Ever wonder if your life is random or deliberate? Are we all living out a script that has perhaps already been written for us since time began?
I've been telling people since I was old enough to talk that I picked my mom to be my mom before I was born. I still believe that.
There are people I meet who are so familiar to me. My soul recognizes them instantly and there is a rich, deep connection. It's as though I have known them more than a lifetime. They are friends of mine that have always been.
I squint my eyes and think long and hard and try to remember them from before I met them.
Sometimes when I'm walking down a crowded sidewalk I wonder if I could have met or seen any of those people before. Masses of seemingly unfamiliar faces passing me by completely unaware of my presence and me of theirs. But perhaps I have connected with a few of those faces before. Perhaps we met while on vacation somewhere. Or maybe we have driven behind each other on the highway or they are a cousin to someone I know or I went to kindergarden with them or I read their blog or we've exchanged emails back and forth.
A friend and I have an agreement to pay the other person $20 if either of us runs into someone we know while we're on vacation together. It will happen at some time or another. I really believe that. I want to be the one who wins.
(not for the $20 but I want to run into someone I know in some obscure place far, far away.)
In 1987, I drove up to Seattle from San Francisco all by myself. Between Shasta, California and Centralia, Washington, I noticed the same car passing me at times and other times, I would pass them, but we drove alongside, behind and in front of each other for a long stretch of hours. They were my traveling buddies. Then... without any warning, they exited off the highway without even a wave or a toot-toot of the horn.
I remember missing them the rest of my drive. I thought they could at least motion to me through the window that they were exiting. Give me the option to exit, too. I laughed when I just wrote that. What a silly imagination. But their traveling beside me really did help me feel safe and the journey didn't seem as long. They were like my angel friends. Unknown people who help me on my way.
I believe our life is lot like that journey. There are people just like the travelers, who come into our lives at a particular time and they complete the job they are supposed to do and then move on. Others stay the course; we can not imagine not having each other in our lives at all times.
There's another set of friends we disconnect just for a time. Be it a marriage or a move or a life change that has distracted us being friends for a time. I really believe we will all be connected again.
Have you ever dreamed of someone you haven't thought of in years, and the following day you bump into them at a grocery store. Or they call you on the phone. See what I mean?
A couple years after I solo-drove to Seattle, I was flying home from a business trip in Chicago ... but stopped in Denver to spend New Years with a friend in Aspen. It was a fun flight; the plane was nearly empty so the flight attendants passed out complimentary champagne to everyone while we sang auld lang syne. I sat next to a woman who worked for Hewlett-Packard. Two years later, I am on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco and in mid-flight, she turns around in her seat and sees me sitting there across the aisle and behind her one row. She says, "Weren't you on that fun flight to Denver with me?!"
Such a small world! We talked a few minutes, waved and went on. But that wasn't the end of it. Maybe it was another year or two that had passed and I boarded a crowded airport shuttle to take me home when I see her sitting there next to an empty seat. We both recognized each other instantly and she motions for me to sit with her. She still worked for Hewlett-Packard but had gotten a job transfer near my home. What a coincidence! Again! She handed me her business card and I told her I would show her around town. I meant to call her. But. I got busy and the house needed cleaning and I had to do laundry and go on that road trip and eventually I misplaced her business card and time went on.
Later that year, while reading the newspaper, I read about a horrible car accident and a woman was killed. I recognized her name as the same woman I kept meeting over and over again. The shock and sadness soaked my shirt.
Who was she? Why did we keep meeting in so many different places? What did that mean? Would my life be different if we ever became friends? Is my life already different because we missed that connection?
Friends in my life. Friends for all time. Friends still unknown and unmet. You and I. We are connected. And I appreciate you. More than you'll ever know.