I had lunch yesterday with a woman I knew vaguely nearly 50 years ago. We both went to the same college and lived near each other in the dorm one year. I came across her name in a research project I was doing about a month ago and discovered she lived here and had been an academic like I was. So I emailed her and we got together.
It was interesting sharing our life stories, which are considerable at our ages, and I was struck by how life gets shaped by accidents and choices in the moment, rather than long-term goals and plans. She had planned to be an actress in LA or New York and fell into a university graduate program for acting instead. She worked on the stage a short while in Seattle and then got offered a temporary job at Reed College where she stayed. She acted some and directed some but mostly she was a teacher.
I had plans to be a high-school teacher but put them on hold when my boyfriend at the time got a job as an abortion counselor in Texas in the early 70s and I went with him and did that work for a while. Later I went back to school but fell into a Master's program and then chose to get a PhD instead of high-school teaching. In 1994, I took a leave from my college teaching job to return to Portland and care for my parents and I never went back, choosing instead to develop an editing business.
Buying the book Life's Companion: Journaling for the Spiritual Quest in 1992 changed my life: I bacame a writer. Buying the book, the Artist's Way in 1997 changed my life as well: I became a painter.What accidents and choices have shaped your life?