If I needed to describe the past year in a single word, I would use either spontaneity or coincidence—both encapsulate how crazy surprising life can be. For me, 2014 has been unpredictable, full of fun, friends, and growth.
In a few of my social circles, I end up playing the role of activity planner. As my friends and I are older and more ‘responsible’, it’s tough to balance everyone’s schedules sometimes, so I’ve just found it much easier to play things by ear. During the spring and early summer, we planned a ton of movie trips and concert attendances just a day or so in advance and it usually worked out really well.
After I found out about the plant closing, I had the opportunity to really explore. Belize and Peru were planned and booked just a few weeks in advance; I went with no super concrete plans. For Peru, I basically just booked my flights into and out of the country along with a hostel for the first few nights for altitude adjustment. While I had set distinct goals of visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, I left the details like when and how I would go flexible. If I hadn’t done this, I probably wouldn’t have gone white river rafting, which ended up being a huge highlight.
While I was able to live whimsically and carefree on a journey of global exploration and self-reflection for a few months, there were parts of the year that made the world seem very small indeed. It may sound a bit self-centered, but it almost felt as if fate had a hand in crafting some of the coincidences I encountered… 😛
Just a few weeks ago, I crashed at George and Chia’s condo that they just bought in SF. The next morning, Tiffany was able to get out of the office for a bit, so we decided to grab lunch. Since Chia works from home, she was able to come too and meet Tiffany. It turns out that Tiffany’s boyfriend was the last tenant in the unit that they bought, right before the previous owner decided to sell. It was a pretty ridiculous situation. In another instance, I was literally just walking down the streets of Chicago, going to meet my friend Stephanie for lunch. Of the 2.7 million people living in the city, my friend David was sitting outside at a restaurant and called me over. I last saw him when I was living in Wisconsin, almost three years ago. The crazy thing is that almost the exact same thing it happened again, this past week. This time though, it was my friend Chris, who was David’s roommate back in Wisconsin, and I ran into him on the blue line at 9 in the morning, haha. One last Wisconsin connection—I was at a nightclub, celebrating a friend’s wedding after party, and out on the floor I run into Miles, who worked with David and Chris. It is a small world indeed.
A lot of the friendships I “made” this year were more like rekindling of acquaintances. There are a surprising number of people from my high school out in Boston. I found that even if we didn’t hang out in many of the same circles back in the day, it was super easy to connect again and have fun together. We all have a ridiculous number of mutual friends (a given with a class size of 184 and total school size of 640…), have fairly common interests, and can reminisce together about the good ole days.
I feel that social media has an amplifying effect on the generation of coincidences. I had a ton of visitors come to the Boston area this year… some of them I learned about through Facebook. One of the best coincidences to happen through social-type media came through email on a national mailing list that I’m on. I almost always just delete emails from this list without reading them. However, this time, I decided to open it and saw that some guy named Alan was moving to Boston for a year of residency. My roommate, Deep just happened to be moving out due to a job rotation, so the timing was perfect and I figured I would reach out. Alan moved in and it was a start of a really fun era—we got along really well and had some great times together before he moved out to NYC this year.
Honestly, 2014 was a really abnormal year. I definitely could not have predicted even an eighth of the things that ended up happening. I feel absolutely blessed to have the support of the best family ever and the most fantastic friends anybody can ask for. We’ve had good times together this past year, have learned and grown a lot, even if there are really troubling things happening in the greater world.
Here’s to the future—may 2015 be even better than 2014!