As someone who's constantly trying to capture memories and also loves over-analyzing (#Englishmajorprobs), it's no wonder that How I Met Your Mother is right in my wheelhouse. A show devoted to nostalgia, connections, and the interplay of past, present, and future?! Yes please! The season 4 episode "Right Place, Right Time" (which lends this post its title) explores all of these ideas spectacularly, as Future Ted recounts how every decision of one day led to him running into Stella, which sets in motion his job at Columbia, where the Mother is a student in his first "economics" class (although they still don't meet for like four seasons OY).
Like Teddy Westside, I find solace in the idea that things--tiny, random things--happen for a reason. Many meh days become magic when you step back, look at the big picture, and marvel at the connections.
I actually met my friend Ashley in a very HIMYM way.
In March 2009, I was an undergrad and very reluctantly agreed to present at an academic conference. It was an Honor Society requirement that I had blown off til senior year because, public speaking (not to mention stranger danger, even though it was at Neumann College, maybe half an hour from Rosemont). I don't remember much about it, aside from talking about gender normativity in The Sun Also Rises (natch) and having a delish free muffin. Who could ask for anything more? I went back to Rosemont, attended my roommate's senior art show that night, and pretty much forgot that the conference ever happened...
...until a few months later. Now a scared grad student, I was making small talk with a super-friendly classmate when I said something like, "Oh you went to Neumann? I've been there once--for the Sepche conference." And that's how I learned that this bubbly girl had not only presented at the same conference, but she had been working the welcome table and had likely checked me in.
Insignificant? Random? Maybe, but when you really think about it, it's kind of mind-blowing. I saw and probably chatted with a girl on a random day in March 2009, then became her classmate a few months later and discovered that she's delightful, hilarious, and brilliant (and shares my love of pink, sparkles, and planners). She became one of my closest grad school friends, and in 2011, I was a guest at her wedding.
It's crazy magical how your path can intertwine at different times with the same people, and how big their impact can be, just a little further down the road. I guess this serves as a reminder to be present and not stress over plans and control. The universe makes the right connections and puts great things in motion--whether we know it at the time or not.