As I snapped the photo of Stephanie up on the step ladder, drill in one hand, measuring tape dangling from her neck hanging my beautiful new curtains we had shopped for earlier in the week, I giggled to myself and wondered if perhaps she was wondering what would have happened if she had not chosen to sit in the open seat beside me on the airplane that day. Perhaps she would have been relaxing on that Friday night, out at a concert or seeing a movie, but she had chosen to take the seat and the result, 13 months later, was my friend the interior designer, working hard on a step ladder on a Friday night to make my new home cozy and comfortable.

In our increasingly-isolated world where we’re making it easier and at times more acceptable to talk with our thumbs than our tongues, I’m glad to know that Serendipity is alive and well and just waiting for an opportunity to enter our lives.

Sitting on the plane ready to take off for Austin with an empty seat beside me, I had begun to experience the realization that I was going to have two seats to myself for the duration of the flight. The concept of luxury of space on an airplane is an industry that employs thousands of engineers and designers; to have an open seat beside me was a valuable, win-the-lottery-type luxury and in a matter of seconds, I opted out. I noticed the three seats across from me: a morbidly obese woman with an energetic young child, a large bag of pungent fast food in-between them and a woman about my age, clearly crowded out by her seatmates. I didn’t hesitate when we caught eyes and invited her to take the empty seat beside me; she accepted.
                                                  Serendipity, welcome aboard.

It turns out my new seat-mate was moving to the city I was visiting and we shared many things in common including a willingness to talk with a stranger on a plane. By the end of the flight we had exchanged contact information and planned to stay in touch. We did. A little over a year later, I too was moving to Austin and discovered the place I intuitively recognized as my new home was less than four miles away from Stephanie.
                                    Serendipity, so glad you decided to hang around.

Would I have moved to Austin anyway?  Yes.
Would it have been as fun?  No chance.

That’s the thing about Serendipity. It’s there lying dormant, neither exclusive nor independent but needs to know it’s invited and welcome. Serendipity wants to feel special and requires good company…the company of those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone, who are willing to speak to a stranger and perhaps give up a little airplane luxury without ever considering the return on that ‘gesture investment’. Serendipity is attracted to courageousness and genuineness, we can’t fake our actions and have it result in Serendipity gifting us a fantastic outcome. When we show a genuine interest in others and engage with our fellow humans whether it’s on a plane or in line at the grocery store, Serendipity will notice. Serendipity hovers…waiting for an opportunity to do what it does best: to make our life experiences richer, more valuable and more fun. We can exist on our own but without Serendipity I’m not sure we can truly live, experience and appreciate its depth of richness.

I often think of the flight that day to Austin and how my life would be different had I chosen to stay immersed in my book or Ipod keeping the extra airplane seat to myself.  I wouldn’t have all-new colors in my bedroom, I wouldn’t have so many new friends and I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Mopar and Rubi, two of the best dogs ever. Stephanie wouldn’t have a friend who is a built-in dog walker and dog snuggler, fellow hiker and canyon explorer and soon-to-be best ever frozen drink preparer!
                              Cheers to you Serendipity and lots of dog kisses too!
Thanks for reading,
~Haven

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