Lately I've really come to appreciate the unexpected in life--how you start off thinking the day will be one way, and by the end of your night you've met someone new, done something different, or been completely surprised in a way you didn't expect. Gilda Radner calls this "Delicious ambiguity," and I think this is going to be my new catchphrase for 2011.
So back at Christmas I was headed home to Boise. I was standing in line waiting to pass through security and grumbling as always about having to take my shoes off. There was a guy a few people in front of me, and when he turned a little to the right and I saw his profile he looked slightly familiar, like someone I went to my undergrad university with. Is that...? I thought to myself. He was just far enough that I couldn't yell at him without screaming, nor would it have been completely the right time to you know, stop and have a little chat. And it's always uncomfortable screaming at someone and having them not turn out to be that person you think it was. Additionally, I always "think" I see people I know when in a place they wouldn't possibly be. So for all these reasons, I remained silent. While normally I don't mind drawing attention to myself, I wasn't in the mood to make myself look like a complete looney toon (I want these people on the East Coast to like me!), which is always a good idea whenever TSA is around. Plus, there was no way that THIS guy would be in the Bradley International Airport. If it was who I suspected it was, he was a friend of a friend--we'd hung out quite a few times on and off my first two years at SPU. He was so far in front of me, that he would probably be gone before I even caught up to him--plus, it wasn't him!!!
After I rushed through security, I had indeed figured out that it was indeed him (shocking. That would be a horrible story if I just wrote..."And then I figured out it wasn't him")! I yelled his name, and he looked as shocked as me. It turns out that he was looking at a medical residency program at in Connecticut and was interviewing with them. Our paths had crossed for only a few minutes--he was flying back to Chicago and I on to Boise. WHAT WERE THE ODDS?! He told me he was interviewing at a few other programs, so I told myself I wouldn't get my hopes up, but let's be honest, it would be nice to have a familiar face all the way over here on the right side of the country. Plus, the school he was interviewing with was about 30 minutes away, and I probably wouldn't see him that much anyways.
Fast forward a few months, and he emailed to tell me that he and his wife would indeed be coming to Connecticut! And a few weeks ago they had a BBQ and I found out they live right down the road from me! Again I say, what are the odds!? Even better, not only have I acquired some new familiar faces, but have met new friends through them. We constantly marvel how insane it is that this small overlap of literally minutes in the airport led to so much--a new community, new friends, answers to prayer in times of longing for familiarity in a still very new environment.
I suppose I have to chalk that one up to God.