If I turned that way instead of this way, I'd be over there instead of over here.
I was reminiscing on Twitter minutes ago about my earliest experiences with email. Somewhere around 1994/1995, when the Internet was truly new to, well, the masses. (yes, I know it was around long before then.)
How's this for a story with it's foundation in the early Internet:
In 1996, I met a girl in a Movies IRC chat room and we chatted all night into the morning daylight hours, first about movies and then about everything else. I recently found out that she didn't even own a computer when we met online. She had borrowed a friends laptop and, well, our chance meeting online occurred.
Over the course of the next few months we chatted regularly, which escalated to phone calls. We never once exchanged photos of each other.
I booked a ticket to fly out to Montreal to meet her face to face. People thought I was CRAZY. "You don't know this girl." "She could by a psycho." "If we don't hear back from you, we'll call the police. (I'm sure they were only half joking."
This was in the days where this kind of thing was unheard of and if you DID hear about it happening, there was almost always a dark story associated with it.
I flew out to Montreal and met her face to face and we spent an amazing two weeks together, exploring Montreal together. Basically falling completely in love.
I later landed a 6 month student work visa and moved to Montreal for that time, working some CRAZY jobs (telemarketing) while there. (that's a whole story in itself) But eventually, the work visa burned off and I had to move back to Boise.
She had dual citizenship so she tried her hand at living with me in Boise before we realized that we needed something completely different and looked at the map to figure out where we could both live and enjoy our life together.
We chose San Francisco. In 1997, she moved to SF to get situated, and I moved at the end of 1997 to live with her in the Bay Area.
She and I spent two+ years together before breaking off the romantic relationship, but we've stayed close friends. She's one of my best friends, actually, to this very day.
Why am I even sharing this with you? I suppose cause, in a strange way, I enjoy a large part of the things I hold dear to my life because of her. In retrospect, you realize that if you had turns that way instead of this way, you'd be over there instead of over here. (my dad LOVES to spout that saying.)
If not for that chance occurrence under the craziest of circumstances in the days when Internet technology was a relative enigma, I would not be here. My life would be COMPLETELY different. I likely wouldn't have moved to the Bay Area on my own, and I guess I'd be in Boise doing... well, honestly, I have no idea! I didn't zero in on my career path until years following my move to SF. I certainly would have never met my wife who I now share a beautiful family with.
Just goes to show, the smallest, most random events in your life COULD turn out to be monumental in the grand spectrum. Only time will tell.