Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.
Who hasn’t used the fun, bouncy, cartoon transferable ball of putty in their lifetime? In 1943, James Wright invented Silly Putty while he was trying to find a rubber substitute for the United States during World War II. He may have failed at rubber replacement but succeeded to have Silly Putty inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001.
Or what about our 15th Century Italian explorer?
In 1492, good ‘Ol boy Chris Columbus set out to sail west until he reached Asia (the Indies) and wound up landing in The Americas. I’m guessing he didn’t stop and ask for directions either.
And then there’s this little guy.Yes, that little blue pill that has changed the smiles on women everywhere. In 1989, it was initially intended for use in hypertension and angina pectoris. Early test results were unremarkable—except for one unusual behavior from the male participants. In 1998, it was FDA approved to…um…well, validate the famous Sex in The City quote, “The man, the myth, the Viagra.”
In addition to that, in 2007 an Ig Nobel Prize in Aviation was given to; Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano, and Diego A. Golombek of Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina, for their discovery that ‘the little blue pill’ helps treat jet lag recovery in hamsters. Think about that next time you fly.
But back to my blog and how serendipity finds something useful when we are not even looking for it.
I am so thankful for the serendipity that found me.
After Jena ‘moved up’ to heaven from cystic fibrosis, I was sure I was on an inescapable life of depression and grief. Everything I had once known about life was ripped out from underneath me, and I was left completely and utterly lost — no interest in any alternatives or direction.
Somehow while on this path of death and destruction, I found life.
I wrote journals, and I wrote sobs of emotions on any scrap paper I could find. I wrote because I couldn’t contain the heartache inside me, and I thought writing would validate the grief in my heart. Looking back, I thought I was writing to express my pain, but it was there, in my own words, that I found comfort. The more I wrote about my despair, the more I heard an optimistic voice deep inside myself, telling me to live. The more I shared my anger, loneliness, and heartbreak, the more life showed me hope, support, dare I say, the beauty this world holds. I had found a way to carry on in life… completely by accident.
I had also found a way to immortalize my baby girl, who was now gone from this earth. I compiled all those scraps of paper into a book, Beyond Breathing, for the sole purpose of allowing people to meet my daughter, forever inside its pages. The irony was I had found an outlet for my depression, which created huge awareness for cystic fibrosis, the very thing that put me in the cruel state of misery.
But that’s life.
To expect the unexpected. The unforeseen occurs to all of us. Some beautiful things happen when you least expect them, but unfortunately, so do the abrupt and really painful challenges. Those happy surprises and unpredictable additions, as well as the heartaches and difficult struggles, are all gifts we must grow from. We don’t get to choose the unexpected, but we do get to choose how we handle them.
You never know where the road you are on will take you.
So expect it.
Deal with it the best way you can and always remember what we just learned.
Don’t give up on your intended plan just because it went splat; stick to the positive, and bounce your way back.
Don’t jump ship, stay the course, and you’ll find a new discovery.
And lastly, give it all you have, even if it’s hard and the situation at hand lasts for more than four hours.
Keep the faith, and if you’re lucky you’ll know life is full of laughter, mixed with tears, and sprinkled with a whole bunch of serendipitous surprises.
People, embrace the beauty in the broken.