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Fate? Destiny? Serendipity

I’m not someone who believes in fate or destiny.  I do, however, find it interesting that decisions you think will be small or only relevant to the immediate future often end up having wider repercussions on life.

Last year around this time I was living in a house I really liked in Exeter, but the house dynamic shifted when a new roommate moved in.  I recognise that I’m not the easiest person with whom to share an abode.  There’s a fundamental difference between those who are happy to be messy and those who are compusively tidy, and there is no point trying to live in a house that is one way when you are the other.  The tidy person (me) will just write increasingly pointed passive-agressive notes and start cleaning things with a vicious self-righteousness until a tower of resentment that could double as a space elevator has cast its shadow over the whole house.  Meanwhile the messy person will ball up the note and toss it onto the growing pile, ignore the knife-edge-gleaming surfaces and continue to strew personal belongings everywhere like a cat marking its territory, whilst contriving to make the entire house smell like smoke even though they are not technically smoking in the house.  In that particular situation I became outnumbered, so I decided to move out.

I mentioned in my last post that when I move to London I’ll be sharing a flat with my current landlady’s son.  If I hadn’t felt forced to suddenly up sticks and shift along last fall, this opportunity would never have come along.  At the time I wasn’t expecting to live here for more than six months.  That stretched into the summer, and now it’s been a full year.  I didn’t know when I decided to leave my last house that I’d be here this long, let alone that living here would lead directly to my next housing situation.

As I said, destiny and fate are concepts of which I am very skeptical–they’re so ponderously weighty.  When I was little, though, I learned a new word from a series of children’s books: serendipity (an imprint of Price Stern Sloan at Penguin, if you’re wondering.)  Charactarised as a little pink dragon/mermaid hybrid by author and illustrator Stephen Cosgrove, serendipity has been a welcome force in my life ever since.

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