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BY CHANCE, MET; BY CHOICE, FRIENDS
What if we had never met? What would your life be like? Some of you might argue that, in fact, we never HAVE met, and some of you have only met me once or twice in person, but maybe the meeting of the minds that passes for frequent contact here is enough. Maybe it counts! For all the friends I've never met, and the ones I've only met a couple of times and all the ones that used to live nearby and whom I never now see, it must count for something, right?

What if you'd never come to that meeting? What if you'd never followed that link? What if you'd chosen to go to a different school or take a different class or move to another neighborhood? What if you hadn't gotten that job at the place where I worked? What if you had, but had decided, upon a few moment's first impression, that I wasn't someone you wanted to get to know? Our past is full of such moments, missed connections, near collisions, glancing blows to our experience.

If what we are is the sum of our experiences, and all the things that have happened to us, then that includes all the people that we have met, that we have interacted with, and most especially it must include those that are kin, whether by relation or likemindedness. How much poorer my life would be without the people who happened upon it, who added to its breadth and depth and who enrich it daily.

The family that let me grow and experiment, the teachers that let me stretch my mind and creativity, the friends that let me dare and dream and do. If we had never met, my life would have been so different. I would never have learned HTML if I'd never met YOU. I would never have learned how unconventional I was at heart if I'd never met YOU. If YOU and I had never met, I wouldn't have learned how to take words and twist them in my grasp until they formed a shape that reflected my heart. Every one of you has given me something, added something to me, showed me something I didn't know, answered a need I had.

If I hadn't trusted a friend, I would never have met Anders. If I hadn't met Anders I would never have moved back to Europe, learned a new language, conceived and carried Martin and Karin. Imagine! I might have fallen in love with someone else and had some other life. Or I might never have met anyone whose heart matched my own and my life would have been infinitesimally less blessed.

What if YOU and I had never met? It's unthinkable.

Big Bouquets of Belated Birthday Wishes to vember!
 contemplative
mood: contemplative
music: Sara Bareilles—Morningside


Comments

What indeed? I often tell people that I have no regrets - not a single lousy boyfriend or boring party or health scare, because all of those things conspired to get me to this place: the house, the family, the friends. You, n particular introduced me to a whole world of people I somehow always missed not knowing here in Skåne. Thank you!

What a lovely affirmation! :) And how nice to not have any regrets!

I've said to many people in the past few years how I could never regret my marriage to my Anders because even though it was perfect at first and then deteriorated so very badly, I never would have moved to Sweden, never would have known I could even function in a second language, had my stepchildren in my heart, met so many wonderful people and finally be where I am today which, while not perfect, is still very exciting and much more interesting than the life I was leading working for the court reporters in New Mexico.

I don't think you have anything to regret about it either, other than the fact that it ended as it did, but since that was hardly your fault, regret isn't perhaps the right emotion, there.

I always think of Peggy Sue Got Married or Mr. Destiny when I have such musings! Both great what-if movies.

As much as I regret my first ex here in Sweden, if I hadn't met him, I would have never come here and eventually met Johan and had Charlie. Therefore, as much a one regrets certain things, they are all important to reach the point one is now.

Peggy Sue! I haven't seen that movie in a dog's age. :) I've never seen Mr. Destiny, will have to look that one up!

I think the meeting of minds is every bit as significant as face-to-face encounters... if not more so (depending on the minds and faces, of course). It is rather bewildering to think of all the connections that helped shape our lives. This could turn into a full-blown case of "It's a Wonderful Life" if we're not careful. :)

It is, though, isn't it? Wonderful!

I wouldn't have tried sushi if it weren't for you.

There you see?! My job here is done. :P

Thoughtful post. I'm curious who the the "YOU" is who helped you realize how unconventional at heart you are.

And it is UNTHINKABLE! I'm very glad you and I "met." You have touched my life in many ways. Thanks for being who you are Liz.

An old love :)

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

You have introduced me to so many wonderful writers that I read out here in the blogosphere. You have also made me smile, and think. This is such a thought-provoking post, it is so true everything matters. While there are instances in my life that I wish would not have happened, thinking about the absence of those experiences makes me see how much I LEARNED from them. How those difficult times taught me how to be kind in a situation that I may have been passive. Taught me how to be helpful and outgoing at times that I may have been anti-social. Taught me how to stick up for myself and know that I deserve to be treated with respect, where I may have just beat myself up. There have also been times when random acts kindness (from strangers) were like angel kisses, encouraging me and making my life more joyful. Those made me want to make someone else's day better. And on it goes. I wonder about those "missed connections" that you mentioned. What would have happened if I had sat in a different place or if I had taken a different class all together? It is such a wonder how the world works isn't it?

I love: "If YOU and I had never met, I wouldn't have learned how to take words and twist them in my grasp until they formed a shape that reflected my heart." That is it, isn't it? Figuring out how to map out what is in our hearts, so others can follow it as well. And thank you for all of your wonderful posts sharing your heart with all of us and inspiring me to live my best life.

Re: From Megsie

Thanks, Megsie. It DOES matter, indeed.

(Anonymous)

Perfect! Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)
I agree with you!

I've thought about this many times too. I had good friends in the 90s that I could not imagine not meeting- but what if I hadn't been hired (there was a director who left the day care and came back after I was hired...she would not have hired me, as she treated me poorly, and let it be known she did not like me) there? They really were good to me, inviting me to holiday dinners and graduation parties...making me feel like family. But...years later, it was mostly over. And then what? I missed them so much. Still do, though I am in contact with her a little...long story.

But now! Oh now! I am in a new city. Going to Grad school (think I told you this?). Yesterday, my new classmates, 10 of us, went out to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday! It was so cool. I am NEVER in the center of an activity. They sang me Happy Birthday and one of my classmates from Twain sang it in her language!

So, what if I hadn't moved here?! I would not have had 10 people celebrating- in old town I didn't have a group of people to ask!

My long answer to you, is if we didn't meet, so many good things wouldn't happen. Though, eventually, other good things would happen, and other good people would come into our lives. But still! I am glad to be where I am...

And glad to have met you here too!
Joy

Re: I agree with you!

It sounds like you are in a good place :) You are right, that no matter what our choices, they can lead to good things and new friends, and perhaps, even though we have it good now, we might have had it even better with a different choice but we'll never know, will we? And even so, to think that we might have missed what we DO have is, ultimately, unthinkable.

(Anonymous)
Re: I agree with you!

Yeah, what we would have missed (and known we'd missed) out weighs what we don't know what would have happened. Even the heart aches as mentioned, have a way of guiding us/ leading us to the good things. The lessons learned are great and how could we be who we are without them?

Thanks for this post.
Joy

(Anonymous)
Joy again

Taiwan! My friend is from Taiwan. Opps.

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