The butterfly effect is an element of chaos theory that states a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in China, could cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. In popular culture, it is used in conjunction with time travel. If you change one little thing in the past – what would happen to everything else in the future. Think It’s a Wonderful Life. Every one changes – for the worse – when George Bailey is shown what would happen if he had never been born.
Our own lives can be like that. We look back and see that if one thing had happened differently, everything else would be changed.
I had a Butterfly Effect moment yesterday. While I was in the shower (it is really funny how much thinking I can get done while washing my hair). I started thinking about the events of the week, and seeing my former crush. And it occurred to me, that if not for my former crush – my life could possibly be completely different now. Here’s how.
1. I might not have gotten back into singing. My former crush was the choir director at my church – but before that he had played piano for the choir (don’t ask me what I have with pianists…my former love is one as well). I hadn’t sung in public for YEARS – instead allowing my performance anxiety to comsume me. But, then I got a good look at the pianist and thought, “Dang! He’s kinda cute. Maybe I’ll join the choir.” He is the one who encouraged me to sing my first solo at church. Other than one in college, I hadn’t soloed since high school. It was only one line at the end of the anthem, and I was shaking like a leaf, but I did it because he asked me to. Now, I am the main female soloist at church, and am frequently told I should sing professionally.
2. I probably would not have met my ex-husband. I met the Monkey Daddy at one of his improv shows. The former crush was supposed to go with me, but at the last-minute he cancelled. If he had gone, I probably would not have been waiting in front of the comedy club for my other friends to arrive, which means the Monkey Daddy would not have seen me standing there and come over to talk to me. My ex would have probably also thought that I was “with” the former crush, thus REALLY not coming over to talk to me.
3. I would not have my Three Little Monkeys. Oh, of course, I might have children. I might even have three. But, they wouldn’t be the ones I have now (which depending on the day could be a good or a bad thing).
4. I might not have gone back to teaching. I was pretty happy with the job I had. But, once I started dating the Monkey Daddy, I started slacking off at my old job. And found my old wanderlust acting up again, thus deciding to go back to teaching.
5. I probably would not have met my former love. Since I met my former love through my ex-husband (his ex and my ex have been friends for almost three decades), most likely G and I would have never started dating. And while the break-up has sucked more than anything else in life, I can’t imaging not having had him in my life.
I’m not saying things would have been better – nor am I saying they would be worse. But, they would be different.
Interesting to think about…