Sliding Doors is a movie that highlights how life can be changed instantly by something so trivial as missing the subway.
Think about the little decisions or coincidences that led to where you are now. How I met my husband is an example.
I was a law school student having dinner with my girlfriends. As we walked down Lincoln Road toward our car, we had a chance encounter with Melissa. Melissa had recently graduated from our law school, and she said she was working at the Public Defender’s Office. Eagerly, I mentioned, “I’m interning there this summer!”
“Listen,” she said. “When you get to orientation, they’re going to ask what department you prefer. Choose Domestic Violence; that’s where I am. The supervisors are great, and you’ll get real trial experience.”
Weeks later I wrote “DV” on my intake sheet. My request was granted.
On my first day on the job, I was standing in the hallway when Orlando walked through the door. He was one of the attorneys in that very small division. I didn’t like him right away. He didn’t like me either. But we spent several months working together, became friends, and on the last day of my internship, he asked me out.
We’d been dating casually for a couple of weeks when one day we stopped by his mom’s house. She’d asked him to pick up some of his things. He poked around inside the box and took out a children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. His mom had bought it for him after he took a children’s literature class in college. He flipped through the pages of the book, reading some of the passages aloud, and discussing its beauty with his mom. As I watched Orlando’s interaction with his mom and his love of that book, I thought: “This guy is going to be a great dad one day.” I visualized him reading to my future children and teaching them about literature, which is ironic because I wasn’t even thinking about having kids at that time. Just like that, I saw him with new eyes. He was no longer a friend I enjoyed spending time with; he was the kind of man I wanted to marry.
Eleven years and three children later, I still remember that moment and how wise I was for choosing him to be my life partner. But I couldn’t have made that choice had I not run into Melissa on the street that random day; or taken her advice to request that department; or spent enough time with Orlando to develop our friendship. Each detail, seemingly unimportant, was significant in its own right and led us to create this imperfectly perfect life together.
Opportunities pop up. If you pay attention, you will find they fall into your life like chains of dominoes. Life doesn’t happen to you by chance. Notice, take advantage of, and be grateful for those sliding door moments. Life is richer for them.