I was talking with someone a while ago and we were trading funny stories about our pasts when she observed that I must be really unlucky for having so many things happen to me. I paused for a moment, a bit taken aback. Was I really that unlucky?
Then I realized, if I can have that many “unlucky” things happen to me and still be around to laugh and tell stories about some of them, maybe I’m actually really lucky.
Several years back, I took a class called “Moments of Serendipity” from the Physics department. Each class focused on a serendipitous discovery in math or science, where someone’s experiment went drastically wrong or in a direction no one could have foreseen and they ended up learning something new they weren’t even looking for. Penicillin, silly putty, post-it notes anyone?
Looking back over my past, and knowing that I’m probably not going to be changing all that much in my future, I know more stuff in my life will probably go wrong. Hopefully, though, I’ll end up with some more serendipitous moments where I end up in a new place I didn’t necessarily intend to go, but is much better than I what I had planned.