Do you ever look back on life and know that certain things happened for a certain reason? Like the path that you took was meant to be and guided by outside forces you have no knowledge of? Sometimes I like to think about these moments and consider how different my life would be without them. But it always ends the same – I wouldn't change a thing. The decisions I've made have always let me exactly where I need to go. Faced with the uncertainty of the future this is a small comfort. This doesn't mean that my life has been without struggle… Because I've had my fair share. But these moments driven by fate have brought some of the most important people in my life to me. It's easy to look back and wish you had done something differently. To wish you hadn't taken the long road and instead had chosen the appropriate shortcuts to get where you needed to go. But it's this meandering path that led me to places and people I could never ever regret.
Take Mike for example. This past February we celebrated our six year anniversary. It's crazy to think that we've been together for so long. That we've survived two deployments to the Middle East and three internships in three different cities across America. But when I think back to when we met it's easy to forget that one single decision would've kept us from ever meeting. When faced with my college decision I arguably took the easy way out. The safe way out. I chose UMBC to be close to home but also a small part of me chose that school to stay close to my high school boyfriend, a relationship that didn't last very long. But it was this high school boyfriend of mine who had a roommate freshman year who's best friend just happened to be Mike. I continued to date this high school boyfriend for another year and it wasn't until the year after we broke up that Mike and I finally started talking. Only a few months later I transferred to University of Cincinnati which is undoubtedly my dream school. This was the school I should've chosen all long. The program is amazing and the experience was one I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's easy to argue that I should've gone to University of Cincinnati from the beginning. But if I had never gone to UMBC I never would've met Mike and that's one decision that I will never regret. It was one small decision that created a domino effect that led me to the love my life. How could anyone regret something like that?
Another person who I couldn't imagine my life without was another person I met in the two years I spent at UMBC. You see, I was assigned a random roommate and in the beginning everything went well. However the honeymoon phase couldn't last forever and our relationship quickly devolved into a tense dynamic of lies and spying. But I wouldn't trade this time… this crazy crazy time… spent with my freshman roommate for anything. It was because of her and her crazy antics that I grew closer with my suitemate. The girl next-door who I shared the bathroom with and who had a nightmare roommate of her own. This is how I met Meagan and she became one of the best friends I've ever had. That very next year we moved in together and so began what I have no doubt will be a lifelong friendship. We fell into an effortless roommate dynamic. It’s never been hard to live with her and we fit together like ying and yang. It’s remarkable stuff I tell you. From then till now we've shared Chick-fil-A meals, two apartments (one a single room and the other far larger), tons of laughs, a wedding (hers) and now this blog. I love Meagan so much and I could never regret the time spent with my crazy roommate that led me to her and a friendship to last a lifetime.
My next moment of fate happened in Cincinnati during my time at UC. Part of my program was completing 5 internships at different companies. I already had two internships under my belt at a company in San Francisco where I spent months in a west coast paradise doing awesome career building work. However when it came time to do my next internship, things didn’t go exactly how I wanted them to. After a series of interviews, I had a few companies interested in me. Only thing was, my last choice ended up being the first company to offer me the job. I wasn’t exactly in the position to say no, so that summer I started a job in Cincinnati that I wasn’t all that excited about. I felt as if I had missed out on so many other jobs that would have pushed my career in the direction I wanted in cities I would have died to work in. Frankly, I was pretty bummed about it. But that first day of internship, my cubicle ended up being next to a person who’s become so outrageously important to me. My disappointment in my internship manifested itself into the type of friendship that feels more like finding my soulmate. Sarah is my other half in more ways than one, from both being gemini to almost always having the exact same thoughts about any given subject. That summer was the start a friendship that was built in the outdoor patio of Neons and on the dance floor of Japps. From the chat system at work to instagram stories and snapchats today, we’ve always kept in touch whether we’re 2 feet or 500 miles apart. Talking to Sarah feels like talking to my long lost twin and I don’t care how many miles are between us or how many regrets I have about the internships I missed out on, I’ll never regret the summer I spent working in the Queen City with her.
See these moments, these decisions and experiences I easily could have regretted, I never ever will. Fate turned so many of these moments into some of the most important people in my life and for that I’m eternally grateful. Sometimes it may seem like we made a mistake or life dealt us an unfair hand. But I don’t think that’s the case. We’re meant to go through struggles and take meandering paths because along the way we meet people to go on that journey with us. The kind of people who make the journey enjoyable no matter how hard or how long it is. Once you find those people, you hold them close because you really wouldn’t be you without them.