Seemingly Random Specific Occurrences

I don’t believe in coincidence all the time. Sometimes sure, things are just so wonky you chalk it up to coincidence, but a lot of the time I find something that feels like a coincidence is just a precursor before everything else falls into place.

Like today, for instance. This morning was a calm morning like any other, I was checking the news before the day’s tasks picked up. I reached for the coffee I’d brought from home and warmed (excessively) in the microwave without looking (how hard is it for an adult to pick up a cup, right?) and I watched the next ten seconds in slow motion: a loud CLINK of ceramic on fake wood desk, the coffee loping over the fallen edge and all over my sweater and jeans before I could even say “Uh oh.” Barely 9am and not only am I pretty sure I’m burned from my stomach to the top of my thigh, but I’m now facing a full day of sitting in coffee-stained clothing, or popping to Anthropologie at the Market to spend way too much on clothing I don’t need. Great choices, right? As I took a deep breath and tried to figure out next steps, I realized last week I left a bag of clothes here, the infamous bag that had my keys at one point too. A dress and a denim jacket that miraculously match the shoes I put on this morning. Problem solved.

Tuesday I was scrolling through old entries. I came across A Story, One Year Later, and read through it a few times for a few reasons. Tuesday was two years since a day that was supposed to be a date turned into a Saturday Funday, as Facebook reminded me via a picture I still remember C taking of me, R and H at Boat Basin on a beautiful May afternoon. I reminisced about reading magazines over and over on the subway and realized I haven’t been reading the same way since I stopped getting those magazines, and then I tried to remember the last time I went anywhere without my headphones, and honestly, I can’t. I chalked it up to a weird coincidence, that I would find that entry on that exact day, and moved on with my day, hoping to get out a few minutes early to rush through a Whole Foods run before finally, blissfully, heading home alone.

It’s exhausting to think about signs everywhere, that nothing is a coincidence because “everything happens for a reason” and all that. Sometimes it’s really nice to think something is a coincidence because coincidences are easy to comprehend, they’re just random things that happen and make you go “huh” and then you move on. Sometimes I drive myself crazy trying to understand random things that happen, like how I can feel the shift of energy as the new moon approaches this weekend, and there’s a planet of healing turning retrograde this month that’s making me think about starting over. A thinks I’m crazy when I start going on about the planetary movements, and okay, I definitely am. Sometimes things are really just coincidences. Other times it feels like there’s more behind the random coincidences, and I need a reason to pay attention to them, especially when they pile up like they have been the past few weeks.

Back to Tuesday, it was a late night in the office, which I haven’t had in quite a long time. I tried to let myself skip grocery shopping but I’m sick of buying lunch and coffee every day, so I sucked up my last bit of energy and made my way to the Whole Foods by Columbus Circle, a pit stop on the way back to the Heights. I realized while shopping around that I didn’t have pockets for my phone, so as I checked out I tucked my phone and headphones into my backpack, a foreign motion for me. As I walked out the glass doors and towards the subway, I thought that moment, sans headphones, would be a funny moment to run into someone I knew. And not ten seconds later, I saw R walking towards me about 10 feet away. I was so shocked that I just stared at her for a minute with a huge smile, and then shouted her name like a crazy person. She looked equally as shocked to see me – turns out she’d seen one of the “If you see something, say something” signs a few minutes before, and nearly sent me a note. We could chalk all that up to a big coincidence – and there’s of course no denying it was! But in a moment where I was missing a friend and in need of a good way to end a long evening, I may have to chalk that up to a little push from the universe. Everything does happen for a reason, after all.

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