Serendipity - I don't think that means what you think it means

I think that sometimes people see coincidence and think "that's serendipity!" Like being broke and finding a twenty in a coat pocket. But serendipity isn't just a beneficial coincidence. I mean how many times have you been broke, found some money and then been broke again just as quick. It's not just needing something and then finding something. It's when you've stopped even looking and then SURPRISE you get something even better than what you stopped looking for.

Imagine that you were broke, and you'd been so for a long time, so long that you'd given up on trying to get ahead, trying to save, or trying to make more money. Then one day you're in line buying your meager groceries and the guy in front of you, who's obviously in a hurry, is short a buck. So even though your broke you offer to give him a dollar so he can be on his way and you can be on yours. In exchange he gives you the only thing of value he has, a lottery ticket. Which ends up winning the jackpot the next day. If you can hold onto the money it becomes serendipity... you weren't looking for it and then it comes along by coincidence and benefits your life. Versus mere coincidence that has no longer lasting effect or benefit.

I look at my life lately and see more serendipity than I ever have in the past. Maybe the people in my life are forcing me to look more toward the positives than I have. Maybe it's nothing more than my mind trying to find reason and meaning in random events that just so happened to have brought be into good fortune lately. But I'm a dreamer. I like the idea of karma and magic and serendipity.

This won't be a shock to anyone reading my blog, but a few years ago I was looking for friends. I went out a few times, met some nice people, but couldn't seem to get anything to stick. Then, coincidentally, I became close to one of my wife's friends. I kept looking at it as perfect. As if it were serendipity. But it wasn't. It was coincidence. We had some common interests and generally enjoyed talking. However, there was no real benefit to our relationship. She wasn't any better off for it than I was and in many ways we were worse off. So the end was pretty swift and maybe it ended just like it needed to so that I stopped looking and stopped trying to create the perfect friendship or find that person who exactly fits some fantasy friend.

After that friendship ended I was forced to take a step back. I stopped looking. Not only that but I sort of closed myself off to the idea of meeting new people completely. Now, years later, by luck or accident or serendipity I made two new friends in a very short time. But unlike my previous attempts I'm not telescoping every move, I'm not planning, and I'm not picking apart how these people fit in my life. I'm choosing to take them both as a blessing and a comfort to me. They benefit me greatly. One shares my neurosis and I find comfort in that. The other tries to get me to face those neurosis and be a better person, and I love her for that.

So whether it's merely coincidence or serendipity, I'm not worried too much. Right now, because I feel the benefit, and because I'm just generally in a better mood, I see serendipity, but I'm not going ruin things with too much analysis. When I have time with my friends I will enjoy it no matter how it came about or how brief it is, and when they are not here I will remember the good times while I wait for their inevitable return. I choose today to believe that things happen for a reason, even if I only believe it because believing in randomness seems too depressing.