Do you believe in miracles? Of course you maybe do or don't!
In my 28 years on the third rock from the sun (not the TV show, I mean Earth), I've experienced a lot that has truly blown my mind. Outside of once putting a blow dryer too close to my ear, some these experiences include the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in 48 years, the fact that I've been to Israel on Birthright, and that I once saw a blue car. However, coincidences in which I unexpectedly see people I know are the most amazing moments to me.
I know I'm not alone in this feeling, because when it happens to my dad, he actually writes them down and keeps track of them. Basically, he's keeping track of the universe. If only he had hitchhiked and talked about the galaxy more, he could have written some sort of guide or something. But like my father, I like to appreciate the fantastic and incredible moments in my life, especially when they involve running into someone I know, not only when it's completely unexpectedly, but also when it's in a faraway land. As you'll see, the faraway lands in this blog piece include Minnesota, Milwaukee and O'Hare.
I often fly for work. As would be the case, in this first … case, my flight was cancelled due to people forgetting that Chicago is home to inclement weather. Because of this, I had to book a new flight on an airline I don't usually fly. This new flight was, of course, delayed. I had had enough, so I went to the bar, and as I flashed my ID to the bartender, the man next to me noticed my University of Iowa college ID (from 10 years ago) that is (still) in my wallet. And it just so happens that a gentleman next to me was a history professor there. He too was delayed. Of course, we hit it off immediately, though the bartender was none too pleased that we were hitting things off of his bar. But the point is, so much had to happen perfectly to lead up to that chance meeting to give me an experience I will never forget. But wait, the next two are bigger, better and more personal.
I was on a weekend excursion in the mystical utopia of Milwaukee when who should I run into but an old friend that I hadn't seen a couple years. Now this friend is no ordinary friend. This is Scott, who asked not to be mentioned by name. You all know Scott, for he is great. It's why we call him Great Scott. (No one calls him that.) The thing is, he doesn't live in Milwaukee either. So the fact is, it was absolutely unbelievable that we ran into each other in Milwaukee by happenstance. (I didn't have a chair so I couldn't be happensitting.)
As you well know by now being an avid reader of my blog posts, I am an introvert and usually I will go out of my way to avoid people, but Scott is one of the few people who I would go in my way to not avoid. In fact, the experience was so incredible that it literally inspired me to write this piece. But yet, there is one more coincidence that must be told.
Me with Great Scott. Look at the love in that hug. Mostly so you stop looking at my butt in that hug.
Of all places, one of the most incredible coincidences in my life took place at the Minneapolis airport. I was coming home from a work trip, just milling about in front of the gate when I saw my uncle. Not just any uncle, but the brother of my father, my father who keeps track of the coincidences of the universe! All the more interesting, my uncle was only on the flight because of things that happened at the last possible moment for him. But here's the kicker (which was luckily not the child in the seat behind me): Not only were we on the same plane coming from a city we both don't live in, but we were also in the aisle seats in the exact same row on the same plane coming from a city we both don't live in. That's right, we sat right across from each other without any knowledge that each one of us would be flying to Chicago from Minneapolis that day. My mind cannot even fathom the odds.
Me and my Uncle. Separated by an aisle. Bonded by realizing they'll let anyone onto planes these days.
I believe in the Butterfly Effect, which says that the smallest change can have an everlasting ripple effect in future events. I can't comprehend how perfectly every moment leading up to that moment had to be in that absolute correct order in which they took place to make that coincidence happen. It is impressively mind-boggling, and my mind is the only part of me that I'm impressed with when it is boggled.
When it comes to these situations, some people say "it's a small world." When I'm involved, some people will just say, "Adam, stop singing 'It's A Small World.'" But whether you believe everything happens for a reason or not, those times when the chance odds of crossing paths with someone seem so astronomically slim, and yet they still occur are so special. Especially when both me and the coincidencee (I am the coincidencer in this case) are far removed our homes and the usual circles in which our lives operate.
I feel it's important to take note of these moments, because other than my birth, they are the life moments most unlikely to ever happen again. These, my fellow, dashingly attractive Oy! readers, are some of the moments truly worth remembering. Well, that and the blue car.