Monday, May 2, 2011

A Series of Fortunate Events

A recent post from The Goose's Roost got me thinking a bit this morning because there were bits and pieces of it that reminded me so much of my own life.  Their chief writer Ryan commented about how he found his way into, and through college by way of a series of happy accidents.  His path wasn't so different from my own.

Like Ryan, I only applied to two schools, Clarkson University, and the University at Buffalo, and went to Clarkson largely because it "felt right."  When I went to Clarkson my hockey watching up to that point in my life was a few games here and there from the Sabres - Stars finals, an Avalanche finals I don't really remember, and the Lightning - Flames finals.  (I was always kind of a Sabres fan, checking the papers in an "oh they won, that's good," kind of way, but without basic cable, the opportunities to watch hockey were few and far between.)  Those are a funny couple of statements if you know how I am now.

A series of happy accidents would probably be the most accurate way to describe how I feel about my path to this point, how the things that are important to me now have come to be important to me.  Hell, even discovering my favorite band was about as random an occurrence as you can have.  (More on that in another entry.)

So I'll go back several years to the fall of 2004 when I was starting college.  Clarkson University is in the middle of nowhere and their DI hockey team was and is basically the only thing that draws any sort of attention.  Even better, all regular season games are free for students.  So I started going to watch this thing called hockey because it's fun, because Clarkson liked to play physical, and because in college sports you can motivate an inebriated student section to serenade the players with the most vile of chants without any trouble at all.

My interest and my knowledge grew and I started to tune into the NHL, which was ill-timed since we all know what happened with the 04-05 season.  Still there was plenty of college hockey around and I went to pretty much every single mens AND womens home game my freshman year.  Then one day in late 2006, I happened to randomly turn on the TV and find the Sabres playing the Tampa Bay Lightning.  I don't remember any details about the game other than that they won (which doesn't narrow down the date at all), but I realized "hey, I should watch this."

Unfortunately, my internet savvy was not what it is now and the prospect of looking up the schedule, or god forbid downloading is never occurred to me.  So the next time I found myself watching a game, again by complete accident, was on April 22nd.  The details are a little fuzzy, but I think I remember seeing every goal which means I missed the first 5:20 of the game at most.  We all know what happened next, Brian Campbell obliterated R.J. Umberger, and Danny Briere put shot number 13 past Robert Esche on a delayed penalty in the second overtime.

How delightfully random.  I don't even remember how I heard about Clarkson, yet somehow finding my way there was the spark to starting my Sabres fandom.  (And you can argue that it might have happened anyways had I gone to UB, but being a person prone to going against the crowd, perhaps over 300 miles from Buffalo was the best place for my fandom to begin.  It makes perfect sense to me.)

I've often felt like my life has been like a bouncy ball hurled at a surface, haphazardly bouncing off objects and arriving at its eventual destination through complete randomness with an assist from the laws of physics.  (Still haven't escaped that whole linear time thing.)

I don't know that I believe in fate per se, but I do think that we subconsciously will ourselves to a place that fits best for us.  Maybe that's all fate is, I don't know.  I do know that there has been an awful lot in my life that has been the product of fortunate timing, and a lot that has seemed negative in theory, but turned out to be positive in the long run.  So I can only conclude that what happens is generally what is supposed to happen, and that series of random events or not, I'm barrelling blindly towards the right place.

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