy who I ALMOST MET. And because his name has some correlation with a certain Moose in Canadian Broadcasting, I’ve started to refer to him as MOOSE.
I had arbitrarily made up a list of things I wanted in a someone if I were to date again, and he seemed to fit the bill and proving it more so from every interaction we had since we first started chatting. Of course, I didn’t know it fully at that time because I had never looked at the list again since I’ve made it months ago.
It was December 23rd, and it was time.
I flew to San Francisco, and he came to the airport to find me. That was the first time we laid eyes on each other. That was also the first time I had offered him yogurt and expressing to him several frustrations with the delays my group had experienced due to holiday travel.
Awkward first meeting, right? Even by the standard of online dating. Usually it is a coffee chat or something casual. But this guy had offered to spend three full days with me, and with my friends and sister hanging around AND he ate from the yogurt cup I had ate out of too, within the first 10 minutes of meeting.
The rest, I’d have to tell at a different time, because serendipity are a collection of serendipitous moments, and this is just the beginning.