Serendipity, it’s one of my favorite words. It’s such a nice sound for what it means: a fortunate accident.Sara thomas, serendipity
The impetus for our latest trip to New York City was for me to attend a Blog Writing seminar at Gotham Writers. I had been looking for a class on my new favorite endeavor for a while when I stumbled onto this workshop. This particular class at Gotham Writers was also offered in July and I did wonder if I should wait until we had our move to Pennsylvania behind us. Another reason I hesitated before entering my credit card information was that I have attended workshops in the past that left me thinking, “Are you kidding, I paid for this???” Despite the misgivings, Mr. Smith and I decided a trip to New York City was worth it no matter how the workshop turned out, so I hit the “Enroll” button and we started making plans for our weekend. We drove into the city on Friday afternoon through rain and snow but were greeted by the sun on Saturday morning. The walk through midtown Manhattan to my class in the Paramount Building on Broadway required sunglasses. When I entered the classroom that sunny, crisp morning, the above quote was stenciled on the wall. I hoped it was a sign.
My instructor was stimulating and professional. The other participants were a fascinating and delightful cross-section of women of all different ages and interests. We discussed concept, content, knowing your audience and much, much more. The seven hours flew by. It did feel a bit serendipitous that after months of procrastination on signing up for anything, I had landed with this group. If I had waited until July, I wouldn’t have met Becky who writes a blog for military families focused on the challenges to the family of the frequent relocations or Elizabeth who writes a blog on China Law and Policy from a perspective other than old white male. And we are all eagerly awaiting Patricia’s post on the difference between parmigiana cheese and its very distant cousin parmesan.
I think of myself as a pragmatic person. Merriam Webster defines pragmatic as: Relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters: practical as opposed to idealistic. Why would a pragmatic person read a movie quote stenciled on a wall and hope it was a sign? I’m toying with the thought that perhaps the “sign” to me that day was that I have reached the point in life where I don’t need to be so damn practical and can be more open to the fortunate accidents that life presents. I can follow my fancy a bit more and not worry that I’m not “accomplishing” something.
Do you believe in Serendipity? American novelist, Elizabeth Berg, wrote in The Year of Pleasures, “Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked.” Could it be that once we find our intention and follow it, all sorts of possibilities will appear?
C’est la vie.